Extremely Rare Representation of Reptiles ,
presumably one & only of Ridinger’s Œuvre
and adequately for Helbing 1900
one of the most valuable of the set
Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). That God is very marvellous in all his works the chameleon teaches … . A lot of amphibians – Thienemann describes, recte reptiles – above (about a third of the sheet) two chameleons on branches, one catching a dipterous; below fine perennial plants, on these the common green lizard , an Argus butterfly in the mouth. Entirely à la de Hamilton, the “animal still-life specialist” and court painter of the Augsburg prince-bishop in whose workshop the young Ridinger possibly has worked. The scenery mountainous, high above on the right extended palace buildings. Etching + engraving by Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780). Inscribed: XXXVI. / M. El. Ridinger, sp. et exc. A. V., otherwise in German as before and below. 15 × 11¼ in (38.1 × 28.5 cm).
Thienemann + Schwarz 379; Silesian Ridinger Collection at Boerner XXXIX, 1884 ( “Extremely rare”, 1885! ); Reich auf Biehla Collection 121 ( “Extremely rare”, 1894! ); Helbing XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger), 895 ( “Very rare”, 1900 ) and within the 43 sheets of the set available to him marked
with 50 Goldmark and thus with great margin to the gross of others .
Sheet XXXVI of the 46-sheet set To the Special Events and Incidents at the Hunt (“The rarest set of Ridinger’s sporting line engravings”, Schwerdt 1928) etched exclusively by Martin Elias after predominantly his father’s designs and concluded in 1779.
At which not only after realization here Martin Elias’ impact on the Ridinger œuvre is much larger than that of an engaged co-worker as engraver only. Already at an age of thirty he just acted as a spiritus rector behind the scene ensuring that sets were completed or, as here, published posthumously.
And as Wolf Stubbe (Joh. El. Ridinger, 1966, pp. 16 f. + pl. 34), going in medias res, celebrates Th. 722, The Wild Bison and the Crocodile, from the Fights of Killing Animals as an artistic zenith of the late work in respect of its luminous efficiency, he pays tribute together, because judging by the plate, not the drawing, to Martin Elias as the etcher/engraver of that work. An aspect illustrating deeply the Ridinger teamwork.
Thematically extraordinarily rare representation
of also individually most beautiful image effect
with 12-lined caption of a C. J. (G. T.?) Christoff, about whom Thienemann sneers not quite justly so it shall be quoted following to the above :
“ … because it is adorned by nature so marvellously that it takes on the smallest trace
of the colours so that they are to be noticed intensely at its body just as in a mirror:
So God expresses his power, his divine true seal into his creation.
Who will go even further will see the same glory in other animals
From eggs become an animal one names lizard;
And that runs with fugitive foot over the lea.
Insects of all kind are its favourite dish:
It lives by others death and still lives to praise God ! ”
Splendidly vibrant warm-toned, wide-margined impression originating from the omnibus volume of the old estate of a nobleman with supposedly watermark WANGEN as one of Ridinger’s preferred firm laid paper qualities
with the Roman number
(“If they are missing, so this indicates later impressions”, Th.). – In the white upper margin still both the two pinholes from the original stitching in numbers, at the far left edge narrow fold with little stitching holes from previous binding.
The set itself “arranged almost throughout so that always two by two harmonize with each other and form pendants, just as they have been sold in pairs, too” (Th.). Here thus with the bats & frogs.
Offer no. 15,725 / EUR 1300. / export price EUR 1235. (c. US$ 1414.) + shipping
„ das ‚Haupt-Schwein‘ ist gut … angekommen und gefällt … falls sich weitere Funde … auftun, freue ich mich über Ihre Nachricht “
(Herr W. S., 29. August 2002)