Birth and Baptismal Certificate for Aaron Banger (1804-?)
Origin: America, Virginia or West Virginia
Primary Support: 7 9/16 x 12 3/8in. (19.2 x 31.4cm) and Framed: 8 5/8 x 13 1/4in.
Watercolor, graphite, and ink on wove paper
Acc. No. 1983.305.1
At upper center, a crown enclosing text is outlined by lobes interspersed with points; to either side of the crown is a cone or dome shape outlined in the same fashion. In both upper corners are large tulip blooms in red and yellow. Their stalks lead downward to a heart enclosing text at lower center. The main body of the text appears between crown and heart. Rampant animals with tails, presumably lions, appear on either side of the heart. In the lower corners are large abstract flower blooms in blue and red.
The 5/8-inch, black-painted frame has beading at the sight edge and is a modern replacement.
Label:The wording and the style of the lettering as well as the selection and treatment of the decorative motifs support an attribution to Friedrich Bandel. Two other Bandel certificates were made for boys born in Virginia in 1809, while two others were made in 1818 for girls born in Ohio. It has not yet been determined whether Bandel actually traveled to Ohio.
George Daniel Flohr (d. 1826) baptized young Aaron Banger. Flohr served as a parochial schoolmaster at Hebron Lutheran Church in Madison, Virginia, before the Lutheran Ministerium of Pennsylvania licensed him to function as a pastor in Wythe County, Virginia, in 1799. Over the ensuing years, he took on the added responsibility of ministering to widespread congregations in Bland, Floyd, Grayson, Greenbrier, Montgomery, Smyth, and Tazewell counties (Greenbrier being located in present-day West Virginia).
Provenance:CWF's source, Marilyn Idle, purchased this piece at an estate sale in Dayton, Ohio. No earlier history has been documented to date.
Mark(s):No watermark found.
Inscription(s):The word "Tauffschein" is inscribed in ink within the crown at the top, with "1815" above it. At the bottom within the heart is: "Gott allein/die/EHR". The inked text reads: "Diese beide ehe gattin als der ehren Veste Johan Banger und die Tugend/saame Jungfer Eva Haussin ver ehlichte Johan banger ist im Jahr/Christi 1804 den 11 ten May ein Sohn geboren in Virgine/war getauft Aaron von Pfaar her Flohr laut dem/Evangelio Lucae am 18ten cap vers 16 lasset die kindlein zu mir kommen./sein Petter Jacob Banger und seine haus frau Goth."
Pastor Frederick S. Weiser did the following translations. "Tauffschein" translates as "baptismal certificate," while the inscription within the heart translates: "To God alone be glory." The translation of the main text reads: "To these two married people, the honorable Johann Banger and the virtuous virgin [young woman] Eva Haus, married to Johann Banger, a son was born in the year of Christ 1804, May 11, in Virginia. He was baptized Aaron by Pastor Flohr, according to the gospel of Luke, chapter 18, verse 16, 'Let the little children come unto me.' His godfather [was] Jacob Banger and his wife, godmother."