1953 65 years professional experience 2018
Lust for Collecting
from niemeyer’s ridinger archive
“Mezzotints unknown to Thienemann” (collection inventory, sheet VI [detail])
“ Ridinger / Slg. Faber-Castell ”
Lust for Life
are Happy People ”
( from unconfirmed Goethe )
“ … and their works do follow them ”
( Revelation of St. John 14/13 )
And thereby gaining the fair chance to secure a piece of immortality for the own name. May it be in the scope of a collection grown to a work of art sui generis, as donor, or, always certain of the greatest attention, simply living on in the provenance listings. As for instance the to be commemorated today. As besides to the current knowledge here
last collection aimed at Ridinger in his entirety
after the preceding ones formed most comprehensively since the 1850s and living on in their catalogs. For even the so dominant Dedi Collection, meanwhile scattered in turn onto new walls, into new drawers and shelves, rather omitted than seized valiantly were it not quite the favored subjects as in particular the that rich and by Counts Faber-Castell
so emphasized treasure of the mezzotints
as also per “Schabk!” on sheet 6
Aware of this, frequently adding Now he makes a mistake once more. All the more referred to here as he recalled repeatedly many a piece he had let slip 1958 when that collection became the market event.
In the aforesaid meaning of a complex entirety it is to be regretted that for the more recent time that Rhenish collection groomed exclusively here has to be left aside as in the wake of economical structural changes after decades it missed the long wind of the so congenial Schwerdt Collection.
Commemorating here & now thus the one of
Alexander Count of Faber-Castell
— “ Ridinger / Slg. Faber-Castell ”
( in pencil on puce cover ) —
restored to the market in November 1958 (K&F LXVI)
60 years ago & only 30 years after the passing 90 years ago this year
(Rüdenhausen 1866 – Oberstdorf 1928), originally and from 1922 again Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen, whom 1898 Ottilie Baroness von Faber from the neighboring Franconian Stein usurped by marriage under burdening restraint. For the pencil king Lothair von Faber in his Faber Palace, deceased two years afore, had left by will that his name should be company name for now and forever. At what the old man, alienating in recollection of Fontane’s Ribbeck ballad from 1889, quite knew what he did when he asked for the name’s continuance. For he had prescribed even more. For granddaughter Ottilie was to continue the business not least in the expectation to be in her turn aware of generations. And so royal Bavarian blessing midwifed the name von Faber-Castell. Honi soit qui mal y pense. For already 1905 Alexander von Faber-Castell created the brand Castell for especially high-grade pencils. And in such a manner by writing the hand of that von Faber at Stein in Franconia still blesses.
By which every and sundry won’t associate no longer the nobleman himself. All his life true to his Bavarian regimental color green, in better informed circles he is rather unforgotten for his
as the last sophisticated one ,
eyes of the connoisseur
Purchase note regarding Th. 1427, Omnia Mihi Subdita
hot heart of the aficionado
estimating master & sons in their extent
between Thienemann(-Stillfried) 1 & 1436 , then Schwarz up to 1564 .
The latter of whom then brought it 1910 per cataloging of the Rudolf von Gutmann Collection as the king among the Ridinger collectors up to 1569. Whereas Castell’s stock in turn scored at liquidation with about 40 additional sheets which had remained unbeknown to both Thienemann and Schwarz.
Immediately preceding Baron Gutmann and Count Faber-Castell there was a remarkable concentration of especially bourgeois collections in the last quarter of the 19th century, adducible only vaguely as comparable with those formed now more, now less adequately since the mid-1950s. Give or take, the Faber-Castell Collection consisted of
106 drawings , 95 of which as album ,
and 1319 prints , c. 180 of which mezzotints
and 6 copies in reverse by J. S. Müller with English inscriptions .
Included herein 32 prints missing at the liquidation & 203 additional prints. While the latter, regarding such top-class items as Principal Colors of the Horses (51) and Colored Animal Kingdom (129; both individual plates and a traditionally as absolutely exceptional qualified complete copy available here), doubtlessly are to be attributed to count Alexander’s personal acquisitions, so certainly the former should have been taken out beforehand by the heirs since by Th. 3, 5 & 7 disrupting a gem like Grand Seigneurs’ Pleasure in all Kind of Hunting, the remaining five plates then accordingly cataloged by K&F as “Of greatest rarity”.
Both missing and added positions besides document for one thing that count Alexander’s loose, yet by itself to be considered complete written inventory remained incomplete, for another thing that it was started before 1922 when in the course of the divorce effected 1918 the birth name had been restored. For the cover of the inventory bears the name of Faber-Castell. Less remarkable than confirming literature that the chance of putting hands on both the colored works as traditional rarities had come about still in the late phase.
