A rare c. 1830 Gustav Sigismund Peters allegorical broadside illustrating the paths to heaven and hell, or as he refers to them 'Everlasting Life or Eternal Damnation'. This broadside was issued in Harrisburg, PA. The view appears to be a woodblock engraving. At the top, a grand city is identified as 'New Jerusalem.' At the bottom right, Satan appears amidst the fires of Hell and several daemons. The broadside reveals three paths, all of which include commentary on the journey ahead. Two paths diverge at an image of Jesus Christ bleeding on the Cross, which forms a gate. Passing through the gate, the righteous can ascend directly to heaven, where Jesus appears crowned. The sinful follow one of two other potential paths, one through a wide gate, and another on more winding circuitous route, but both leading to Satan and Hell. Along the bottom, the rich and well-dressed gleefully march into the fires of perdition, some playing musical instruments, their fates is descried thus:
Here is the entrance great and wide, open to all from each side: - Pass on ye with sack and pack, be unconcerned, be not exact: walk gently ahead, not a word will be said; If you seek honour and gain, hastily appear and record thy name; thousands with a similar design, have traveled this road in proper line; ye that lust after splendor, luxury and pride pass on, the path is fully side; the frolicksome in great numbers with music full of sound, are marching to the place to which they are bound; the rich, poor, the tall and small, in Abraham's lap hope to be taken up, yea, withal
German American broadsides are highly ephemeral and extremely rare. Only a single example of this incredible map exists in institutional collections. What a wonderful addition to any serious collection of Americana!
Gustav Sigismund Peters (1793 - 1847) was born in Langebrüch, Germany and died in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania in March 1847. He is credited with being the first color printer in the state of Pennsylvania and managed a bilingual press. From 1823 to 1827, his name appears on Carlisle imprints, after which he worked in Harrisburg. His publications most likely served the Amish community.
Very good. Backed on archival tissue for stability.