Thursday, April 4, 2013

PA Dutch Hex Signs

Hex signs are a form of Pennsylvania Dutch folk art, related to fraktur, found in the Fancy Dutch tradition in Pennsylvania Dutch Country. Barn paintings, usually in the form of "stars in circles," grew out of the fraktur and folk art traditions about 1850 when barns first started to be painted in the area. By the 1940s commercialized hex signs, aimed at the tourist market, became popular and these often include stars, compass roses, stylized birds known as distelfinks, hearts, tulips, or a tree of life. Two schools of thought exist on the meaning of hex signs. One school ascribes a talismanic nature to the signs, the other sees them as purely decorative, or "Chust for nice" in the local dialect. Both schools recognize that there are sometimes superstitions associated with certain hex sign themes, and neither ascribes strong magical power to them.
 
 
Little ceramic cuties from Michael's.
 Thanks for stopping by!

15 comments:

  1. What a bright and cheerful table -- I love it! And thank you for the information about Pennsylvania Dutch hex signs. The one on the tablecloth with the oak leaves and acorns is particularly nice.

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  2. I like the heart bowls picking up on the design of the cloth. :-) Lovely!

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  3. Where did you find the table cloth with all the hex signs on it?

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  4. This particular tablecloth came from either Etsy or eBay, can't remember which. :-)

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  5. I have absolutely FALLEN IN LOVE with it. I have looked all over ebay and etsy. Wish me luck! :)

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  6. I have one of these and am looking for more. I live on the edge of PA Dutch Amish farm country. Jertoons@aol.com or "Jerry Snyder, Reading, PA" on Facebook (my FB account is currently de-activated). Thank you for any help in locating hex sign fabrics or table cloths. Yes, they DO work magic, but not the comic book variety -- we are all under some spell or other -- perhaps, to show an example, we are in love -- that would certainly be a wonder -- and a spell -- that works thru our existence, yes. Much magic surrounds us and this is why hex signs are able to "work" magic . . . Enjoyed your site. It is not clear to me if you sell anything shown here. Peace & Love 2 U.

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  8. Please identify the type of flower pictured at the top of your blog article. Thank you.

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Thank you for your lovely comments.

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