in  the  Early  Period  of  PHOTOGRAPHY

reproducing , too ,

an  almost  uniqueness

as addition to the “Most Wondrous Deer”

Ridinger – Laifle, J(ohann). Ridinger-Album. (A Collection of the Finest and Rarest Deer and Roebuck Abnormities photographed from the Original Engravings) of Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). With foreword by F(ranz) von KOBELL. Issue I (of 5). Regensburg, Alfred Coppenrath, 1865. Large 4to. 4-sheet folder title, foreword & contents to the complete work. With

9  (instead of 10)  albumin  prints  rolled  on  thin  cardboard

in  their  facet  richness  of  splendid  chiaroscuro

(6½-6¾ × 5⅛-5¼ in [16.4-17.2 × 12.9-13.3 cm]), each with number, the publishers & “(Photographed by J. Laifle)” on the cardboard. Orig. h. cloth portfolio with unilaterally shortened loop.

Of  superb  rarity

the album already missing at Coppenrath’s own sale with its rich Ridinger stores! And irrespective of the contents listing for the complete work to be published in 5 issues of 10 sheet each – which have been published indeed – and corresponding reference to future sheet 50 the predecessors of the German National Bibliography up to the “Union Catalog of German Language Publications 1700-1910 (GV)”, vol. 117, list present 1st only. But even this missing in the large Ridinger collections recorded here. Missing there as well two competing publications listed the same place. That is “Representation of some Fair and Killing Animals” in 84 (GV, supposedly recte: 24) photos in portrait 4to, Augsburg 1867 (Berlin, Sandrog & Co.) & “Hunting Album. Deer Abnormities, Interesting Hunts and Rare Fair Game photographed by B. Kliemeck (series 1, 64 ll.) & C. Schauer Successor” (series 2) in 18 issues of 4 (1-17 = 68) and 2 (18) (GV: 16 issues, of which were published [only] 1-12 of 4 ll. each [= 48, hence the Laifle edition here should not only be the first, but also the most comprehensive one]) photos each resp. in 4to, Berlin, Lichtwerck, 1873/75.

The photographs here after sheets of the “Most Wondrous Deer”, namely

Th. 248 (Brandenburg-Ansbach) – 244 (Wurttemberg) – 243 (Tübingen) – 250 (Tübingen) – 277 (Styria) – 260 (Augsburg/Allgäu) – 256 (Tübingen) – 249 (Wurttemberg/Serbia/Tübingen/Kirchheim).

Besides  coming  it  strong

with  precious  addition  to  the  Most  Wondrous

by  documenting  Th. 1299

(per appendix p. 289) commented by Thienemann with the words

“ … after these excellent drawings an engraving had been worked by our master, which  appears  to  have  been  preserved  in  a  few  copies  only … (The sheet) seems to be fixed by Ridinger to the set of the one hundred sheets”.

What here seems to be quite simple actually is considerably complicated. So

this  “46”  point  stag  of  Coburg-Saalfeld

first is after most benevolent counting here at best a false 40 point stag of 20 : 10 points as missed by Thienemann, Coppenrath, Sälzle, and Schwerdt, whose copy of the Wondrous the sheet was bound between.

Introducing to Th. 1299 Thienemann then refers back to his pos. 166, the stag of sheet 4 of the Representation of the Fair Game with the large traces, and two preparatory drawings to this, namely “first the outline in red chalk, the other time finely executed in ink”. The latter one might be plate VII in Sälzle (Corpus of the Drawings to the Fair Game). But this corresponds with the copper 1299 and has nothing to do with sheet 4 of the Fair Game in respect of antler and landscape (in reverse and with changed fence plate X in Sälzle), however, it was not intended for the transfer into copper, since being in the same direction as the engraving and also without marks of transfer. That the explanations to both plates are confounded with each other at Sälzle complicates the disentanglement additionally.

The tread seal of Th. 1299 given only in outline with the inscription “(The Trace of the Stag)” suggests that Ridinger originally had intended the sheet for the set of the Fair Game, but than redevoted by caption à la Wondrous, added even by 8 lines each on the details of the stag, but without to embody it in this finally.

According to Coppenrath the printing-plate to 1299, coat & antler of the stag along with an oil portraying this, tracked by a hound, in full flight, in Coburg; a proof before the letter, inserted by Ridinger by hand, formerly in the collection of Baron von Dalberg at Datschitz in Moravia.

