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Marriage Certificate for John Stover and Eliza Vonada

ca. 1860
Origin: America, Pennsylvania
Primary support: 11 7/8" x 7 3/4" and Framed: 12 7/8" x 9 1/8" x 7/8"
Watercolor and ink on wove paper
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 1959.305.8
Full-length figures of a man and woman stand facing one another, with a small stand between them bearing a vase. The pair shake hands over the stand. The man extends a bouquet of flowers with his near hand. The two stand on a green mound. An inscription appears above them with 8-pointed stars on either side of the wording.
The 1-inch molded wood frame, painted black, is probably a period replacement.
Label:Henry Young made extensive use of this composition of a man and woman standing full-length in profile and facing one another, including decorating birth and combination birth and baptismal certificates with it. The wording on this piece, however, identifies it as one of the artist's two known marriage certificates. As in other examples, the man and woman hold hands, and a vessel with a rolled rim is on the table before them. The lady's floral dress is especially appealing with its simulated rows of lace at the collar, shoulder, and sleeve. The heart motif at her breast is unusual but appropriate for the occasion celebrated by the certificate. As if to emphasize further the virtues of marriage, Young inscribed the words "Love, Fidelity, Peace" at the base of the drawing.
Provenance:Ownership prior to Robert Carlen is undocumented.
Inscription(s):The inscription above the picture reads: "Certificate of Marriage/This is to certify that on the 11th of March 1860/ at the Lutheran Parsonage Penns Valley, Centre Co/ Mr. John Stover & Miss Eliza Vonada were law- /fully joined in christian marriage by me----both/of Haines Township, Centre Co. Pa. Joseph Welker." An inscription below the picture reads "Love, Fidelity, Peace. Amen!"