Written on one side almost without exception in blue and additionally red ink, the register comprises 21 sheets of three kinds of paper, 13 of which in A4 format, the rest 32.5 × 20.3 (7/journal paper) and 33 × 21 cm. Following the general overview Serial Numbers after Thienemann with a stock summation of only 791 sheet, the title index numbered 1-7, initially with 13 purchase prices, followed by itemizations by folders/books numbered I-X. In-between three unnumbered supplementary sheets, one typewritten along with pencil. – For the total stock see page 5 afore.
In such a manner the autograph collection inventory published from the archive here for the first time represents the intensity of a life with and for the collection aimed at completeness, for successes in this regard just as stubbornly refusing desiderata, to which bringing to life nothing can be added. Unless by referring to items from it available/traded here or others remained missing there which to trace only niemeyer’s succeeded in.
As then again niemeyer’s can only give credit to the grace of the late birth to be able to keep ready from that other treasure of which he could take hold of wholesale when after the turnaround the resurfaced so-called 1933 Thieme-Becker block of
Ridinger’s original copper printing plates
found back to light and was passed into new hands by the descendants of the last publisher of Ridinger’s. Black as pitch the one as the other – only one zinc-coated amongst – but put back by niemeyer’s into their
reddish-golden shine of their centuries-old copper .
Including the most unique still on its own as reserved only for the grace of foremost grasp.
No Faber-Castell (1958), no Schwerdt (1928), no Baron von Gutmann (Schwarz; 1910), no Helbing (1900), no Hamminger (1895), no Reich auf Biehla (1894), no Coppenrath (1889/90), no Count Stillfried (1876), no Thienemann (1856), no Weigel (1838/57) was granted such, not to mention great noble collections harking back into Ridinger’s own as those of von Behr, D. C. on Marjoribanks, Earl of Pembroke. In short, as then also judged by literature,
centuries old original copper printing plates — the most precious of the precious.
Missing — Th. 161
TABELLA What of Deer and wild Boar Game as also Predators, Winged Game, and Birds of Prey usually in Serene Presence of His Princely Serenity the Reigning Sire Sire Louis George Margrave of Baaden Baaden p.p. has been shot and captured in His own grounds in the year 17.. . Engraving with etching. (1753.) Inscribed: Joh. El. Ridinger sculps. Aug. Vind. Sheet size 10⅜ × 14⅝ in (26.3 × 37.2 cm). In ruby red calf Solander box (JayAitchDesign; 18⅞ × 24 × 1⅛ in [48 × 61 × 3 cm]) with imitation ribs with gilt fillets on spine & both boards, gilt tooled front & back cover, black spine label Johann Elias Ridinger / Th. 161 as well as stamped red endpapers. All in 23.5 carat gold.
Offer no. 16,115 / price on application
43 or 45 of 46 or 48 sheet resp. missing
of the Accidens et Evenemens particuliers à la Chasse (46; Th. 343-388) concluded 1779 along with thematic Addenda Th. 389/90. Incomplete, too, then Helbing’s stock (1900, “Very rare sheets”) with 43 sheets of the basic set listed apart and the copy Halle (1928; “Rarest of all of Ridinger’s sets”) with just 28 of them. With sheets I-XXXVI (Th. 344-379) here previously traded into Rhenish collection the von Behr copy, to the finding here purchased along with further material between 1777 and 1779 directly from the Ridingers as far as already ready in the course of subscription (thus still without the Little Title Sheet Th. 343) and to date then remaining through umpteen generations in just this original first estate.
Missing Three of the Ten Monkeys
Complete belonging to the master’s rarest sets, it was missing, too, for decades in the Dedi Collection as one of the most comprehensive collections of more recent times (see above), into which it only found by the acquisition here of one of Gutmann’s legendary Marjoribanks Folios.
Thienemann’s suggestion (ad 550) that all ten plates had been intended for coloring, too, yet he had never laid eyes on such a copy (rather than “without” pen border it actually should be “with” on that score), is correct, but he infers wrongly that for their incorporation into the Colored Animal Kingdom (both a complete exceptional copy and individual plates available here) they had been scaled down and slightly modified later. Actually they are two independent sets of ten sheets each, with the sheer plate sizes deviating of each other by only c. 1 cm in height/width, but originating from two different hands. That is originally by the father with larger figures as above Th. 541-550, later in mostly close borrowing by the son Martin Elias Th. 1084-1093 for the Colored Animal Kingdom concluded posthumously by the sons:
That already the father’s set Th. 541-550 had indeed been published colored, too, is documented by item 1674 (“Colored very nicely”; 1972 traded here into Hessian collection) of the 1895 catalog of Ridinger market sweeper Georg Hamminger, at the same time consequently demonstrating that this set forms the start of the statement here and colored the œuvre culminated. For seven of the sheets still on the heavy paper known for old Ridinger impressions, whereas three already on the slightly lighter towards that of the Animal Kingdom, “for … it is for this the most decent and best …” (Johann Elias regarding the colored plates).
