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Taufschein for Georg Hege

Ehre Vater artist ||Salem Paper Mill __Manufacturer
Place Made:
Salem North Carolina United States of America
Date Made:
ink –watercolor on paper
HOA: 15″; WOA: 18 1/4″; DOA 1″
Accession Number:
Taufschein commemorating the birth and baptism of Georg Hege. Watercolor and ink on wove paper. The complete inscription is in German and written in Gothic lettering. The large masthead, “Jesus meine Zuversicht,” is executed in two colors (red above and yellow below) with a clear bar separating the two colors. The birth and baptism information is written in black ink while the lines of the verses below are in alternating black and red ink. Flanking the inscription, in varying shades of green, red, blue, yellow and black, are a pair of parrots facing outward and perched on the leafy stem of a large stylized tulip. The parrot on the left has crest feathers suggesting it is a male. The paper for this fraktur bears the “S” watermark for the Salem (NC) Paper Mill, indicating that the artist purchased paper in Salem. This is one of the rare instances of a horizontal format for this artist.

Jesus meine Zuversicht / Georg Hege / Ist geboren in Northcarolina in Roen County im Jahr nach / Christi Geburt 1799 den 21ten October, seine Eltern sind Laza / rus Häge und sein christliches Eheweib Eva geborne Fis / cherin, er ist zur heiligen Tauffe gebracht worden bey dem Herrn Schnei / der 1. Pr. Seine Tauffzeugen waren Georg Fischer und sei / ne Frau Elizabetha.
Wachs auf zu Gottes Ehr, / Und deiner Eltern Freud, Zu deines Nächsten Nutz / Und deiner Seligkeit / Das wenn du her mit Gott / Gelitten hast auf Erden / Du endlich auch mit ihm / Gekrönet mögest weren.
Jesus, my confidence / George Hege / Was born in North Carolina in Rowan County in the year of / Christ 1799 the 21st of October, his parents are Laza / rus Hege and his Christian wife Eva, born Fis / cher, he was brought to holy Baptism by Mr. Schnei / der, Pastor. His sponsors were George Fischer and his / wife Elizabeth.
Grow up in God’s honor / And to the joy of your parents, / To the good of your neighbor / And your salvation. / That when you here with God / Have suffered on earth / You also at last with him / Will be crowned

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 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, large stylized tulips, overlapping veined leaves, lunettes, hearts, parrots (one of which is often crested indicating a male), 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 Ehre Vater Artist usually worked in a vertical format, this example being one of the rare exceptions. This is one of examples of this artist’s works that bears 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 her 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.”

Bivins, John, Jr. “Fraktur in the South: An Itinerant Artist.” MESDA Journal vol. 1, 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: (November 1979) 36-51

Related Objects: Acc. 4646.2 Portrait of Catharine Hege; 4646.3 Portrait of Christina Hege; 4646.4 Portrait of Adam Butner; 209.2 Taufschein for Maria Hege; 2533 Taufschein for Sarah Zimmerman; 5646 Taufschein for Maria Margaretha Hausihl; 5782 Taufschein for Anna Suzanna Schultz

This taufshein commemorates the birth and baptisim of Georg Hege, who was born in Friedberg, North Carolina, October 21, 1799. He was one of eight children of John Lazarus Hege and his wife Eva Fischer Hege. The sponsors, or god-parents, were George and Elisabeth Fischer, George Hege’s aunt and uncle. This same artist created a taufschein for one of George’s sisters, Maria Hege (Acc. #209.2). The paper for this piece bears the “S” watermark for the Salem (NC) Paper Mill, indicating that the artist purchased paper in Salem.
Credit Line:
Mesda Purchase Fund