Item No: frk00280
Title: Drawing (Pelican)
Wove paper; watercolor; ink
Rare Book Department
Hand-drawn; hand-colored; hand-lettered. In the center of the document is a pelican that is piercing its own breast with its beak. Three chicks in a nest below it are feeding on the blood that is spouting from the wound. Above the bird is a large flower. Below it is the framed caption as well as two rosettes and a tulip.
The image of the pelican feeding its young by drawing blood from its breast is symbolic of Christian doctrine of Jesus’ sacrificial death to redeem humanity.
Henry S. Borneman
Michael S. Bird, O Noble Heart, O Edel Herz: Fraktur and Spirituality in Pennsylvania German Folk Art (Lancaster: Heritage Center Museum, 2002), 91.
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Anonymous - Decorator
Anonymous - Scrivener