Here available in a complete copy with all the characteristics of the first edition as described by Thienemann and Schwarz (Rudolf von Gutmann Collection), but in this regard only partially corresponding with Weigel’s criteria for first prints (Art Stock Catalog, div. XXVIII (1857), 28 A/B) as to be discussed in detail has to be reserved to the publications of the ridinger gallery here.
Besides, with A Masked Monkey from Guinea (Pavian; Th. 543) and Füchsel manigen (Cheirogaleidae; Th. 549) two of the plates missing with Count Alexander are available also separately, among further ones.
Adolph Frederick of Norway, Holstein, Sleswick, Lübeck (Th. 832). And “… it appears as if Ridinger had intended a second set” (Th.). However, realized only two as œuvre rarities: Carolus ruling Prince of Löwenstein-Wertheim (Th. 835; passed through here) and Ludovjcus VIII. D. G. Landgravius Hassiæ-D(armstadiæ) (Th. 1378).
Manière noire — Kenned why
! Set with the pen of the connoisseur !
For in regard of the precious mezzotint technique — see count Alexander’s exclamation mark & underline — Thienemann summed up as saying already 160 years ago:
“ The mezzotints are hardly found in the trade … anymore
… any and all worked by and after Joh. El. Ridinger (are) so rare that they are to be found almost only in some public splendid print rooms. I have found most of the described ones in the famous Dresden cabinet only …” (pages VIII & 270).
And that contingent on the technique. As the velvety mezzotint allows only smallest satisfying print runs, 1675 assessed by the expert von Sandrart for about “50 or 60 … clean prints”.
“ Mezzotint ( manière noire etc. )
works contrary to engraving and etching not with lines, but surfaces toned against each other from the highest light to the deepest shadow. To achieve this surface effect, for the mezzotint the copperplate is entirely roughened with the rocker, the active side of which is furnished with tiny teeth. Then, where white or lighter parts shall appear in the print, the roughened surface is smoothed more or less with the burnishing tool. All transitions from black to white can be created effortless with the burnisher. The technique of mezzotint thus facilitates a reproduction of paintings in a perfection as hitherto it could not be attained with the means of print.
Yet mezzotint plates are far more delicate than engraved plates …
“ The inventor of this new technique, Ludwig von Siegen (Utrecht 1609 – Wolfenbüttel 1680), of a Rhenish aristocratic family (ancestral manor Sechten near Cologne), later in Hessian service, has produced the first mezzotints during a temporary stay in the Low Countries … (and) 1654 let Prince Rupert of the Rhine … in on the technique initially kept secret, who brought in the Dutch engraver Wallerant Vaillant (1623-77) for the execution of the plates. Vaillant and in particular Abraham Blooteling (1634-87) have perfected the technique and made home in Holland, while in Germany it became known by the Mayence canon Theodor Kaspar von Fürstenberg (1615-77) and gradually was spread through workshops at Augsburg and Nuremberg.
“ England was the main place of the cultivation of the mezzotint in the 18th cent. Here it developed … into a kind of national art. Imparted still by Prince Rupert, it attained its greatest perfection … by the hands of excellent engravers … The mezzotint became important for the color print, too ”
(Erich von Rath in Löffler-Kirchner, Lexikon des Gesamten Buchwesens, vol. III , p. 202).
For Augsburg for this time shall be mentioned as leading the painter/engraver dynasties of Rugendas, Haid and Ridinger, for the latter beside, more marginally, Johann Elias himself Johann Jacob (1735 Augsburg 1784) as the younger of the two sons and the decisive mezzotint artist of the family, while brother Martin Elias passed in this regard.
Missing — Th. 1105 , 1106 & 1108
of the set 1105-1108 described 1856 by Thienemann – complete then again only 1991 and here passed into the Dedi collection – where the 1991 copy here probably might have been the one of Thienemann, but only if Th.’s omission of the beginning of the rhyme of 1108 resulted from an oversight rather than trimming. Otherwise the one here would have been the hitherto only known uninjured copy.
