Friday, 16 January 2015


Are you sitting comfortably?
Good, I feel the need to expound.
Fraktur you'll be glad to hear is not a newly emerged bit of
street slang about to take it's place in the urban dictionary.
Although I think it's rather a shame as it could mean
something like "I've had casual sex with her" or,
if shouted loudly enough by a group of testosterone fuelled
youths "Let's stick it to someone!"
But - as usual - I digress.

Fraktur is, in fact, rather more than a popular European type face
created on behalf of the German Emperor Maximilian.
It is also a wonderful, elaborate, exuberant style of folk art
created by Pennsylvanian German and Dutch immigrants
which saw it's heyday between 1740 and 1860.
That's what I want to bring to your attention.  It grabbed me
so perhaps it will grab you too so let's frak* on!
(*sanitised swear word from Battlestar Galactica -
Google it for yourself if you don't believe me.)
Frakturs, for the most part, were executed in ink,
watercolour or a combination of the two.
As with most art forms a number of different varieties
evolved over the years the main types being entirely written
ones called Vorschriften, and birth/baptism certificates
called Taufscheine.
There were also marriage and house blessings, book plates
and floral/figurative scenes.  Popular motifs were birds, hearts,
tulips, stars and angels.  Sound familiar?
Early examples were invariably hand drawn but towards
the latter part of their popularity printed text became
increasingly popular.
These folksy little artefacts are now much sought after with some
of the rarer examples changing hands on the open market
in excess of $100,000.  One well-known collection was sold
at Pook & Pook Auctioneers, Bownington, Pennsylvania in
2004 for $913,448!!

Are you thinking what I'm thinking?
They'd convert rather nicely into samplers with a little effort.
Please excuse me, there's something I just want to try
so I'm going to frak off a bit sharpish.
Ostler, saddle my horse immediately.


  1. Oh my! These would be LOVELY as cross stitch patterns.....I anxiously await...

  2. Those would be fun to stitch. And isn't it lovely that TV gives us useful swear words