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Fraktur: Certificate of the Birth and Baptism of Elisabetha in Berks County, Pennsylvania

Object Number: 
1937.1808
Date: 
c. 1802
Medium: 
Gouache, brown ink, and watercolor on paper
Dimensions: 
Overall: 8 1/4 x 13 1/2 in. ( 21 x 34.3 cm )
Inscriptions: 
Inscribed in German at upper center in brown ink: "Elisabetha / wurde geboren im Staat Pennsylvani / im County Bercks im Taunschip [Esdistrickt?] / im Jahr nach Christi geburt. 1802. den 21.ten. tag. / Julius .. .. wurde bald daraus getauft bey Herrn Pfarrer / Eltern sind Jacob Bechtel .. .. und seine Ehefrau / Maria .. .. Taufzeugen waren .. .."
Description: 
Fraktur: Horizontal rectangular sheet with handwritten German inscription enclosed in a heart surrounded by multi-colored floral sprays with large green leaves; one large pink and green six-pointed star in each upper corner; "Elisabetha" inscribed in rectangular cartouche at center top.
Gallery Label: 
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.
Credit Line: 
Elie Nadelman, Museum of Folk Arts, Riverdale-on-Hudson, Bronx, New York
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group