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Printed blank Taufschein with angels in blue and red spotted gowns at sides, birds in bottom corners, and reclining cherub at top center.

Dimensions in Inches

15 1/2 x 12 1/2

Dimensions in Centimeters

39 x 32


Watercolor and ink on paper


Drawn, Hand colored, Hand lettered

Print Shop Location

Reading, Pennsylvania


Birth and baptismal certificate (Geburts-und-Taufschein)


angels, birds, flowers, clouds, fruits


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




Our wasting lives grow shorter still,/As months and days increase;/And every beating pulse we tell,/Leaves but the number less./The year rolls round and steals away/The breath that first it gave./Whate’er we do, whate’er we be,/We are traveling to the grave.

Infinite joy or endless woe/Attends on ev’ry breath;/And yet how unconcern’d we go/Upon the brink of death!/Waken, O Lord, our drowsy sense,/To walk this dangerous road;/And if our souls are hurried hence,/May they be found with God.

Certificate of Birth and Baptism./ a of/ and wife /a daughter of was born on the/ day of /in the year of our Lord,/18 in the of /in the county of in the State of/ in North America; and was/baptized on the day of in the year of our/Lord 18 by the Rev’d. /H Sponsors were

‘Twas the commission of our Lord:/Go teach the nations and baptize,/The nations have received the word/Since he ascended to the skies./

Repent and be baptized he saith,/For the remission of your sins;/And thus our sense assists our faith/And shows us what his gospel means.

Our souls he washes with his blood,/As water makes the body clean,/And the good spirit from our God,/Descends like purifying rain./

Thus we engage ourselves to thee,/And seal our covenant with the Lord,/O may the great eternal three,/In heav’n our solemn vows record.

READING,/Printed & Sold by/JOHN RITTER & CO.


This is a rare Taufschein printed in English by John Ritter. The Necklace Artist, so-called because of his frequent adornment of the large angels with a necklace as seen here, also often added crests to the printed birds’ heads, including the small one perched on the hand of the angel on the left. Note how different the English verses are from the German hymn.



Bibliographical Reference

Stopp #691


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, p. 207.

File Format





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


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Rights Statement

Rights Statement

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