In the corners are square illustrations of designs, which are explained above the cartouche: “The title and border of the map incorporate motifs used to decorate many of the ‘Taufscheins.'” A Taufschein is a birth or baptismal certificate, and a form of illuminated manuscript folk art practiced mainly between 1740 and 1860 by the Pennsylvania Dutch, and Berks County was the center of Taufschein production.
Ralph Dunkelberger was a Pennsylvania artist and illustrator, known for landscape paintings and wall murals. Born in Reading, Pennsylvania, he studied at the Pennsylvania School of Industrial Art. He was an illustrator for Harper’s Weekly‘s serial Ben Hur, by Lewis Wallace. His works are in the collections of the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum, The State Museum of Pennsylvania, and the Historical Society of Berks County, which exhibited his paintings in a show on animal art in 2012.
Raymond W. Albright was an historian and author of several books between the 1933 and 1964 that focused on 19th-century American history, including a history of Berks County, church histories of the Episcopal and Evangelical churches and Focus on Infinity: A Life of Phillips Brooks, still considered the standard modern biography of this Gilded Age Episcopal preacher. Albright was William Reed Huntington Professor of Church History at Episcopal Theological School in Cambridge, Massachusetts, from 1952 to 1965.
Condition: Generally very good with the usual overall light toning, handling wear. Few short marginal tears repaired verso with filmoplast.
“Ralph Dunkelberger.” AskArt.com. http://www.askart.com/artist/Ralph_D_Dunkelberger/114113/Ralph_D_Dunkelberger.aspx (27 August 2015).
“Pennsylvania Dutch Taufschein Preservation Community: About.” Facebook. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pennsylvania-Dutch-Taufschein-Preservation/111987422173677?sk=info&tab=page_info (27 August 2015).