Laifle’s  photograph  of  Th. 1299

– plate  2 –

Johann Elias Ridinger, Stag of Coburg-Saalfeld

in  such  a  way  of  high  documentary  value

(additionally separately available here). – Without sheet 5, Th. 247, the stag of 66 points in Moritzburg.

Preprogrammed fathers of the rarity proved above especially for the whole, but just already for the 1st issue here, too, are the expense of the practice & and therewith costliness of the edition. A comparison of the imprint of the preliminaries added already to the 1st issue here with that of the complete whole traded here formerly lets assume that the breath for the publisher Coppenrath obviously had become too short already after the 1st issue, so that he had to secure the aid of a partner in the form of Messrs. Manz. Reads the imprint on the title here only “Regensburg. / Alfred Coppenrath. / 1865”, so on the said complete copy “Regensburg, 1865. / Alfred Coppenrath. / München. / Hermann Manz.”. In accordance, however, the imprint at the end with “(Printed) by G. J. Manz in Regensburg.” Irrespectively of this also the type area of both titles varies. In the case of the 1st issue here this measures in the height 25.5 cm, but at the complete copy 26.2 cm. At the plate format, however, values of, here, 13¼ × 10⅛ in (33.5 × 25.8 cm) stand against only 12⅜ × 9⅝ in (31.3 × 24.4 cm).

But in spite of this economical support the missing of the issues 2-5 in the bibliographies points that the project could be carried on only on smallest flame.

But even still in the ’90s of the century as the late period of this in respect of reproducible possibilities technically revolutionary innovations pushed still further ahead in the meantime photographic gallery works of high qualities, as the ones by Braun or so, caused a price which art historians had lament they would warn “to turn rowdy to a privilege” by imposing scholars and friends of arts living in less easy circumstances downright with “a kind of forced taxes” in contrast to “private circles being able to bring their esthetic wants not quite insignificant sacrifices” (quoted from Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of August 22, 2001). But no less a man than the great Bode in Berlin settled clearly on the photography “after a long test track of proving the maximum output of both practices (the reingravings by artists favored by him above all and just the photography)”.

In contrast to photo papers coated with starch and thereby causing a dull effect of the image Coppenrath already used papers coated with Albumin (albumen) “of high gloss”

“ since  it  reproduced  the  finest  details “

(Meyer’s Conv.-Lex., 4th ed., vol. XIII, p. 17 as “so now – 1889, thus twenty years later! – favored”).

Top-notch  evidence

the synopsis of all 50 sheets by reference to, isolated, material copies, paintings (sic, because largely unknown!) & printing plates, and, in many cases, to preparatory drawings & proofs and errors. And

exorbitant  the  information

that from the late thirties exists a one-plate-color-print to Thienemann 245 as, unknown to literature, “an extremely interesting attempt by Ridinger” along with another such technical try. In this regard so far known only the unique Stag Hunt Schwerdt III, 132 (ills.), thought to be from about 1725, literature – if known to it at all – regards as the supposedly first German color print at all.

Very fascinating ultimately also Kobell’s co-operation in this


Johann Laifle, Ridinger-Album

Ridinger  photographicum

(the first Rhine book for instance with also just merely 14 photographs beside moreover conventional nu-merous wood engravings was published at Murray in London in 1868 only).

For already in 1842 he had made his technical mark by his “galvanography, a method to reproduce in print painted washed pictures by galvanic copper-plates”. Publishing also mineralogically, otherwise his hunting publications, at the top his Wildanger, made him known. – Back cover slightly agemarked. – The partially slightly foxing – only title and white end leaf more – full title obviously already originally added to the 1st issue, here, however, taken from another copy and with 12⅛ × 9¾ in (30.8 × 24.7 cm) compared with the plates (13⅛ × 10¼ in [33.4 × 26 cm]) slightly shortened. – Contents with old pencil tick off.

Offer no. 28,813 / EUR  998. / export price EUR  948. (c. US$ 1146.) + shipping

Also  see  the  complete  copy  with  50  albumin  prints  presently  available  here

in  the  adequately  splendid  furnishing  of  the  Red  Series

“ I am writing to you to have suggestion from you, the specialist of J.E.Ridinger. I am an art historian … ”


“ Thank you very much for quick response. Your suggestion is so helpful and can correct many erroneous captions which have been attached to the Ridinger’s prints in Japan until now … ”

(Ms. Y. K.-S., 19 + 22 December 2009)


The  Cream  of  the  Day