Martin Elias Ridinger, Axis Deer & Some Foreign Sheep

“ The Asian or Ganges Deer ”

“ … lives in the East Indian Plains and on the Adjacent Islands ”

Ridinger, Martin Elias (1731 Augsburg 1780). A yet promised Asian Deer (Axis of odd 8 points lying to the left above of) / Some Species of Foreign Sheep (Long-haired Icelandic Sheep with four horns / Camel or Angora Goat / Fat-tailed Sheep). Small in the background before park gate two further ones of the latter, brushing the ground with their thick tails. Colored etching with engraving. Inscribed: CERVUS ASIATICUS. / OVES ALIENIGENAE. / Ein noch versprochener Asiatischer Hirsch. / Einige Arten ausländischer Schafe. / Cerf asiatique promis / Brebis etrangeres. / Familia II. Zweyhufig. / Ridinger. sc. 12¼ × 8⅜ in (31 × 21.4 cm).

Schwarz 995. – Th. lists the rare dominant Axis deer (“The Asian or Ganges Deer”) only following no. 1010 (“on 995 … included … represents a male Axis deer … quite well”).


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.

The attribution of the work to Johann Elias’ eldest, Martin Elias, results first from the spelling considered here as individual – like a dot or comma between “Ridinger” and for instance “sc.” – as against such plates of the Animal Kingdom inscribed with his name. And then from the remark in the preamble

“ In future we will once provide an illustration of a species of Asian deer, which have been drawn from life (1774) and are spotted very nicely and regularly. This representation then will be the seventh figure (of the deer group). ”

“ The axis lives in the plains of East India and on the neighboring islands, wandering about at night in strong herds

and  is  an  object  of  most  eager  hunting .

“ Of the (Indian) splendour prevailing in these parts, there are no stronger marks, than the extensive forests, in which are shut up untamed beasts of the grandest kind. A spacious wood, in which numerous unfailing springs give cheerfulness to the scenery, is selected, encompassed with a wall, and interspersed with towers for the reception of the hunters … ”

(Curtius Rufus, Alexander the Great, London 1809, vol. II, p. 213).

He becomes completely tame, also reproduces over here … ”

(Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., VIII [1888], 565/I with ill.).

Martin Elias might have seen the axis all the more in a Hohenlohe park as Georg Adam Eger, acquainted to him already from the latter’s days in Darmstadt, seems to have been in service there during the 70s. Stag & deer of an axis are to be found, too, on Willem Frederick van Royen’s fine Berlin oil The Menagerie of Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg of 1697 at the Hunting Seat Grunewald (for ill. cf. Bol, Holländische Maler des 17. Jhdts., 1969, pp. 289 f.).

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 1.7-2.5, below 5.3 cm wide.

Offer no. 15,897 / EUR  745. / export price EUR  708. (c. US$ 818.) + shipping

Ridinger’s Colored Animal Kingdom in Original Coloring

available in

A Great Plenitude of Individual Plates


An Absolutely Exceptional Complete Provenance Copy

„ Vielen Dank, und sollten Sie wieder einmal einen ‚(William) Blake‘ in Ihrem Sortiment haben, waere ich fuer eine kurze e-mail dankbar “

(Mr. U. S., 23. Januar 2002)


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