"VERY RARE TENNESSEE FRAKTUR" (Dated 1868. To this date, the only known Tennessee Fraktur.)

Hand-rendered in watercolor and colored ink on paper With an embossed mark in the paper on the upper right. (Note: Many Frakturs during the 19th century were commercial printings with “fill in the blanks.” This piece appears to be totally handmade, excluding the paper, which makes it very desirable as a folk art collector’s piece). 9 ¾ x 7 ¾ inches (paper), 12 ½ x 10 ½ inches (new frame). The piece has been framed to meet museum standards with spacers between the glass and the Fraktur, museum mounts on acid free paper board, and museum glass to filter out ultraviolet light.

The words “Wilson County, Tennessee” and “Nashville, Tennessee” are included in the text. It appears that the piece is written in a Germanic language. Many German people moved to Middle Tennessee after the Civil War. Interestingly, the Fraktur was found inside the “Baby Book” of Mary Emily Baker who was born in 1939 in Nashville, Tennessee. Included in the book is a very limited “Family Tree.” Whether or not this “Family Tree” includes information related to the Fraktur is not discernable by Williams American Art Galleries; however, it is unlikely that the Fraktur does not relate to the family tree of Mary Emily Baker since it was found in her “Baby Book.” Additional research in this matter is warranted and would probably be fruitful. Third-hand verbal information indicates that the “Baby Book” was purchased at a yard or estate sale in Lebanon, Tennessee sometime during 2006.
[Note: The staff of the Tennessee State Museum and several collectors of items of Tennessee material culture, all agree that to this date they know of no other Tennessee Fraktur in existence.]
Now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts (MESDA).

1 - 3 of 3