Missing Th. 1109
passed through here as pendants 1109/10 into the collection as above.
Missing the Set Th. 1115-1118
and beside the complete copy traded here into Anhaltinian collection documented only for Thienemann (1856) and Schwerdt (1928). Here then realized for the first time why Ridinger, in the interests of Oudry, removed his “inv.”. This origin now ascertained for Oudry at the same time a splendid enrichment to Ridinger’s French canon headed by Watteau.
Missing, too, Th. 1127-1130
That Wonderful Mezzotint Set
Johann Elias Ridinger, By shooting and stabbing the wild boar … (detail)
in the Schwerdt Copy
as last & only (?) Copy on the Market since 1939
Here & now
as Undreamt , Unparalleled Event
with Additional Rootage of both Schwerdts
via the Brentanos in Frankfurt on the Main of Italian Origin
in the crème-de-la crème of German Classicism and Romanticism
The 4-sheet hunting set by or for Johann Andreas Pfeffel I or II (Bischoffingen/Altbreisach 1674 – Augsburg 1748 and 1715 Augsburg 1768 resp.). Inscribed: Ioh(ann)(.) Elias(.) Ridinger pinx(it). / I. A. Pfeffel exc(ud[it])(.) Aug. Vind., otherwise caption in Latin-French-German. 19⅝-19⅞ × 28¾-29 in (49.9-50.5 × 73.1-73.8 cm).
“ Very rare . Brilliant impressions . Not in Gutmann’s catalogue .”
( Schwerdt III , 147c & plates 215 f. )
The Schwerdt Collection
Sotheby & Co., 21 June 1939, lot 996
See the complete description.
Offer no. 16,234 / price on application
with Count Alexander’s pencil note on the support board Rechng v. 14/3/1914 – see illustration – now here available as the terrific finale par excellence
Fantastic No-Frills Main Sheet
OMNIA MIHI SUBDITA. The Rule of Death. Mezzotint & outline by Johann Jacob Ridinger (1736 Augsburg 1784). Inscribed: Ioh. Iac. Ridinger sculps. / Ioh. El. Ridinger delin. et exc. Aug. Vind., otherwise as above and below. 21⅞ × 16⅝ in (55.7 × 42.2 cm).
Offer no. 14,857 / price on application
Missing Schwarz 1486
The Adoration of the Shepherds (St. Luke 2, 1-20). Mezzotint by surely Johann Jacob Ridinger (1736 Augsburg 1784) supposedly after Johann Georg Bergmüller. Inscribed in italics lower left: Joh. Elias Ridinger excud. A.V. 24⅞ × 17½ in (63.2 × 44.5 cm). – See the complete description.
Offer no. 15,260 / price on application
Missing with Weigel, Thienemann, Stillfried, Schwarz etc. and … Counts Faber-Castell:
Two Undescribed Ridinger
Diana’s likeness can be seen here with pleasure …
The brave heroine will also lie in wait for the game …
Young Huntresses in the Character of Diana. 2 sheet. Mezzotints for Gabriel Spitzel (also Spizel, 1697 Augsburg 1760, friend of Johann Elias’). Inscribed: Ioh. Elias Ridinger delin. / Gabriel Spizel excud. A.V. 19½-19⅝ × 14¼-14⅜ in (49.6-49.8 × 36.3-36.5 cm). – At the zenith of the veneration of Diana, when this, not Hubert, was the hub. – After passing through here into Franconian collection in 1985 available again. – See the complete description.
Offer no. 28,406 / price on application
ad pencil: “91 Rarity, impression before the letter.”
Before the Letter ??
What used a local postal clerk to say occasionally? Don’t despair, ask niemeyer! And the latter sticks to Gottfried Benn: “Back to the sources, to the mothers.” For
The text existed ! Indeed, the text still exists !!
Only the Original Printing Plate
part-unveiled the Mystery of the Covered Caption
for the mysterious deviations of the Ways to trap the Wild Animals engravings Th. 74, 75, 89 & 91 here
as their supposedly only preserved plate
— “Since this (74 as then, too, 75, 89, 91) sheet sometimes ( !! ) has no caption and the impressions appear to be of more recent (!!) origin, which the inscription on the right ‘published at Augsburg at Martin Engelbrecht.’ seems to suggest, too; so I will transcribe that (caption) … ” —
and (partly, cf. 74a there) Schwarz and for Th. 74 & 91 also with Hamminger within item 1529 are only known in impressions without the explanatory caption and therefore hitherto predominantly are mis-qualified as proofs before the letter.
