Fraktur: Two-Sided Valentine and Folding Puzzle Game

Object Number: 
1943.500
Date: 
1818
Medium: 
Brown ink, gouache, and watercolor on beige paper
Dimensions: 
Overall (unfolded): 12 3/4 x 12 3/4 in. (32.4 x 32.4 cm)
Marks: 
inscription: on back: "August / 20th 1818 / This Valentine is / Presented With / Respect and Esteem / Miss Jane Hope / Union Township / Mifflin County"
Inscriptions: 
Inscribed on lower center panel in brown ink: "August 20th 1818 / This / Valentine is / Presented With / Respect and Esteem / Miss Jane Hope / Union Township / Mifflin County"
Description: 
Fraktur: Square, fold-up type valentine with handwritten English inscriptions on front and back; front (inside when valentine is folded) decorated with multi-colored labyrinth (or true lover's knot) at center, triangular cartouches and floral sprays centered along each edge, and sawtooth border; back subdivided into nine squares, with a small heart enclosed in an octagon at center.
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. Though written in English, this valentine is executed in Pennsylvania German fraktur technique.
Credit Line: 
Gift of Mrs. J. Kensett Olyphant
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group