Fraktur (Birth and baptismal certificate)

  • Title:

    Birth and baptismal certificate (Geburts und Taufschein) of Johanes Bender

  • Category:

    Works on Paper

  • Creator (Role):

    Johann Henrich Otto (Decorator)

    Pseudo-Otto Artist (Scrivener)

    Ephrata Cloister printshop (Printer)

  • Place of Origin:

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

  • Secondary Place of Origin:

    Douglass Township, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mid-Atlantic, United States, North America

  • Date:

    1784

  • Materials:

    Ink; Watercolor; Paper (laid)

  • Techniques:

    Drawn, Hand colored, Hand lettered, Letterpress, Woodcut, Woodblock

  • Museum Object Number:

    1958.0120.017 A


  • Complete Details



Object Number

1958.0120.017 A

Object Name

Fraktur (Birth and baptismal certificate)

Title

Birth and baptismal certificate (Geburts und Taufschein) of Johanes Bender

Category

Works on Paper

Credit Line/Donor

Museum purchase with funds provided by Henry Francis du Pont

Creator (Role)

Johann Henrich Otto (Decorator)
02/05/1733-c. 1799
References: Earnest, Papers for Birth Dayes, pp. 312-19. Otto started making hand-drawn fraktur in the 1770s and printed broadsides in 1772. He also used birth and baptismal certificates printed at Ephrata Cloister in the 1780s (the earliest printed date is 1784). He marred Anna Catharine Dauterich, and they are believed to have had ten children, including four sons who also became fraktur artists: William (1761-1841), Jacob (active in Lancaster County, n. d.), Conrad (1770-1857; his son, P. C. Otto, was also a fraktur scrivener) and Daniel (c. 1770-c. 1821; formerly known as the Flat Tulip Artist). (See Earnest, p. 313.)

Pseudo-Otto Artist (Scrivener)
References: Earnest, Papers for Birth Dayes, pp. 331-32. The Pseudo-Otto Artist, along with Otto, was among the earliest fraktur artists to use printed certificates, and one of the first to use a vertical versus horizontal print. The similarities of his fraktur to Otto's and a certificate bearing a "CB" watermark (Christian Bauman at the Ephrata Cloister paper mill) strongly suggests this artist had a connection to Ephrata.

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

Origin Notes

Certificate printed on the press at Ephrata Cloister. Decoration probably completed by Otto in Lancaster County.

Secondary Place of Origin

Douglass Township, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Mid-Atlantic, United States, North America

Secondary Origin Notes

Secondary creation place is birthplace on certificate, which is described as "Tocklis" Township, Philadelphia County. "Tocklis" is a phoenetic spelling referring to Douglass Township, originally part of Philadelphia County. Douglass Township became part of Montgomery County when it was formed in 1784, and is located on the border with Berks County.

Date

1784

Materials

Ink; Watercolor; Paper (laid)

Techniques

Drawn, Hand colored, Hand lettered, Letterpress, Woodcut, Woodblock

Dimensions (inches)

13.4 (H) , 16.6 (W) , 13.4 (Image H) , 16.6 (Image W)

Dimensions (centimeters)

34 (H) , 42.1 (W) , 13.4 (Image H) , 16.6 (Image W)

Measurement Notes

H at left. W at bottom. Chain intervals: 2.5-2.6 cm; 9 laid lines per cm.

Watermark

Lower right: Fleur-de-lis over the initials "PU" in crowned banded circle

Coloring

Hand colored with watercolors

Edition Notes

Second state bird panels (See Stopp 236.2). Watermark appears to be that of Peter Ulrick (see Gravell, 2002 ed., p. 312). Stopp lists watermark as that of Frederick Wilhelm Hoffman, Gunpowder Falls, Maryland; used at Ephrata, 1781-84 (See Stopp, vol. 2, p. 99).

Object Description

Text available soon.

Bibliography and Bibliographic Notes

[Book] Stopp, Klaus. 1997 The Printed Birth and Baptismal Certificates of the German Americans. 2.
Published on p. 118.
[Book] Ames, Kenneth L. 1977 Beyond Necessity: Art in the Folk Tradition.
Published on p. 50, no. 44 and p. 124, fig. 191.
[Book] Earnest, Russell D. & Earnest, Corinne P. 1997 Papers for Birth Dayes: Guide to the Fraktur Artists and Scriveners. 2 vols. 909.
Published on p. 598. For more info. on Otto, see pp. 594-600.