Tuesday, December 29, 2009

My passion

What started out as a symbolic gift to my husband on Father’s Day 2004 has turned into a passion for me and just recently a visual aid for learning for our three young sons.

I collect antique Lord’s Prayer chromolithographs, most of which were created in the late 1800s.

Sunday night the boys were watching a 2006 version of the “Ten Commandments” on TV with their father. They were very interested in the movie so I took the opportunity to tell them they could see pictures of the Ten Commandments right in our own living room.

A wreath of vignettes illustrating the Ten Commandments surrounds a center oval of the Lord’s Prayer in three of my lithos.

All but one of the six lithos are beautifully printed with bright pastel colors and gold, and are displayed in antique frames. A lone print, which I’ve not framed yet because I’ve misplaced it, is a vintage greeting card size black and white print of the Lord’s Prayer written in several languages (very tiny print).

My favorite chromolithograph – the largest - hangs above our fireplace mantel in a stunning ornately-carved, high-gloss wooden frame that belonged to my late grandparents, Fred and Ruth McDonald, who lived in Caldwell, Ohio.

The first one I bought for David because he prays the Lord’s Prayer every night with the children before they go to bed. The 16-by 22 litho has an 1892 copyright and was published by Standard Supply House, Chicago, Illinois. I found it at an area antiques/garden store and later I was excited to learn, via the Internet, there are lots of other lithos of the prayer out there!

At least two that I’ve acquired were printed by Geis & Co. Buffalo, N.Y. with copyrights of 1877 and 1881. The former also states it was “Entered according to Act of Congress in the year 1877 by M. Yauck, 18 University Ave. Rochester, N.Y. in the office of the librarian of Congress in Washington.” That one was published by S.T. Buck, Milton, Pa.

One hangs in a Victorian Adirondack frame - the same kind of frame in which you may find paper punch and cross-stitch samplers from the same era.

I also have three old cross-stitch Lord’s Prayer samplers though one is just a phrase from the Lord’s Prayer: “Give Us This Day Our Daily Bread” and appropriately hangs in our dining room. I even have a Lord’s Prayer sampler in our bathroom, because the thread colors match my shower curtain!

The Lord’s Prayer is the most widely recited prayer by Christians. Two versions of it appear in the New Testament of the Bible – Matthew 6:9-13 and Luke 11:2-4.

It’s “just a soopr day” that I can finally share one of my passions with the boys.

“For Thine is the Kingdom and the Power and the Glory Forever. Amen.”


  1. You mentioned an 1881 chromolithograph printed by Gies and Co. Is this the one you were talking about?


    If so, I own an original and have been trying to find out more about it. Do you know ways of doing that?

  2. Do you have or no anything about the one that has 2 girls praying outside at the top of one? I have been searching and searching for information on this print.