Fraktur: Certificate of the Birth of Sally H. Annis with Stylized Bird Motifs
Blue watercolor and brown ink wash on beige paper
Overall: 9 x 6 7/8 in. ( 22.9 x 17.5 cm )
Inscribed at center in blue watercolor: "SALLY H. ANNIS / WAS BORN JUNE 21, 1799."
Fraktur: Vertical rectangular sheet with handwritten English inscription in blue capital letters enclosed in a rectangle at center; decorative motif consisting of a brown and black bird inside a circle repeated twice above and twice below inscription.
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.