Thursday, September 20, 2012

The Fractur, Part 2

More Fractur goodness here today in Part 2. In case you missed it, here is Part 1.
     The two handpainted birth certificate frakturs above are for brother and sister, Joseph and Margaret Spengler, dating to the 1700s. They were expected to fetch between $50,000 and $100,00 at auction last year. They were believed to be painted by a Rev. Heinrich Diefenbach, a fraktur artist and theology student. The thing I find so charming about frakturs is how they never used perspective in their illustrations, giving them a naïve, folk-art character. They are flat, and two-dimensional, with no shading nor diminishing vanishing points. This is very evident in these two fracturs above showing each subject standing in a garden with the text layered on top of the soil. 

Handcolored and handlettered religious text with much ornamentation by Martin Godshal, circa 1835. 
Handpainted and handlettered birth and baptismal certificate circa 1773, Pennsylvania.

Fraktur alphabet created around 1825-1850 in Pennsylvania. Find larger sizes
. Line-for-line transcription from right to left reads:
A H P W, B I Q X, C K R Y, D L S Z, E M T E, F N U V, G O V E
Writing Exercise by Johannes B. Miller, circa 1830. For transcription of the text, read here 
Handpainted and handlettered in an embroidery pattern by artist and schoolmaster Johann Adam Eyer in 1810. 

Writing exercise by Catharina Murry in 1801. For transcription, see here

Writing exercise in German circa 1800, Pennsylvania. See for translation.

Book inscription with cup and alphabet, by Elisabeth Schwob, circa 1819

Hand-drawn and colored by Henry Young in 1829 for Catharine McKnight. 
Fraktur artist toolkit. Inside the various compartments are tools, such as a straightedge made from bone, pen nibs and containers for dried pigment. Artists also carried design examples such as the colored images of geometric motifs, and various clippings of printed verses like those below featuring printed text in Blackletter, documenting a dialogue between God and Adam and Eve.   

:: All images are courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia where there is much more Fraktur goodness. 

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