From the point of view here the “partial unveiling” could be enlarged upon to the effect that, first, Thienemann’s “sometimes” can be interpreted contrarily only. For “sometimes” there are impressions with the letter indeed. So within Weigel XXVIII (1857), Ridinger 7 A, upon which Thienemann should have relied on. Then Schwarz (1910) for Th. 74, 89 & 91, yet already with the address of Engelbrecht, 74a, in conformity with the above, only with the artist name and Engelbrecht’s address as “before” (!) the letter and additionally 93a as interesting further variant, that is before any letter. When Weigel’s 7 B suggests that only with these “later impressions” the four sheets in question were bearing Engelbrecht’s address, thus not already within 7 A, then this should be owed to insufficient description. Regarding “later impressions” both Thienemann and Weigel miss that the extensive reprints by Engelbrecht and Herzberg of the early 1820s, after the former had taken over the Ridinger press, are without his address. And that supposedly these were printed on Thurneisen vélin without the lines watermark throughout, while even connoisseurs considered the four captionless sheets in question with their Engelbrecht address as early prints due to both their printing and laid paper quality.
From what infers that Engelbrecht’s address is genuine. And follows as conceivable that Ridinger, on cordial terms with him, had ceded the plates, worked by himself as proved by the signature, to Engelbrecht for his own use as one of his customarily compiled sets of four (cf. Schott , Martin Engelbrecht und seine Nachfolger … von 1719 bis 1896). Rashly, but recoverable, in regard of his eventually own set of the Ways to capture the Wild Animals. So Engelbrecht should have returned them quite soon, otherwise impressions with caption should be no exception. And from the popular style in line with Engelbrecht’s marketing it can be presumed that the latter had only been added by him, and subsequently could not be carried on by Ridinger as deviating too far from his own instructive captions to the Ways to capture the Wild Animals. Why he did not grind the text off and engraved a new one, remains open the more so as the captions along with even the signatures of the plates to Th. 389/90 (missing with F.-C., see above) passed on here to Augsburg proved ground off for some reason, presenting a mystery of its own. Leaving behind distinct traces. Yet without – contrary to above four – prints without text having been proven here hitherto. And therefore offered no conspicuousness with this. Until then for these, too, their printing plates began to talk just as that of the Evening of the Deer. Quite as colleague Rumbler commented 2006 on his Ostade printing plate:
“ Original copper plates held at all times greatest collecting interest … The relic-like character, the historical value, and the high content of information on the artist’s working methods predestine the possession of such a plate to the crowning keystone of a collection. ”
And Stefan Morét 1999 in the Ridinger catalog Darmstadt – see the copper printing plates I.13, I.8 & I.11, color illustration 6 & b/w ills. pp. 62 ff. there, too, acquired here – :
For the Ridinger research the cornerstone of a greatly interesting detail:
“ Preserved original printing plates
from the 18th century
are a great rarity ”
And especially on those by Ridinger :
“ Of the high technical and qualitative standard of the works of Ridinger and his sons, who collaborated in the workshop especially as engravers, the (only very partially) preserved printing plates bear witness still today. ”
So much for that “Before the letter & Extremely rare” for the captionless impressions of the Gang of Four of the Ways to trap the Wild Animals. The latter, quite contrary, those with the letter. That’s the way sometimes with emphases in catalogs. What reminds me with a sincere peccavi of my own early days when on the occasion of trading two copies of Koelhoff’s Cologne Chronicle I emphasized unanimously their first state with the tournament defeat of the later emperor Maximilian and the derogatory remark about his treasurer Peter Langhals, as fallen victim to the censors and razed by substitution of the sheet in question. Which castrate second state then promptly blossomed out as the rarissimum absolutum. On which to call the attention is not necessarily everyone’s cup of tea. Not for nothing the saying is in Cologne speak to the organ grinder, not to the monkey.
The first of the two Cronica copies I acquired in Paris by the way, just around the beginning of 1961, only a few days after Edith Piaf had created her life credo Non, je ne regrette rien at the Olympia, electrifying me at the radio. Now I heard and experienced her live. And the Olympia. Which was about to jump onto the seats, myself included of course, who only hoped for this. Her credo, however, became and remained mine. Or not quite so? Indeed. For now and then I stick to Josef Haubrich’s
“ My experience
from 40 years life with art :
almost never I regretted
having acquired a work of art ,
yet sometimes I was sorry for years
for having one not acquired ”
1959 in Peter Fuchs
Josef Haubrich, Sammler und Stifter in Köln
“ 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)