Johann Elias Ridinger, White Spotted Stag

With Reason reckoned among the Most Noblest Creatures :

“ A Spotted Stag
which, however, are not frequent ”

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). White Spotted Stag. 16-pointer recumbent to the left. “Light ocher drawing into the grey, dun-shaded” (Th.). Colored etching with engraving. Inscribed: CERVVS cum Maculis albis. / Le Cerf tacheté blanc. / Familia II. Zweÿhufige. / Joh. El. Ridinger fec. et exc. Aug. Vind. 12¼ × 8¼ in (31 × 21 cm).

Thienemann & Schwarz 1007. – IN  THE  RIDINGERS’  ORIGINAL  COLORING  from the unnumbered Colored Animal Kingdom created since 1754 and concluded finally posthumously not before 1773 (“Complete copies are next to untraceable”, so Weigel, Art Cat., part XXVIII, Ridinger Appendix 63a as merely 120-sheet torso, 1857 ! , but also just individual plates quite rarely on the market only at niemeyer’s presently nevertheless the one as the others). – Remaining uncolored contrary to the prospectus, a second edition from the plates shortened even under loss of animals and with modified titling and the Ridinger inscription removed, yet now numbered, was published by Engelbrecht/Herzberg in Augsburg 1824/25.

Final state with the Familia line within the caption moved up after the removal of the “Q. D. S. IX.” as reference to Jacob Theodor Klein’s Quadrupedum dispositio brevisque Historia Naturalis of 1751, mentioned as missing “on some plates” by Thienemann, too.

With Klein (“Plinius Gedanensium”, Königsberg 1685 – Danzig 1759; town clerk in Danzig, later director of the Society of Naturalists Danzig co-founded by him, member of the Royal Society, London, and honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg; ADB XVI, 92 ff.), famous for his collections, Ridinger was in close communication and supported in his Colored Animal Kingdom undertaking in many ways, too. Following Klein’s classification according to kind and number of extremities – superceded by Linné’s anatomical classification – the early states of some plates of the set still show references to his Quadrupedum dispositio brevisque Historia Naturalis of 1751, as known to Thienemann for some plates and documented here for several more by a complete copy available here. Ridinger himself emphasizes by the preface in his words of thanks “in particular the tremendously beautiful collection of P(rofessor). Klein of the Ludolph estate, which comprises nothing but original items.”

“ Certainly one can reckon these animals with reason among the most noble creatures as especially their build, their antlers, their strength, which goes along with the greatest possible speed, bestow an excellent and majestic eminence on them … Then one has to realize that these animals not always keep one color, but change it twice a year … Yet their finest color they have in early March … and in July and August they shoe in their greatest perfection … However, it cannot be denied that it greatly depends … what kind the ground is on which they live … Therefore some are according to the nature of the place where they stay commonly red … where a spotted one is represented, too, which, however, are not frequent … They are hunted, too … mostly for pleasure and by this the poor peasant is freed again from his uninvited guests ”

(Ridinger’s sons in the preamble to pt. I in German and French, pp. 15 f. & 12 f. resp., enclosed in copy).

With watermark C & I Honig as that sturdy Dutch quality paper Ridinger used in line with his preamble to the Principal Colors of Horses

“on  account  of  the  fine  illumination”  for  the  colored  works

“as for this purpose it is the most decent and best”. – Margins on three sides 1.9-3.2 cm, below 4.9 cm wide.

Offer no. 15,879 / EUR  590. / export price EUR  561. (c. US$ 688.) + shipping

Ridinger’s Colored Animal Kingdom in Original Coloring

available in

A Great Plenitude of Individual Plates


An Absolutely Exceptional Complete Provenance Copy

  1. “famous work which the merited naturalist Jacob Theodor Klein in Danzig published 1751 under the title: Quadrupedum Dispositio brevisque Historia Naturalis. Enlarged and revised, he had translated it into the German himself and his friend Gottfried Reyger published it 1760 under the title: J. Th. Klein’s Natural Order and Augmented History of the Quadruped Animals. Ridinger was in close communication with Klein, was supported by him in many ways in this (Animal Kingdom) undertaking and followed Klein’s system” (Th., p. 200)

„ … Übrigens ist Ihr Internetauftritt wirklich überaus interessant, habe ihn unter Favoriten gespeichert und schaue sicher öfters rein “

(Herr J. F., 27. Mai 2013)


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