1817 Pennsylvania Fraktur-Birth and Christening Announcement

1817 Pennsylvania Fraktur-Birth and Christening Announcement


An original Pennsylvania German Fraktur that is called a Geburts und Taufschein from September 6, 1817. The father's name looks to be Johannes 'Schmitt', 'Schmidt', or 'Schantz'. It is difficult to read the cursive writing of the author of this birth and christening/baptismal announcement. The family may have been Lutheran, Amish or Moravian as the Mennonites do not christen infants but instead wait until the person is an adult to christen/baptize them.  
Anna Maria was born on September 6, 1817 and was christened/baptized on November 21, 1817. At the top of the certificate is a note that Anna Maria was married in 1839.  
This beautiful certificate is painted in gorgeous and vibrant shades of blue with highlights of red and yellow. It was bought - by the family - from the print shop of Johann Ritter of Reading, PA and was then hand-painted by one of his artists. 
Frakturs are a uniquely American art form and started in the 1700's as completely handwritten and painted documentations of births, baptisms, marriages, and death with Geburts und Taufscheins as the most popular forms of these artworks. Starting in 1806, the semi-printed forms carried this rare art form forward into the late Victorian Age. Johann Ritter, a co-owner of the  Reading Eagle Newspaper, designed what we now consider the quintessential 19th century PA German Fraktur by switching the orientation from horizontal to vertical. He also is known for his two large angels on each side of the document which could include spread eagles, baskets of flowers, angels, birds, and small boxes filled with little poems. One of the small poems on this Geburts und Taufschein translates as:
[in lower left]
'I am baptized, I stand united with my God through my baptism. I therefore always speak joyfully in hardship, sadness, fear and need. I am baptized, that’s a joy for me. The joy lasts eternally.'
[in lower right]
'I am baptized, and when I die, how can the cool grave hurt me? I know my fatherland and legacy that I will have with God in Heaven. After death, Heaven’s garment of joy and celebration is prepared for me.'

Berks County, PA made and sold more pre-printed fraktur forms than any other county in Pennsylvania. 
This is an amazing and rare Geburts und Taufschein painted in those gorgeous shades of blue watercolor paints. It is 17" x 22" in the frame.

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