One of those “Eyeballs of Bibliophiles …
actually  too  precious  to  be  read ”
(Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung 1-26-2008)

The  Baron’s  No. I

of  the  Two  Roman  Numbered  Copies  only

in  Vellum

as  the  Exquisite  Document  of  a  Great  Culture  of  Collecting

Ridinger – von Gutmann – Schwarz, Ign(az). Katalog einer Ridinger-Sammlung (Catalogue of the Ridinger Collection of Rudolf Ritter von Gutmann.) 2 vols. Vienna, author’s edition, 1910. 4to. XX, 210; XI, 169 pp. With (within the text put on over those already printed along with the text as generally for the Arabic numbered copies)

numerous  mounted  illustrations


118  mounted  plates ,

6  of  which  in  colors  +  1  double  full-paged .

Richly gilt orig. calf-vellum on 5 ribs with two dark red back-plates and equal floral ornaments with gilt lines in the free fields, even

gilt  capital  ribbons ,

twofold double line floral corner pieces at the inner and rosette in the outer square resp., all in gold, the

gilt  stamped  supralibros  of  Baron  von  Gutmann

along  with  device

Rudolf Ritter von Gutmann, Catalogue of a Ridinger collection: Copy I/II (armorial supralibros)

“ Semper  Progrediens ”

on  all  four  covers ! ,

marbled fly-leaves à la Pompadour parts of Gutmann’s legendary Marjoribanks Folios in marbled orig. slipcases lined with moiré. Gilt edges.

Ignaz Schwarz, Catalog of a Ridinger Collection (Von Gutmann Collection)

The  inaccessibly  elitist

no.  I / II  copies

in  adequate  vellum  volumes  of  beguilingly  understated  elegance ,

accompanied  by  a  unique  pedigree ,

the covering letter of 6th September 1951, by which the antiquarian bookseller Robert Alder in Bern sends the copy on behalf of Mr. von Gutmann to Mrs. Dr. Waeckerlin in Zurich.

Catalogue of a Ridinger Collection: Copy I/II

Printed  as  manuscript

in only 202 copies, 200 of which as ordinary edition numbered Arabic with the illustrations printed together with the text and only bound in interim wrappers. The two Roman numbered printed on parchment-like paper only, thus not “on parchment” as according to the imprint. Accessed by 6 (!) indices,

Rudolf Ritter von Gutmann, Catalogue of a Ridinger collection: Copy I/II (dedication to his mother)

this  private  edition

Rudolf R. von Gutmann  dedicated  “ in loyalty to (his) mother ”

is  the  noblest  curtsey  of  literature

to  the  master’s  œuvre ,

a  profusely  illustrated  defilé  right  across  the  work ,

the  indispensible  definitive  catalog

beside  and  beyond  Thienemann

and  with  the  No. I  of  just  two

a  bibliophile  ne  plus  ultra .

At the end of vol. 1 the imprint of the printing-office of Wilhelm Fischer in Vienna. – According to Wend, Ergänzungen zu den Œuvreverzeichnissen der Druckgrafik, vol. II was published only in 1918, which could explain its deviating paper quality in the ordinary edition, yet does not follow from the title still dated 1910 without change. If from this also an explanation for the only parchment-like paper for the two Roman numbered luxury copies – no. II corresponds to present no. I – can be deduced must be left undecided. – Slipcases minimally rubbed, the vellum backs faded to a fine white, apart from that

shining  in  almost  impeccable , untouched  freshness .

As the presumably most comprehensive Ridinger collection of all times 1606 sheet graphic & 12 Roman numbered drawings (at least those from Baron von Lanna’s no less legendary old master collection in Prague seem to have been added only after closure of the manuscript) are described. From which results the compared with Thienemann and count Stillfried’s appendix

immense  supplementing  fund

of  undescribed  15  etchings  &  126  (sic!)  mezzotints ,

23  variants , 2  additional  portraits , 53  sheets  after  Ridinger

and  51  sheets  ( 47  by  Rugendas , 4  by  his  son  Johann  Jacob )  published  by  him !

Made accessible in addition under scholarly criteria by comprehensive indices – initial words / artist / publisher / chronology / persons / topography – the catalog ensures a due modern use with the adherence to & continuation of Thienemann’s numbering, whose commendable image descriptions are not repeated unnecessarily though.

The foundation was the collection Josef Horn acquired completely in 1903 which beside the almost complete inventory after Thienemann & Stillfried already yielded a number of unknown sheets. Followed 1905 as qualitatively important extension the series of the downright divine Marjoribanks Folios from the collection of Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks, 1st Baron Tweedmouth, later Lord T. (1820-1894), in their incomparable French armorial bindings by legendary bibliophiles of the Ridinger time and earlier, of which both the two Pompadour volumes were traded here in the ’90s.

Rudolf Ritter von Gutmann, Catalogue of a Ridinger collection: Copy I/II (title back-plates) Rudolf Ritter von Gutmann, Catalogue of a Ridinger collection: Copy I/II (volume back-plates)

And so “the Schwarz” then also is the reflection of the again and again courageous grab by one of the really big collectors of the Austrian imperial and royal monarchy. To be conceived only before an economic background of degree.

Rudolf (1880-1966) was the 2nd son of Wilhelm Baron von Gutmann and his wife Ida, née Hungarian baroness von Wodianer, whose sister Rose Anna on her part was married to Jules Porgès, one of the legendary African diamond randlords. Rudolf thus was so fortunate that the elder brother Max took upon himself the economical control of an empire the core of which were those titles acquired about 30 years before from the Austrian Rothschild line to exploit the yet undeveloped coal and iron deposits in Vitkovice near Moravian Ostrava, a place founded only shortly before by von Gutmann and the Rothschilds. They grew to the largest iron works of the imperial and royal monarchy and allowed for an extension of family interests to heavy industry and banking. Enclosed by about 124000 acres landed property. Correspondingly the Ridinger collection was embedded in one of quite different dimensions. Including the Silesian Hedwigs Codex which later came through the Collection Ludwig in Aix-la-Chapelle to the Getty Museum. And by this back to America. For there the codex had followed the baron when this “came from Vienna to Vancouver, about as far away from Hitler as only ever possible” (H. P. Kraus in “A Rare Book Saga”).

A part of all this intellectual and economic splendor then, it shall be repeated, present

No. I  as  the  baron’s  once  personal  copy

in  vellum

with the compared with the ones printed with the paper edition obviously hand-picked mounted illustrations. By this, however,

an  absolute  édition  de  luxe

for the showcase. In the side-by-side with an ordinary one for everyday use, for the that infinitely delightful occupation in and with the collection.

Offer no. 28,886 / price on application

„ Herzlichen Dank für Ihre freundlichen und aufschlussreichen Ausführungen, die mir die Beschreibung des vorliegenden Exemplars sehr erleichtern. Schön wärs natürlich, wenn sich Ihre vielfältigen Kenntnisse zum Werk Ridingers vielleicht als Artikel, oder Artikelserie, im Aus dem Antiquariat oder einer Bibliophilen-Zeitschrift einem breiten interessierten Publikum zur Kenntnis gebracht werden könnten … Ich würde mich jedenfalls sehr darüber freuen, Expertenwissen aus erster Hand zu erhalten. “

(Kollege U. K., 12. Mai 2015)