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Central text panel flanked by angels at top and sides with harvest motifs of corn, grapes, fruit, and wheat at bottom.

Dimensions in Inches

15 3/4 x 12

Dimensions in Centimeters

40 x 30


Watercolor and ink on paper


Drawn, Hand colored, Hand lettered

Print Shop Location

Reading, Pennsylvania


angels, clouds, corn, grapes, fruit, flags, birds, laurel


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




Mein Gott und Vater segne mich;/Der Sohn erhalte gnädiglich/Was er mir hat gegeben./Der Geist erleuchte Tag und Nacht/Sein Antlitz über mich mit Macht/Und Schütze mir mein Leben./Nur dieses wünsch’ ich für und für,/Der Segen Gottes sey mit mir.

Laß Herr dein’n Segen auf mir ruh’n,/Mich deine Wege wallen/Und lehre du mich selber thun/Nach deinem Wohlgefallen./Nimm meines Lebens gnädig wahr;/Auf dich hofft meine Seele;/Sey mir ein Retter in Gefahr,/Ein Vater wann ich fehle.

Haus Segen./In den drey allerhöchsten Namen,/Vater, Sohn und Heil’ger Geist,/Die das Chor der Engel preist,/Gesundheit, Ruh’ und Segen, amen.

GOtt des Vaters Schöpfers Hand/Segne dieses Haus und Land,/Daß das Futter und die Saaten/Immer mögen wohlgerathen;/Daß der Viehstand wohl gedeihe/Und sich seines Segens freue;/Da seine väterliche Güte/Haus und Hof und Stall und Scheur,/Für unglück und besonders Feuer,/Immer gnädiglich behüte.

Auch geb’ er, daß auf jeder Wange/Die edele Gesundheit prange,/Und zur Vollendung uns’rer Werke/Geb’ er den Gliedern Kraft und Stärke./Er wende von uns in Gnaden/Hagel=und Gewitter=Schaden./Auch wolle er die zarten Blüthen/Für später Kält und Frost behüten.

Mögen der Erlösers Werke/Ihre Kraft und ihre Stärke/Stets an diesem Haus beweisen;/Das jedes darin nach Tugend strebe/Und friedlich mit dem andern lebe,/Und guten Wandels sich befleiße;/Daß Schand’ und Laster insgemein/Entfernt von diesem Hause seyn.

Der heil’ge Geist kehr hier auch ein/und laß’ es seine Wohnung seyn,/Heil’ge unser Thun und Laßen, Aus=und Eingang gleichermaßen;/Heil’ge uns zum sel’gen Sterben/Und mache uns zu Himmels-Erben.

Reading; gedruckt und zu haben bey John Ritter und Comp.


My God and Father, bless me. Son preserve mercifully, what he has given to me. Spirit, illuminate day and night [with] his countenance over me with power and protect my life for me. Only this I wish for and for the blessing of God to be with me.

Lord let your Blessing on me rest, let me flow along your path, and teach me yourself to do [it] according to your pleasure. Take my life mercifully true, my soul depends on you. Be to me a rescuer in danger, a father when I fail.

House Blessing

In the three all-highest Names, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, that the chorus of Angels praises, health, peace, and blessings, amen.

God the Father and Creator’s Hand, Bless this house and land, that the feed and the seeds always will be successful; that the livestock thrive well, and enjoy His blessings; that his fatherly goodness, [over] house and farm and stable and barn, from misfortune and especially fire will always mercifully protect.

Also may he grant, that on every cheek, the noble health blooms, and to the completion [of] our work, may he give strength and might to the limbs. May He mercifully avert from us, hail and thunderstorm damage. Also may he look after the tender blossoms against later cold and frost.

May the work of the Savior, their strength and their might, always in this house be proven; that everyone therein may strive after virtue, and peacefully live with the other, and cultivate good changes; that disgrace and vice in general may be kept away from this house.

The Holy Ghost stops here also and lets it his dwelling be, Blessed our deeds and restraints, comings and goings the same; Blessed may we be in a blissful death and make us heaven’s heirs.

Reading; printed and for sale by John Ritter and Comp.


Little study has been done to date of printed fraktur other than Taufscheine, making it very difficult to compare this Haus Segen with other examples. The imprint on this piece is “Reading; gedruckt und zu haben bey John Ritter und Comp.” On Taufscheine with the imprint given in German such as this, Ritter almost always gave his first name as Johann rather than John. It is interesting that on this Haus Segen he deviated from this pattern. Only on Taufscheine from c. 1839-1843 did he use an imprint giving his name as John Ritter, so a date from this time period has been tentatively assigned to this edition of the Haus Segen.



Bibliographical Reference

Stopp, 4:166 - 169, 208 - 209. See 212 - 215 for “John Ritter"


Stopp, Klaus. The Printed Birth and Baptismal Certificates of the German Americans. 6 vols. (Mainz, Germany, and East Berlin, Pa.: privately published, 1997–99). vol. 4, pp. 166-169, 212-215.

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fraktur, Pennsylvania German, Pennsylvania Dutch, folk art, illuminated manuscript, haus segen


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