Birth and Baptismal Certificate (Geburts und Taufschein)

Attributed to the Wetzel Geometric Artistc. 1812

Reading Public Museum

Reading Public Museum

One of the most unusual and distinctive fraktur styles is that of the “Wetzel-Geometric Artist.” His standard format had a central rectangular text panel enclosed in a straight-line border with a kaleidoscopic range of squared compass-made geometric designs across the top flanked by intricately patterned columns, often displaying interlaced and diamond shaped motifs, in a manner suggestive of inlay on furniture. Other compass flowers or stars decorate the corners. The composition is ordered, balanced, and extremely detailed, attesting to the skill of the artist. He employed templates for his designs and it is likely that his customers could select the combination of patterns they wanted for each certificate. This certificate not only records the birth and baptism of the child, but also her confirmation.

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  • Title: Birth and Baptismal Certificate (Geburts und Taufschein)
  • Creator: Attributed to the Wetzel Geometric Artist
  • Date Created: c. 1812
  • Physical Dimensions: 7.25"h x 12.0625"w
  • Type: work on paper
  • Medium: iron gall ink and watercolor on paper
  • Culture: American
  • Credit Line: Museum Purchase
  • Creator Death Date: 1816
  • Creator Birth Date: 1780


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