Johann Elias Ridinger, The Great Brown Ant-eater

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Great Brown Ant-eater. Looking out of the picture, he sits “before a herd of ants and licks the same off its paw” (Th.). Colored etching with engraving. Inscribed: VRSVS MAXIMVS FORMICARVM NIGRICANS. / Der große braune Ameisen Bär. / L’ours grand et brun des fournus. / Familia IV. Fünffzähige. / J. El. Ridinger fec. et excud. A.V. 12⅛ × 8¼ in (30.7 × 20.8 cm).

Thienemann & Schwarz 1080. – 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 … His inhabitation is in the thickest wildernesses on mountains … 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).

Watermarked 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 2.2-2.8 cm, below 5.3 cm wide. – Faint tidemark in the midst of the lower white plate/paper field and two narrow brown streaks below in the right white lateral margin.

Offer no. 15,929 / EUR  670. / export price EUR  637. (c. US$ 799.) + shipping

Ridinger’s Colored Animal Kingdom in Original Coloring

available in

A Great Plenitude of Individual Plates


An Absolutely Exceptional Complete Provenance Copy

“ It’s a truly one-of-a-kind very special item and I congratulate you on having the resources to have found it … You indeed have some wonderful things for sale.

These (ship) plans are indeed an exceptional find, Jan Hendrik, and I THANK YOU for making them available for sale. They are truly unique … Also – may I compliment you on your fantastic website display of the … plans – It is among the most professional and informative website I have ever seen! Mit Vielen Dank!!

Just a quick note to let you know your beautifully packed parcel arrived Friday in excellent condition due to your careful work.  THANK YOU for wrapping it so well – certainly better than I could do – and that says a lot.  It’s has been a real pleasure working with you … “

(Mr. M. W., from February 3 to March 7, 2011)


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