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Taufschein for Anna Susanna Schultz

Ehre Vater artist ||Salem Paper Mill
Place Made:
Salem North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
ink and watercolor on paper
HOA 15 1/4; WOA 12
Framed; HOA 18; WOA 14 7/8; DOA 1
Accession Number:
Taufschein commemorating the birth and baptism of Anna Susanna Schulz. Ink and watercolor on wove paper watermarked “S” in lower center. At the center top is a pink heart with yellow border on a green circle with a red rim; beneath the heart is the name of Anna Susanna Schuzin (sic) in crimson ink; below the name is an inscription in black Gothic script identifying Anna’s parents and Baptism sponsors; on either side of this inscription are two vertical lunettes in red, yellow, and blue that enclose most of the inscription block; on either side of the lunettes and extending up to the heart at the top are flowering vines with green leaves and dotted three-lobed pansy-like flowers in yellow, blue, red, and pink. At the center of the lower portion of the fraktur is a compass-drawn device of overlapping circles surrounding a profile portrait of a man with a very large nose and elfin ears. Of the many fraktur attributed to this artist, this is the only example known to include a human likeness. The likeness is probably Kasperle (or Kasper) a prominant puppet character in Germany and Austria (with roots dating to the 17th century). Surrounding this circle in red ink is an English inscription written in an elegant copperplate script. Flanking this composition is a pair of parrots facing inward and perching on the leafy stems of large stylized tulips. The parrot on the right has crest feathers suggesting it is a male. At the bottom of the sheet is a row of seven symmetrically positioned evergreen trees.

Anna Susanna Schuzin / Ist geboren in North Carolina, in Stocks / County im Jahr 1805 den 6ten Au / gust, ihre Eltern sind Samuel Schulz und / sein christliches Eheweib Susanna geb. Hause / rin, sie ist zur heligen Tauffe gebracht wor / den bey dem Herrn Reichel ev. / Pr. Ihre Taufzeugen waren / Anna Elizabetha Bresel, Abraham Hauser, u. s. Fr Magdalena Benjamin / Vierling u. s. Fr. Martha Elizabetha.
Translation: Anna Susanna Schuz / Was born in North Carolina in Stokes / County in the year 1805 the 6th Au / gust, her parents are Samuel Schulz and / his Christian wife Susanna nee Hauser, / she was brought to holy Baptism / by Mr. Reichel ev. / minister. Her sponsors were / Anna Elizabeth Brezel (Praezel), Abraham Hauser and his wife Magdalena, Benjamin / Vierling and his wife Martha Elizabeth. / Flatter not yourself that you have faith towards God if you want Charity towards your neighbor for the one is a certain effect of the other. [A paraphrase from Francis Quarles’s 1640 Enchiridion, Book II, Chapter XI, “Flatter not thy selfe in thy faith to God, if thou wantest charity for thy neighbour; and thinke not thou hast charity for thy neighbour, if thou wantest faith to God.” ]

