Martin Elias Ridinger, Ferret, Ermine

Ridinger, Martin Elias (1731 Augsburg 1780). Ferret. / Ermine. Two marked by asterisks, the latter in its on the upper side puce, on the underside white summer coat, including the perennial black tip of the tail. Colored etching with engraving. Inscribed: MUSTELA viverra Furunculus *. MUSTELA Hermellina **. / Frettichen, Frettwiesel. *. Hermelin Wiesel. **. / Le Furet. *. Armeline. **. / Familia IV. Fünffzæhige. / ex Collectione Kleinii. / Ridinger. sc. 12⅛ × 7⅞ in (30.7 × 19.9 cm).

Thienemann & Schwarz 1052. – 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.

“ The legend that the ermine rather goes through fire than through dirt, and rather dies than soil itself, made it early the

symbol  of  purity  and  innocence …

Only Siberia and Russia supply ermine coats … Formerly the wearing of the ermine coats adorned with the black tail tips of the animal was a privilege of princes. Now they have become … a general attire ”

(Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., XVI [1890], 624/I and VIII [1888], 428/II resp.).

With Jacob Theodor 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 Following Klein’s classification according to kind and number of extremities – superceded by Linné’s anatomical classification – the early states of some plates of the set still show references to his Quadrupedum dispositio brevisque Historia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. ”

The attribution of the work to Johann Elias’ eldest, Martin Elias, based on the notation considered here as individual – like a dot or comma between “Ridinger” and for instance “sc.” – as compared against such plates of the Animal Kingdom inscribed with his name.

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 1.3-3.4 cm, below 5.7 cm wide. – Small faint brown spot in right white lateral margin and quite scattered a little brown spot.

Offer no. 15,912 / EUR  445. / export price EUR  423. (c. US$ 489.) + 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)

„ … wieder eine große Freude, Post von Ihnen zu erhalten und in eine Lektüre eintauchen zu können, die sich so wohltuend von dem journalistischen Einheitsbrei der täglichen Presse unterscheidet “

(Herr T. L., 9. Januar 2011)


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