Contemporary Fraktur Documents

What is Fraktur?

Fraktur is the term for the illuminated documents created in the 18th & 19th centuries by German speaking immigrants to America. Fraktur is typically associated with Pennsylvania, but it can be found anywhere that large groups of German speaking peoples settled, including my home state of Virginia.  Fraktur actually refers to the “fractured” or printed black letter Gothic font that is used in the documents.  It is printed letter by letter as opposed to being written as continuous script.   Fraktur is a form of calligraphy and some people use the terms interchangeably.

If fraktur documents just consisted of printed text, probably few people would pay attention to them or collect them.   However, fraktur are very often, almost always, embellished with colorful decoration.   Fraktur documents are filled with all sorts of familiar flowers, folliage, and birds.   Some of the flowers and birds are easily recognizable, and some are just fanciful representations.    Most of these images are rendered in primary colors; red, yellow and blue or some easy combination of those.

Most of the original fraktur are Geburtschein (birth certificates),  Taufschein (baptismal certificates), family registers.   You also see Haus Segen (house blessings) consisting of scripture or poetry colorfully illustrated, and book plates.    I create all of these and also marriage certificates.   I am open to creating most any type of fraktur document.   I have seen fraktur posters, flyers, and family trees.

Contemporary Fraktur Documents

Stock Designs

Below are examples of a hand lettered and hand colored Geburtschein , Marriage Certificate, Family Register, Haus Segen, and Book Plate using stock designs.  These are my original contemporary designs, and are available printed on heavy weight, A4 size (except for book plates) paper.  Design 1 (used for the sample Geburtschein and Marriage Certificates below) is most appropriate for a Geburtschein, a Taufschein, or marriage certificate.   Design 2 (used for the Haus Segan) is most appropriate for a a short prayer or verse as in a Haus Segan.

I will inscribe your’s or your loved one’s birth or baptismal record, or marriage record on Design 1  for $55.   A short prayer or verse can be inscribed on Design 2 also for $55.  The family register  can be inscribed with any single family’s information for $65.  These documents are all   hand lettered and hand colored prints on A4 calligraphy paper of the original designs shown on this page .  The documents may be mounted on foam board and matted for a 11″ x 14″ frame for an extra $15.  Priority Mail shipping is $10, and sales tax is collected for VA residents.

You need to understand that these are not prints of finished works. I simply print a line drawing of the original design  as a starting point. The paper may be aged or not; your choice. Then I re-ink the lines where I feel it is necessary,  layout and inscribe the fraktur text using dip pens and calligraphy ink, add additional art where appropriate, and then do the coloring with period correct water colors. The hand coloring and lettering will vary from one document to another. No two documents using the same design are going to be exactly alike.

Geburtschein (Birth Certificate), Taufschein (Baptismal certificate) or Marriage Certificate

Sample Geburtschein fraktur using Design 1
Hand lettered and hand colored sample Geburtschein fraktur using Design 1
Sample marriage certificate fraktur using Design 1
Hand lettered and hand colored sample marriage certificate fraktur using Design 1

Hand colored and hand lettered Geburtschein, Taufschein  or Marriage Certificate print using Design 1 – $55

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in contracting for a fraktur document. Make sure to include your phone number so that I can call you about the project.

Family register

Sample Family Register fraktur using Design 3

Hand colored and hand lettered Family Register print using Design 3 – $65

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in contracting for a fraktur document. Make sure to include your phone number so that I can call you about the project.

Haus Segen (House Blessing)

Hand lettered and hand colored Haus Segen using Design 2 in a Faux Painted Frame
Hand lettered and hand colored Haus Segen using Design 2 in a Faux Painted Frame

Hand colored and hand lettered Haus Segen print using Design 2 – $55

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in contracting for a fraktur document. Make sure to include your phone number so that I can call you about the project.

Vorschrift

A Vorschrift is a lettering example usually done by school masters for the use of their students. Below is my Vorschrift Design 2 I did for my own reference, but I will also do a hand lettered and hand colored copy for you. It is available for $65 each.

Vorschrift - School Master Lettering Sample 2
Vorschrift – School Master Lettering Sample (Vorschrift Design 2) in a Faux Painted Frame

Hand colored and hand lettered  Vorschrift Design 2- $65

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in contracting for a fraktur document. Make sure to include your phone number so that I can call you about the project.

Book Plate

Book plates were common among original fraktur as books were rare and valuable things.   So people wanted to make sure their name was on them.   I have developed a stock book plate design that I like.   I can inscribe it with your name and hand color it for $30 postpaid plus any applicable VA sales tax..   For that you will get the original hand lettered and hand colored bookplate mailed to you and an .pdf document e-mailed to you which will allow you to print eight of your book plates on a full sheet label.

 

Fraktur Book Plate Design 2
Fraktur Book Plate Design 2

Hand colored and hand lettered  Book Plate Design 2- $30

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in contracting for a fraktur document. Make sure to include your phone number so that I can call you about the project.

Exclusive Designs

In addition to the hand lettered and hand colored prints of previous designs; I can produce an original, exclusive design; hand drawn, hand inked, hand lettered, and hand colored in any type or style you like. I can create an all original Geburtschein (birth certificate), Taufschein (baptism  certificate), family register, Haus Segen (house blessing), Marriage Certificate, or a purely decorative work. Actually, I could create a fraktur style document to commemorate most any event.

