Fraktur (Religious text)

  • Title:

    Geistlicher Irrgarten (Spiritual Maze or Labyrinth)

  • Category:

    Works on Paper

  • Creator (Role):

    Friedrich Krebs (Decorator)

    Ephrata Cloister printshop (Printer)

  • Place of Origin:

    Ephrata, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Mid-Atlantic, United States, North America

  • Date:


  • Materials:

    Ink; Watercolor; Paper (laid)

  • Techniques:

    Letterpress, Hand colored

  • Museum Object Number:

    1957.1215 A

  • Complete Details

Object Number

1957.1215 A

Object Name

Fraktur (Religious text)


Geistlicher Irrgarten (Spiritual Maze or Labyrinth)


Works on Paper

Credit Line/Donor

Bequest of Henry Francis du Pont

Creator (Role)

Friedrich Krebs (Decorator)-1815
References: Weiser, "The Mad, Lovable World of Frederick Krebs," Der Reggeboge, 1988, vol. 22, no. 2, pp. 49-88; Earnest, Papers for Birth Dayes, p. 237-44. Krebs was the most prolific fraktur artist in America. It is believed he (like Christian Strenge) was a Hessian soldier who either stayed or returned to the United States after the Revolutionary War. He purchased thousands of printed birth and baptismal certificates from varous Reading printers.

Ephrata Cloister printshop (Printer)
References: Stopp, The Printed Birth and Baptismal Certificates of the German Americans, vol. 2, pp. 98-217. The Ephrata printshop is credited with producing the first printed certificates in America. Its press printed forty editions by 1800. (Stopp, p. 98).

Place of Origin

Ephrata, Lancaster, Pennsylvania, Mid-Atlantic, United States, North America



Mark or Signature or Inscription or Label

1. Inscription; Bottom right within border; Ephrata, Im Jahr 1788.


Ink; Watercolor; Paper (laid)


Letterpress, Hand colored

Dimensions (inches)

16.3 (H) , 13 (W) , 16.3 (Image H) , 13 (Image W)

Dimensions (centimeters)

41.4 (H) , 33.1 (W) , 16.3 (Image H) , 13 (Image W)

Measurement Notes

H at left. W at bottom. Chain interval: 2.7 cm; 8-9 laid lines per cm.


Bottom center: initials "CB" within heart


Hand colored with watercolors

Edition Notes

Paper made by Christian Bauman (1755-1815), who appears to have worked at the Cloister paper mill since c. 1777, and later operated it on lease, 1790 until his death. (See Gravell #144, pp. 52 & 159.) Stopp suggests papers with the watermark of CB in a heart were used 1788-92 (See Stopp, vol. 2, p. 99).

Object Description

Text available soon.

Bibliography and Bibliographic Notes

[Book] Yoder, Don. 2005 The Pennsylvania German Broadside: A History and Guide.
For a related example, see pp. 182-183.
[Book] Earnest, Russell D. & Earnest, Corinne P. 2005 Flying Leaves and One-Sheets: Pennsylvania German Broadsides, Fraktur, and Their Printers.
For other examples of spiritual mazes, see pp. 280-286.