|Copper engraved with early hand colour
|den 4 Oktober Anno 1793 [Germany, c.1793]
|Image 145 x 145 mm, Sheet 155 x 155 mm
An unusual piece of printed religious folk ephemera from late eighteenth century Germany, comprising a certificate of baptism on the reverse, and on the obverse, a double blintz pattern of engraved images of the Evangelists and the life of Christ surrounding a central image of baptism. These printed certificates were commonly given to newly baptised infants by their godparents, and were known by various different names. The more elaborate examples, like this one, folded in a double blintz pattern, though simple letter fold examples are also attested. Godparents would usually fill out the child's name, home town, and either birth or baptismal date on the reverse, which would then be folded and concealed within the taufbrief, often along with a coin or a similar token such as a needle, salt, or grains of wheat, intended to bring luck and prosperity to the infant throughout their lives. Some examples were sealed with wax, though the current example was left unsealed, presumably so the recipient could fold and unfold the various tabs to reveal the devotional images contained therein. On the verso, the dedication, in letterpress blackletter, is accompanied by six panels of scripture. The date of dedication is easily discernible, though the name and possible location of the recipient is illegible.
Condition: Vertical, horizontal, and diagonal folds, as intended. Wear and dirt staining to folds. Oil stains and foxing to sheet. Some punctures and minor tears, consistent with use.