Christian Mertel

Christian Mertel (1739 - 1802) was an American fraktur artist.

A indigenous of Herborn, Mertel was the son of John Jacob and Elizabeth Mertel. He immigrated to the Thirteen Colonies in 1773 aboard the Crawford; a fellow passenger was John Contrad Trevitz, who would in addition to go upon to become a literary and fraktur artist. Mertel followed his father's profession, becoming a dyer of indigo cloth. By 1793 he had acquired estate in Conewago Township, Dauphin County; during this times he began to build fraktur, primarily for his neighbors. He taught school, most likely at the institution operated by Hoffer's Brethren Meeting; even so, he produced mainly baptismal certificates during his career. Raised in the Reformed tradition, he created proceed for Lutheran families as well. Mertel's paintings bear the influence of supplementary fraktur artists, including Johann Henrich Otto and Johann Jacob Friedrich Krebs, who was a neighbor; nevertheless they are marked similar to the stamp of individuality, containing images of castles, fish, mermaids, lions, unicorns, the Princess of Brunswick, and flowers of many varieties. He plus produced zodiacs, and sent family and new acquaintances New Year's greetings every year. He died in Conewago Township; a list of effects at his death included a bin of pictures, an inkstand, and a musical instrument.

Three works by Mertel are held by the Winterthur Museum, and five are in the growth of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. In 2016, a piece of his appeared on Antiques Roadshow, where it was appraised for between $4,000 and $6,000.

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