Johann Elias Ridinger, Brown Bear

“ Honey Bear ”

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Brown Bear. Sitting, looking at the beholder. “Now and then it shall occur in Switzerland in this quite peculiar (russet) color. Position like the Greenlandic Bear No. 527., only reduced” (Th.). Colored etching with engraving. Inscribed: VRSVS MINOR RVFO FVSCVS. / Der Zeydel Bär. / Ours petit voussatre. / Familia IV. Fünffzähige. / J. El. Ridinger fec. et excud. A.V. 12⅛ × 8⅛ in (30.7 × 20.7 cm).

Thienemann & Schwarz 1081. – 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 bear belongs to the indigenous animals in Europe

and his fatherland actually ranges from Poland up to the outmost northern borders … He … keenly pursues the honey … thirdly, the brown bear which readily climbs the trees and is russet colored … Their fur is very warm and one uses it to great benefit for sundry services ”

(Ridinger’s sons in the preamble to pt. II, pp. 13 f. [German] & 11 f. [French] resp., enclosed in copy).

“ The Zeidelbär (as distinct from Zeiselbär which is shown around) is the name for a small bear which is partial for the honey of the wild bees, and therefore harvests them. For zeideln actually means cutting down the beehives, or taking as much honey out as the bees can spare without starving ”

(Brockhaus Conversations-Lexikon vol. 8, Leipsic 1811, p. 513).

Watermarked Strasbourg fleur-de-lis above arms & C & I Honig (type Heawood 64/Churchill 428) 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 2-3.5 cm, below 5.2 cm wide. – In the lower white plate/paper field hardly perceptible tidemark.

Offer no. 15,927 / EUR  590. / export price EUR  561. (c. US$ 704.) + shipping

Ridinger’s Colored Animal Kingdom in Original Coloring

available in

A Great Plenitude of Individual Plates


An Absolutely Exceptional Complete Provenance Copy

„ nachdem die wunderbare Stangenabwurf-Folge (Wintter’s Aufsezen oder wachstum des Hirschgeweihes hiesiger Lieferung) nun meine Wand ziert, habe ich zwei (Desiderata-)Bitten an Sie. Es fehlt mir … Können Sie mir behilflich sein? “

(Herr C. R., 28. Januar 2015)


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