[African-American Sororal Order Badge]: Sisters of the Mysterious Ten: Justice, Mercy and Truth. Christobel. Temple No. 326. S. M. T. St. Louis, Mo.

St. Louis, Mo. [Manufactured by] Steiner Engraving & Badge Co. [for] Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, [circa 1900?].

Price: $1,500.00

Unbound. Sororal order badge. An elaborate ribbon and badge: red silk measuring 2¾" x 6½" printed with silver lettering stating: "Christobel. Temple No. 326. S. M. T. St. Louis, Mo." with decorative border on three sides consisting of inter-woven metallic threads, the lower edge with 1½" braided, brass-bullion fringe. At upper edge, suspended from a smaller, purple silk ribbon representing a shield, is a circular pictorial celluloid and metal badge printed in red, black and yellow, stating: "Sisters of the Mysterious Ten. Justice Mercy and Truth." The two-sided ribbon is designed to be reversible with a somber matching, "In Memorium" ribbon in black and printed in silver stitched to verso. Both ribbons are suspended from a pictorial celluloid pinback button, depicting two interlocking hands, with rolled, metallic border.

Silver lettering is partially flaked and faded, else legible, and the ribbon is fresh and bright; the verso, consisting of silver printing on a black field is almost completely flaked with printing barely visible. Overall the ribbon is in near fine condition, with the celluloid mountings, and pictorial images, quite bright, silk ribbons, and fringes, are fresh and clean.

A visually attractive artifact of the Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, the women's auxiliary branch of an African-American fraternal order, The United Brothers of Friendship, which was founded "in 1861 [by] Marshall Taylor, William Hazelton, Charles Morgan and Charles Coates... open to freedmen and slaves… ." Scarce.

Lucas, *A History of Blacks in Kentucky: From Slavery to Segregation, 1760-1891,* p. 323; Gibson, *History of the United Brothers of Friendship and Sisters of the Mysterious Ten, a Negro Order..*, Brown, *African American Fraternities and Sororities: The Legacy and the Vision,* p. 81, and Mjagkij, *Organizing Black America: An Encyclopedia of African American Associations,* p. 665.


Item #522089

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Item #522089 [African-American Sororal Order Badge]: Sisters of the Mysterious Ten: Justice, Mercy and Truth. Christobel. Temple No. 326. S. M. T. St. Louis, Mo.