Birth Certificate for Daniel Kagy (1818-1903)
Origin: America, Virginia, Shenandoah County
Primary Support: 13 1/4 x 8 1/4in. (33.7 x 21cm) and Framed: 19 5/16 x 14 5/16in.
Watercolor and ink on wove paper
Museum Purchase, The Antique Collectors' Guild and Individual Members of the Guild
Acc. No. 1985.305.2
A parrot of red, yellow, and green perches on a slender vine from which sprout a rose blossom, four large tulip blossoms, and various smaller blossoms and leaves. Blue is included in the tulips, along with the aforementioned colors An English inscription in script appears at the top.
The 2 7/8-inch splayed, mahogany-veneered frame has a black-striped outer edge and is a replacement that probably dates from the mid ninteenth century.
Label:A parrot is the focal point of this exuberant birth certificate. The bird perches amid a large rose and four tulip blssoms that sprout from a delicate twining vine bearing smaller blooms and leaves. The certificate's primary colors are remarkably unfaded, enhancing our perception of the artist's intentions. The child's zodiacal sign is given as Gemini rather than Aquarius because settlers of Germanic descent based their computations on lunar rotations of the earth rather than the sun.
Daniel Kagy (also spelled "Kagey" and "Keagy") was the son of Christian Kagy (1766-1834) and his wife, Catherine Neff Kagy (1777-1872), who lived at New Market (near Smith's Creek) in Shenandoah County, Virginia. Daniel died in 1903, and both he and his mother were buried in a family cemetery at the foot of Smith's Mountain at New Market, Virginia.
Provenance:The piece descended from the subject, Daniel Kagy (1818-1903), to his daughter, Mrs. Zachariah Shirley (Barbara Kagey)(1804-1839); to her son, Christian Shirley (1837-1915); to his daughter, Mrs. Nicholas Harner (Laura A. Shirley)(?-?); to her daughter, Mrs. Elon F. Linhoss (Mary A. Harner)(1903-1983); to her daughter, Mrs. Billy F. Garber (Marianne Linhoss)(b. 1927), who was AARFAM's source.
Mark(s):A watermark representing Conrad Kownslar was reported in the primary support by paper conservation intern Kesha Talbert 3/14/2012. For more on Kownslar, see Gravell ("Bibliography").
Inscription(s):In script at top center is "Daniel Kagy,/the son of Christian Kagy and his wife Catherine, was born on the 15th day/of February, when the sun was in the sign of the Gemini, in the year of/our Lord 1818."
On the reverse of the primary support, "Daniel Kagey" appears in pencil, also a pencil drawing of a bird (apparently a tracing of the bird on the front). Underneath the bird on the back is "1864/18/46," and in lower left corner "1837/ 1818/19" (all the numbers on the reverse seemingly written as arithmetical computations).