Tuesday, February 9, 2021

American Alphabets #7: Fraktur Valentines

This post is early for Valentine's Day. There's still time to be original! 

ABCs of the USA: The stories behind America's most distinctive calligraphy styles.

Brought to this country by German immigrants, Fraktur took on an identity of its own as an American small-town craft. From c 1840-1910, Fraktur pages recorded marriages births, and baptisms, as well as school achievements and some of America's earliest and most ingenious Valentines and Christmas cards. 

Because hearts and flowers were already favorite year-round Fraktur decorative motifs, calligraphers today have a wealth of choice in  the season for valentines. 

Interwoven lines of lettering were a favorite motif that encouraged calligraphers--mostly local amateurs rather than trained professionals--show off their virtuosity. 

This intricately woven text carries a love message.
1782. From the collection of the Mercer Museum of the 
Bucks County Historical Society. Used with permission 

This overlapped knot is headlined
with complicated script letters
that read "A Trueloveknot."
Courtesy of the Free Library
of Philadelphia,
Rare Book Department. 


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