Exclusive Design Fraktur - Marriage Certificate
Exclusive Design Fraktur – Marriage Certificate

A completely original small size document (A4 – 8.27″ X 11.7″, 60lb, hot press, Sennelier Ink & Calligraphy paper), mounted and matted for a 11″x14″ frame, costs $149. An large size document will be created on one quarter sheet (approx. 11″ x 15″) of Arches 140lb cold press paper (the best laid cotton paper you can get these days), mounted and matted for a 16″ x 20″ frame, will cost $179. Use the Contact page to inquire about such custom work. I will want to talk to you on the phone about it to make sure I understand what you want. I will then send you a contract with the details for you to sign and return with a check.  I usually provide a sketch of the fraktur design for approval prior to inking and coloring.

Priority Mail shipping on all paper items is $10.  Appropriate sales tax is collected for Virginia residents.    Please allow two to four weeks for delivery.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in contracting for a fraktur document. Make sure to include your phone number so that I can call you about the project.

If you like these fraktur documents, perhaps you will also like my fraktur illustrations.

Fraktur Illustrations

Original Fraktur Illustrations

Shown here are some of my original designs inspired by 18th and 19th Century fraktur. Fraktur is the term for the illuminated documents created in the 18th & 19th centuries by German speaking immigrants to America.  Fraktur is typically associated with Pennsylvania, but it can be found anywhere that large groups of German speaking peoples settled, including my home state of Virginia.  The originals (as opposed to prints) of the designs shown here are hand drawn, hand inked, and hand colored using period correct water colors. These and my other illustrations are not a copy of antique fraktur but an expression of my own vision and creativity using cohesive motifs from antique documents. These and all my other illustrations of this size are done on 60lb, A4 (8.27″x11.7″), hot-pressed, acid free, ink and calligraphy paper from Sennelier.  Just the print on the same A4 paper is $29 postpaid.   It can be mounted and matted for a standard 11″x 14″ frame for an additional $16.    The prices of the original illustrations will vary depending on the time it took to complete them and whether they are framed or unframed.   Virginia sales tax is collected for Virginia residents.  Payment for fraktur illustrations will be by Paypal invoice.   Shipping is normally the next business day.

If you like these illustrations, perhaps you might also like my Birth/Baptismal/Marriage Certificates and Book Plates.

Note:  All the designs below may be printed on all sorts of items (like mugs, iPhone cases, and tote bags)  through my page on Fine Art America at https://fineartamerica.com/profiles/12-mark-elliott

Birds of Paradise

Purely decorative contemporary framed fraktur water color of stylized birds and flowers.
Water color of stylized birds and flowers in a faux painted frame.

Unmounted Print – Birds of Paradise – $29 postpaid plus VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing one of the illustrations shown above. Make sure to mention the title of the illustration and whether you want the original (if available) or the print.

 

Celebration

Water color of a green parot and a fireworks of flowers mounted in a hand painted frame.
Water color of a green parot and a fireworks of flowers mounted in a faux painted frame.

Unmounted Print – Celebration – $29 postpaid plus VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing one of the illustrations shown above. Make sure to mention the title of the illustration and whether you want the original (if available) or the print.

 

Blossoming of Faith

Framed fraktur type water color representative of the Blossoming of Faith.

Unmounted Print – Blossoming of Faith – $29 postpaid plus VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing one of the illustrations shown above. Make sure to mention the title of the illustration and whether you want the original (if available) or the print.

 

Tree of Life

Water color of spiritual tree of life with wheat, thistles, flowers, and an angel

Unmounted Print – Tree of Life – $29 postpaid plus VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing one of the illustrations shown above. Make sure to mention the title of the illustration and whether you want the original (if available) or the print.

 

Fraktur Christmas Tree

Illustration of a Pennsylvania Dutch style Christmas tree.

Unmounted Print – Fraktur Christmas Tree – $29 postpaid plus VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing one of the illustrations shown above. Make sure to mention the title of the illustration and whether you want the original (if available) or the print.

12 Point Star

Illustration of yellow and blue 12 point star design reminiscent of Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs.

Unmounted Print – 12 Point Star – $29 postpaid plus VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing one of the illustrations shown above. Make sure to mention the title of the illustration and whether you want the original (if available) or the print.

Strickler 2

colorful decorative work after 19th Century Valley of Virginia fraktur artist Jacob Strickler.

Unmounted Print – Strickler2 – $29 postpaid plus VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing one of the illustrations shown above. Make sure to mention the title of the illustration and whether you want the original (if available) or the print.

 

Serenity

Serenity Prayer Fraktur

Unmounted Print – Serenity Prayer – $29 postpaid plus VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing one of the illustrations shown above. Make sure to mention the title of the illustration and whether you want the original (if available) or the print.

 

Recovery 2

This fraktur is a representation of my recovery in a 12 step program.

Unmounted Original – Recovery 2 – $49 postpaid plus VA sales tax.

Unmounted Print – Recovery 2 – $29 postpaid plus VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing one of the illustrations shown above. Make sure to mention the title of the illustration and whether you want the original (if available) or the print.

 

Fraktur Bookmarks Set

Fraktur Bookmarks Set
Fraktur Bookmarks Set
Fraktur Bookmark - Peacock
Fraktur Bookmark – Peacock
Fraktur Bookmark - Little Birds
Fraktur Bookmark – Little Birds
Fraktur Bookmark - Tulips
Fraktur Bookmark – Tulips
Fraktur Bookmark - Flowered Vine
Fraktur Bookmark – Flowered Vine

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Laminated Fraktur Bookmarks, Set of Four – $25 postpaid plus VA sales tax.

Please use this Contact Form if you are interested in purchasing the set of bookmarsk shown above. Make sure to mention Fraktur Bookmarks Set in your e-mail.

If you like these illustrations, perhaps you might also like my Birth/Baptismal/Marriage Certificates and Book Plates.