Fraktur of Silon Amos Henkel
New Market Shenandoah County Virginia
ink on paper
This printed fraktur was dedicated to Silon Amos Henkel (1813-1844), the youngest son of Dr. Solomon Henkel and his wife, Rebecca Miller, of New Market, Shenandoah County, Virginia. Using a printed background produced by the family’s Henkel Press, this fraktur goes far beyond the basic data usually recorded: it includes extensive genealogical, biographical, and cultural information. It even details Henkel’s death, funeral, and burial. In short, it provides a window into life in the German-speaking community of New Market, Virginia.
The original woodblocks for this printed fraktur design are in the collection of the Museum of the Shenandoah Valley.
Dr. Silon A. Henkel (1813-1844) studied medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. He trained as a young man in the Henkel Press, and later accompanied members of his family on Lutheran circuit riding trips, when he honed his artistic skills by creating charcoal profile portraits across a broadly dispersed area. MESDA owns a charcoal portrait attributed to Henkel of the Henry County, Virginia, planter, Edmund Burwell Redd (Acc. 5163).
MESDA Purchase Fund