Ein grosser Wunderfisch : A meandering in Fraktur

I ran into a very rich cache of fraktur at the Free Library of Philadelphia site. What I learned was the types of fraktur went far beyond my original understanding with categories from Birth, Marriage and Death Certificates, to listing of one's children, to Letters from Heaven to letters to your beloved. There are New Years Cards, Bookmarks and bookplates (as school rewards), illuminated songbooks and hymnals, Baptismal Prayers, Death Memorials, to illuminated writing samples and books. There is even a type of illlustration referred to as a Spiritual Labyrinth (will show below) and the most curious(and remarkable, the big "Wonderfish"). Say no more. I am ssooooo on this train! Spiritual labyrinths, wonderful magical fish, Letters from heaven...Bring it on...This is a remarkable vein.

to learn more on this topic, please visit the Free Library of Philadelphia.

The Free Library does one better in providing a lovely page of links (the better to study more!)>>

Courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia
A big Wonderfish (Ein grosser Wunderfisch)
Category: Wonderfish (Wunderfisch)
Decorator: Anonymous
Scrivener: Anonymous
State/Province: [Pennsylvania]
Note: Based on stylistic characteristics
Creation Date: ca. 1820 - ca. 1840

From the translation of the copy:
A big wonder fish which was caught with effort near Geneva, the beautiful city. The same had a man’s countenance and on his head a crown with crosses; on his body a sword, two war flags, a cannon, and three rifles as well as three skulls. As this drawing shows in detail the same was three ells high and also five ells long, as can be seen in the following hymn with more. Such a miraculous sign on the 12th of February A.D. 1740.
In this fish’s name I now begin; you people all together, who stand by me quietly, hear: this great miracle happened this year on water and on land. This is certainly true. First I will describe Geneva, the beautiful city, where on the 12th of February a fish was caught by man in the sea. It was felt it for five whole days; it was caught with great effort. Three ells high, it was, and also five ells long. Everyone wondered who looked at it. The fish had a true human head. Everyone was amazed who viewed the fish. He has feet like the swans, on the head a crown, a sword, two war flags, as can be seen. Three skulls with it, there are seen down there. What can be the meaning? Who knows the fish’s miracle? Many people came together to view the fish. On the sea there came a wonderful man, who was adorned on his body exactly like a fish with big and wide scales. He carried a simple sword. The man said to the people [continued on reverse]

courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia
Love Letter (Liebesbrief)
Decorator: Anonymous
Scrivener: Anonymous
Creation Place:
State/Province: [Pennsylvania]
Note: Based on design characteristics
Creation Date: ca. 1800
Hand-drawn; hand-colored; hand-lettered. This document is a square sheet of paper that is folded into a star. The text and drawings are on both sides of the sheet. The areas that are visible on the folded paper are decorated with text, hearts, flowers and a small cross. One of the hearts is pierced by an arrow. The measurements refer to the unfolded paper. For records of the unfolded front and reverse, see FLP 753 and FLP 753v.
1 \ My Dearest Dear and blest divine \ I’ve pictured here your heart and mine.
2 \ But Cupid with her Cruel dart \ Has deeply pierced my tender heart
3 \ And has between us set Across \ Which makes me to lament my loss
4 \ But I’m in hopes when that is gone \ That both our hearts will be in one

Say no more!

courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia
Which is written in Golden Letters (Welcher in güldnen Buchstaben geschrieben)
Letter from Heaven (Himmelsbrief)
Decorator: Anonymous
Printer/Publisher: [John S. Dreisbach (1825-1867)]
Town/Township: Kreidersville or Bath
County: Northampton
State/Province: Pennsylvania
Note: Based on location of printshop
Creation Date: ca. 1850

Oh Yes! There is more interesting stuff than what originally meets the eye. Himmelsbriefs , religious documents are believed to have been written by God or another divine being. It is often reported that these documents miraculously fell from the sky into a recipient’s hands. Letters from Heaven often claimed to give magical protection to their possessors and blessings to those who published them, while those who disbelieved their claims were promised divine punishment.

Bring it on!

courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia
Family Record of Daniel and Sarah Sexton
Family Record (Familienregister)
Decorator: Anonymous
Scrivener: Anonymous
County: [Monmouth]
State/Province: [New Jersey]
Note: Based on genealogical research
Creation Date: ca. 1765
"Be faithful unto Death & the Lord Will Give you a Crown of Life \ "

courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia
Death Memorial (Denkmal)
Scrivener: Anonymous ca 1818

courtesy of the Free Library of Philadelphia
Reward of Merit (Belohnung)
Decorator: Anonymous ca. 1820 - ca. 1840
Creation Place: State/Province: [Pennsylvania]
Note: Based on design characteristics