American Colonial: Germany and Holland Symbols/Motifs

Motifs: includes figures, birds, unicorns, lions, hearts, tulips, rinceaus, floral and scroll patterns, stars, and geometric pattern. Designs come from many sources, reflecting the varied influences in Germany and the assimilation of English features. Motifs often have religious or symbolic meanings. However, Germans use particular designs in nails, not hex signs, to protect their barns from evil spirits.

The motif shown below is of the Hermann Oheim House in Missouri. The exterior woodwork in an overlapping geometric pattern represents symmetry and structural soundness. Another common motif among this time frame was the bird: shown below on a decorative painting. The next photo shows the De Turck House which has a floral motif in the window near the roof.

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