Fraktur: Birds Perched on Fruit Bearing Plants; verso: Record of the Birth and Baptism of Maria Catharine Ziegenfus
Gouache over graphite with glazing on beige paper
Overall: 9 1/4 x 7 1/2 in. ( 23.5 x 19 cm )
Verso inscribed at lower center in red ink: "Maria Catharine Ziegenfus was born August 31st 1855 / and was baptized November 11th 1855 by Reverend Rath"
Fraktur: Vertical rectangular sheet decorated with seven birds (six red and yellow and one black and green) of varying size perched in the branches of several plants with large green leaves and red and yellow fruit; plant at center sprouts from the top of a pink and black crown.
The Pennsylvania Germans practiced a manuscript art called Frakturschrift or Zierschrift in German ("fraktur" in museum and collecting terminology). This art form, combining calligraphy with decorative motifs in ink and watercolor, was produced widely in Pennsylvania and in German settlements in other states from the mid-18th to the mid-19th century. Though this example is inscribed in English, it is related stylistically to the art of fraktur.
Elie Nadelman, Museum of Folk Arts, Riverdale-on-Hudson, Bronx, New York
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.