Artist/Maker: Ehre Vater Artist (working 1782-1828). This itinerant artist was given the working name of the Ehre Vater Artist in 1961 by Donald Shelley in his publication Fraktur Writings or Illuminated Manuscripts of the Pennsylvania Germans (1961: Pennsylvania German Folklore Society). The name derives from the artist’s frequent use of the bold masthead “Ehre Vater und Mutter” (Honor Father and Mother). Scholars John Bivins and Frederick Weiser have suggested that the artist may have been an itinerant parochial schoolmaster of the Lutheran or Reformed faith. The artist’s attributed works cover a wide geographic range from the “Dutch Fork” region of South Carolina through North Carolina, Virginia and Pennsylvania. The largest concentrations of works appear in the Germanic communities of Pennsylvania and the Moravian settlements of the Wachovia Tract in North Carolina, where most of the known works were created for families in the Friedberg and Friedland communities. The relative uniformity of the North Carolina works suggests that they may have been produced within in a brief time span during the first decade of the 19th century. The majority of the texts are written with accomplished penmanship in Gothic and copperplate scripts, and occasionally in old German script. Motifs commonly used by this artist include leafy vines and flowers, stylized tulips, overlapping veined leaves, lunettes, hearts, parrots (usually, but not always, in pairs, with the male sporting a crest or topknot), spiral columns, small colorful dots, a row of evergreen trees, and colorfully ornamented compass-drawn devices. A three-dimensional effect on flowers, hearts, and leaves was often achieved through a shading technique seldom employed by fraktur artists. The majority of the Ehre Vater Artist’s works were executed in a vertical format. Several fraktur by this artist, including this examples, are on paper bearing the “S” watermark of the Salem (NC) Paper Mill built by Gottlieb Schober in 1790 and operated by him in partnership with different residents of Salem until 1836 when it was sold to John Christian Blum. Juliana Margaret Conner, of Charleston, South Carolina recorded in her journal the following visit to the Salem Paper Mill on July 23, 1827: “We rode out to the paper mill a mile from town, where we were both pleased and astonished at the simple operation which produces so necessary an article the foreman a very intelligent black – showed us the different processes from the cutting of the rags – to the sheet which was ready for the sense or folly which may be inscribed on it.”

The inclusion of a likeness of the German puppet charcater Kasperle (Kasper) is unsual. The character would have been highly recognizeable in the early nineteenth century to people of German descent. The character often defeated evil (in the form of a witch, a devil, or a crocodile) with his slapstick and humor in early puppet shows.

Bivins, John, Jr. “Fraktur in the South: An Itinerant Artist.” MESDA Journal vol. I, no. 2 (November 1975)
Conner, Juliana Margaret. Diary of Juliana Margaret Conner. Account of travels in western North Carolina and Tennessee, June 10 – October 17, 1827. Alexander Brevard Papers. Private Collections, North Carolina State Archives. P.C. 2.3.
Kolbe, Christian and Brent Holcomb, “Fraktur in the ‘Dutch Fork’ Area of South Carolina,” MESDA Journal vol. 5, no. 2: 36-51 (November 1979)
Magill, Courtney. “The Taufschein of Mary Margaret Hauseal: A Glimpse into German-American Life in the Dutch Fork, South Carolina. Journal of Backcountry Studies Vol, 8, No. 1 (Summer 2013)
Minardi, Lisa. Entry on “The Ehre Vater Artist”. The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture Vol. 23: Folk Art. Carol Crown, Cheryl Rivers, Charles Reagan Wilson, editors.
Welshimer, Paula and John Bivins. Moravian Decorative Arts in North Carolina. Winston-Salem: Old Salem Inc. 1981, p.91

Related Objects: Acc#’s 209.2 Taufschein for Maria Hege; 2533 Taufschein for Sarah Zimmerman; 4646.1 Taufschein for Georg Hege; 5646 Taufschein for Maria Margaretha Hausihl

Birth Certificate for Anna Susanna Schulz who was born in Salem (NC) on August 6, 1805. She was the daughter of the blacksmith and Salem resident Samuel Schulz and his wife Susanna (Hauser) Schulz. The witnesses to her baptism were Anna Elizabeth Praezel, Abraham Hauser and his wife Magdalena, and Dr. Benjamin Vierling and his wife Martha Elizabeth (Miksch) Vierling. The “S” watermark at the lower center is for the Salem Paper Mill which was built by Gottlieb Schober in 1790 and operated by him in partnership with different residents of Salem until 1836 when it was sold to John Christian Blum. Although this work does not include the masthead “Ehre Vater und Mutter” frequently used by the Ehre Vater Artist, this piece is attributed to this artist based upon the inclusion of other motifs commonly used by the artist such as stylized vines and flowers, lunettes, heart, parrots, compass-drawn device and row of evergreen trees. Of the many fraktur attributed to this artist, this is the only example known to include a human likeness. The profile on this piece seems to be a caricature that may reference the verse around the profile (see inscription).
Credit Line:
Anne P. and Thomas A. Gray Moravian Decorative Arts Fund