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Martin Brechall (circa 1757-1831)


Martin Brechall (circa 1757-1831)

Accession Number


Creation Date



Central circle with heart at either side and ovals in bottom corners, red, blue, and yellow floral designs and borders.

Dimensions in Inches

13 1/8 x 15 3/4

Dimensions in Centimeters

33 x 40


Watercolor and ink on laid paper


Drawn, Hand colored, Hand lettered

Associated Places

Lower Nazareth Township, Northampton County, Pennsylvania


Birth and baptismal certificate (Geburts-und-Taufschein)


hearts, circles, flowers, floral

Associated Names

Jacob Beck, Susanna, Conrad Has, Conrad Haas, Carl, Johann Conrad Jager, Henrich Beck, Catharina Beck


Please contact the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art at Ursinus College for permissions which fall outside of educational fair use.


Ursinus College Library Special Collections and the Philip and Muriel Berman Museum of Art


Pennsylvania Folklife Society


Fraktur lettering, German script




Diesen beiden Ehegaten/als Jacob Beck und seiner Ehli=/chen Hausfrau Susanna eine geborne/Conradin Hasin, ist ein Sohn zur Welt/gebohren Namens Carl Beck im Jahr/Christi 1813: den 5ten Februarÿ um halb 6/uhr Morgens, im Zeichen der____/Dieser Carl Beck ist gebohren und getauft in/America, im Staat Pennsÿlvanien in Northampton/Cauntÿ und in Unter Nazareth Taunschip:/Obgemelder Carl Beck ist getauft worden den 25stn/Tag Februarÿ in besagtem Jahr von Herrn/Johann Conrad Jäger lutherischer Prediger/Tauf=Zeuge waren beÿ dieser Heiligen Handlung/der Ehrsame Henrich Beck und deßen/Ehefrau Catharina die Groß=Eltern/des besagtem Kindes.

[Left heart] Ich bin getauft ob/ich gleich sterbe/was schadet/mir das kühle/Grab?

[Right heart] Ich weiß mein/Vaterland und/Erbe das ich/beÿ Gott im/himmel/hab:

[Left oval] Gott Vater durch/die Tauf zum Kinde/nehm mich auf Hern/Jesu durch dein

[Right oval] Blut mach mich/gerecht und guth, Gott/heiliger Geist zeig beÿ/mir ein, mein Lehrer.


To both of these spouses, Jacob Beck and his legal wife Susanna a born Conrad Has is a son to the world born, named Carl Beck in the year of Christ 1813 the 5th of February at half before six o’clock in the morning in the sign of the . This Carl Beck was born and baptized in America, in the state of Pennsylvania in Northampton County, and in Lower Nazareth Township. Above-mentioned Carl Beck was baptized the 25th day of February in the same year by Mister Johann Conrad Jäger Lutheran Preacher. Baptismal sponsors were at this Holy Action the honorable Henrich Beck and his legal wife Catharina the grandparents of the same child.

I was baptized, if I die immediately…

God the Father through the baptism of children pick me up, Lord Jesus

through your blood make me right and good, God holy Ghost show to me one, my teacher.


Martin Brechall was a schoolmaster in many of the German-settled areas of Pennsylvania, especially Berks, Lehigh, and Northampton counties. Brechall employed a variety of formats and layouts in his work, usually decorating them with bold floral designs colored in strong reds and blues. The intense color and elaborate scheme of this piece is much more involved than Brechall’s usual pieces, making this truly one of his masterpieces. In this example, he included the verse from the common Ich bin getauft...poem in the hearts along the sides, along with another text in the ovals for which the source is unknown. After 1814, Brechall began using printed Taufscheine forms.




Minardi, Lisa. Roots: Ursinus College and the Pennsylvania Germans (Trappe, Pa.: Historic Trappe, 2019). p. 80, fig. 3.54.. Earnest, Russell D., and Corinne P. Earnest. Papers for Birth Dayes: Guide to the Fraktur Artists and Scriveners. Rev. ed. 2 vols. (East Berlin, Pa.: R. D. Earnest Associates, 1997). pp. 117-119.

File Format





fraktur, Pennsylvania German, Pennsylvania Dutch, folk art, illuminated manuscript, taufschein


Image Location


Rights Statement

Rights Statement

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