enter image description hereJacob Kiefer 1845 und Katharina Zoebst Wir... enter image description here

... Dir eine kleine bibel Margaretha Kiefer wilst Du in der stille singen und dem Herrn ein opfer bringen lerne wie Du kanst allein singen buch und tempel sehen

  • 9
    It seems that you deciphered parts of the handwritten text. It would useful to show us a picture of the whole text. Oct 6 at 10:21
  • 4
    Full inscription. Oct 7 at 12:32
  • 4
    The last word spells "seyn" (=sein) rather than "sehen" (as pointed out by @paulfrost). Also, after "stille" I read "singer" (an alternative form of "Sänger") instead of "singen". In fact, the last few lines are a variation of a religious poem (and possibly a church hymn) by J.P. Titz (1619-1689): "Willst du in der Stille singen / Und ein Lied dem höchsten bringen, / Lerne, wie du kannst allein / Sänger, Buch und Tempel sein." (Here under the title "Stilles Gotteslob" gedichte.xbib.de/…) This confirms the spellings "seyn" and "singer".
    – marquinho
    Oct 7 at 14:32
  • 3
    @marquinho Although your comment does not address the question what the word after "Wir" should be, it would be worth to make it an official answer because you clarified the origin of the text.
    – Paul Frost
    Oct 15 at 8:57
  • @paulfrost Thanks for the suggestion!
    – marquinho
    Oct 17 at 17:02

I have nothing to add to @paulfrost's reasoned reconstruction of what the verb after "Wir" could be. However, I am making my comment into a formal answer for visibility reasons.

The last few lines of the dedication (after the name "Margaretha Kiefer") are a variation of a religious poem originally by Johann Peter Titz (1619-1689):

Willst du in der Stille singen
Und ein Lied dem höchsten bringen,
Lerne, wie du kannst allein
Sänger, Buch und Tempel sein.

(See f.i. here).

I do not know whether Titz himself wrote this as a church hymn, but the "singer" symbolism certainly suits and invites such usage.
We do know that it was sung in Protestant churches well into the 19th century, as evidenced by its inclusion in several hymnals (from 1849; from 1859).
As such, the text will have been familiar to the author(s) of this inscription.

The last word actually spells "seyn" (=sein) rather than "sehen", as pointed out by @paulfrost. Also, after "allein" I read "singer" (an alternative form of "Sänger") instead of "singen". A comparison with the source confirms these two spellings.

  • Thank you everyone for your very kind and helpful input! Oct 26 at 20:46
  • You are welcome and thank you! Btw, I was actually suggesting that you might accept Paul Frost's answer (the verb "schücken") rather than mine – sorry for the miscommunication :)
    – marquinho
    Oct 26 at 23:13

Das Wort zwischen "Wir" und "Dir" ist kaum zu entziffern. Aus dem Kontext ergibt sich, das es sich um ein Verb handeln dürfte. Inhaltlich passen würde "schicken", allerdings scheint das nur schwer mit dem Kurrent-Text in Einklang zu bringen sein. Hier dennoch ein Versuch:

  1. In der Buchstabengruppe enter image description here könnte am Beginn ein "s" stehen; das passt zu anderen Vorkommen am Wortanfang. Das Zeichen danach sieht stark nach einem "h" aus, wie an anderen Stellen des Texts. Ein "c" ist zwar nicht erkennbar, vielleicht wurde es vergessen oder ging sozusagen verkümmert ganz oben in die Verbindng zwischen "s" und "h" ein.

  2. Danach folgt enter image description here, was ein "ü" oder ein doppeltes "i" sein könnte.

  3. Die Gruppe enter image description here könnte ein "ck" sein.

  4. Die Gruppe enter image description here ist mit großer Sicherheit ein "en".

Noch eine Bemerkung zu "buch und tempel sehen". Das letzte Wort sieht nicht wie "sehen" aus. Ich vermute, dass es "seyn" ist. Tatsächlich wurde das "y" früher häufig mit zwei Umlaut-Punkten darüber geschrieben. Vgl. hier.


Hier einige Beispiele zur Schreibung von "sch" (aus dem Text in Deciphering of difficult Kurrent (?) handwriting):

enter image description here Überschlag

enter image description here deutschen

enter image description here energischer

enter image description here Kantischen

enter image description here Hegelsche

Das "c" ist in diesen Beispielen oft kaum erkennbar. Das stützt meine obige These.

  • So this would add up to »schücken«. Of course, »wir schicken Dir« would make sense in that context, but the starting »s« doesn't convince me. It misses the upper bow of the other occurrences. That stroke even looks like to be removed by two short lines, so the actual word maybe starts with the »h«.
    – Philippos
    Oct 8 at 11:04
  • @Philippos I am not surprised that you are not convinced. I myself have doubts ("allerdings scheint das nur schwer mit dem Kurrent-Text in Einklang zu bringen sein"). But there are only a few verbs which fit into the text like "schicken", "senden". "übergeben". The best catch seems to be "schicken", and I tried to confirm it. But yes, it is not convincing.
    – Paul Frost
    Oct 8 at 22:58
  • But it also not convincing that the the "two short lines" in the first letter mean deletion. I can't imagine that a person writing a dedication into a BIBLE would fail to corrrectly write a word at that essential position in the text.
    – Paul Frost
    Oct 8 at 23:05
  • Wow, this discussion is very impressive, and I am very grateful for everyone's help. I personally wondered whether the verb in question might be "schenken," but I just couldn't identify the individual letters to verify it -- "schuecken" seems to work. Not sure whether this would be of any help, but I believe the writer was Alsatian. Thanks again to all! Oct 13 at 13:59
  • 1
    @GraylenBecker Knowledge from which dialectal area a writer originates is especially valuable for texts that predate generally agreed spelling conventions (the first edition of Duden's dictionary was published in 1880), because spelling may be strongly influenced by dialectal pronunciation.
    – njuffa
    Oct 18 at 5:30

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