Two (2) Charleston Slave Hire copper alloy badges, including one (1) Lafar. 1st item: 1811 Lafar Servant Slave Hire Badge, Number 221. Octagonal shaped with four long sides, the shorter sides scalloped out to create a cruciform appearance, with a hole at the top for suspension. Front marked “CHARLESTON” in a lunate punch at the top, “1811” in a rectangular logotype punch, “SERVANT” in a rectangular punch underneath. “No.” in a square punch with “22(1)” hand engraved at the bottom. Hallmarked “LAFAR” in a rectangular punch on the back. Includes original receipt from Early American History Auctions, Inc. 49.2 mm. x 52.3 mm (1.94″ x 2.06″). Note: John Joseph LaFar was a Charleston silversmith and city marshal who received a contract to make slave badges after Charles Prince. Note: The cruciform shape seems to have been a popular style for this year, see the 1811 Porter badge in Bowers & Merena November, 2001 for a similar example. 2nd item: 1853 Mechanic Slave Hire Badge, Number 200. Diamond shaped with corners folded flush and a hole at the top for suspension. Front marked “CHARLESTON” in a lunate punch at the top, “MECHANIC” in a rectangular punch, “1853” in a rectangular punch, and “200” in individual number punches at the bottom. No hallmarks. Includes documentation of email correspondence regarding the provenance of the tag. 47.8 mm x 56.1 mm (1.88″ x 2.21″). Note: Tag was dug “Down Town” Charleston area in 2003. Provenance: 1st item purchased from Early American History Auctions, Inc., August 23, 2008. Estate of Jim Maconkey, Landrum, SC. CONDITION: 1st item: Appearance is Very Fine or better in places. Deep green in color. Spade mark or folds across left side. Surfaces somewhat smooth in places. Slightly dished, the front bowed towards the viewer, believed to add additional strength to the badge when worn. Last digit of serial number uncertain due to crack. 2nd item: Overall appearance is Very Fine. Dark brown in color.
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