Within the Red Series of lüder h. niemeyer
Le Grand Exemplaire
as a worldwide unique collector’s item
Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Fair Game Hounded by the Different Kinds of Hounds. With annotations how such are hunted, attacked, catched, held fast, brought down, and partly throttled by them … presented and edited by Johann Elias Ridinger painter and engraver, director of the Augsburg Academy, too, in the year 1761. Set of 22 sheet.
Engraved title with large vignette of a boar-hunt
21 etchings with engraving
(11⅛-11⅜ × 9¾-10 in [28.4-28.8 × 24.8-25.3 cm]) in the mixed technique of etching + engraving typical for Ridinger and his time.
Ruby red morocco
with 4 ornamental raised bands, 2 dark green back-plates, gilt two-piece title on the front + Ridinger-stag-vignette on the back cover, gilt lines on both, and ridinger handlung niemeyer (ridinger gallery niemeyer) on the inner front cover below, all in 23.5 carat,
in homogeneous Solander box
– traced back here far beyond Thieme-Becker (vol. XXVIII, 1933, p. 308) seamlessly directly to the master’s estate itself and therewith correcting Thienemann (1856) who declared the plates of this set as being lost – the
original printing plate to the title
in reverse (11¼ × 10 in [28.6 × 25.5 cm]) as removable solitaire laid into the front cover under polycarbonate glass (more resistant to aging + UV light than Plexiglas, but equally sensitive to scratches). Above the artist’s name and below the hall mark as unique
– Le Grand Exemplaire –
and on the inner front cover ridinger handlung niemeyer, all gilt tooled as before.
Enclosed besides, coming up with provenances Alexander Count of Faber-Castell (his sale K&F LXVI/10, 1958) & Christie’s London (5860/360, 2009), the fully executed, in conformity with the etching top-arched
original preparatory drawing in reverse forThe Lynx
as sheet X, Th. 148, of the set in brown pen-and-ink with brown wash over traces of graphite. Inscribed: J. El. Ridinger del. 1759. 14 × 10¾ in (357 × 272 mm; subject size incl. signature 9 × 9⅞ in [230 × 250 mm]). – “There he sits with furious gesture, or rather stands erected on a piece of rock and keeps the advancing (3) hounds in mighty respect” (Th.). – On strong laid paper with cut watermark Crown center right. – Margins below/above 5.6-6 cm, laterally 0.8-1.1 cm wide. – The not quite perfect preservation solely due to the effects of having been framed for years, thus the paper in addition to the light edge within the cutout of the mat generally evenly toned and with regard to the brown glue strip verso having been stretched in the then obsolete manner. Aside from this absolutely impeccable.
Th. + Schwarz 139-160; Weigel, Kunstlager-Cat., XXVIII, 13 A (?, perhaps intermediate state, of A-C); Nagler 16; Coppenrath pt. II, 1464; Schwerdt III (1928), 137 (“An interesting series”). – Illustrations: Schwarz I, plt. VIII; Stubbe, Ridinger, 1966, plts. 14-16; Ridinger Cat. Kielce, 1997, pp. 38-41.
Copy of absolutely uniformly fine print quality ,
most wide-margined sheet-size of 21½-22 × 14⅜-15 in (54.5-56 × 36.5-38 cm) ,
coming from an old extensive collection ,
three sides uncut
with the original laid paper edges (sic!) ,
while before binding the left-sided clean cut with practically nevertheless the full 6 cm margin like on the right suggests that two plates each may have been printed on one sheet of paper being in accordance with the size of Ridinger’s largest prints, Th. 67/68, printed from one plate each. In the absence of any traces of tacks and marbling the set was obviously never bound. Only the title, printed differently on especially buff laid paper, cut also at the top and thus with only 53 cm a little shorter.
For comparison :
Schwerdt’s copy reached with only 17½ × 11¾ in (44.5 × 29.8 cm) already the top of its boar-spike !
Isolated typographic watermarks. – Outer margins of the title slightly smudgy and right-sided somewhat teared. Three sheet with original small defects in an outermost marginal corner. Slight trace of squeezing in the white outer margin of XI, a smoothed diagonal fold in left and lower margin touching still the outermost white corner of the plate and a further one, confined to the outer white upper margin, in XII. The general squeezing of the paper of VII predominantly confined to the right half and here noticeable somewhat disturbingly only out of the subject.
The European Bison – The Bear (“there is a good engraving of a bear fighting with hounds, pl. 14”, Stubbe) – The Elk – The Red Stag – The Wild Sow or Boar – The Wolf – The White Fir-Stag (Fallow-Deer) – The Wild Swan (“surely the rarer Whooper Swan”) – The Lynx – The Reindeer – The Roe – The Chamois – The Fox – The Beaver – The Otter – The Wildcat – The Hare – The Badger – The Marten – The Polecat, Squirrel and Weasel – Wild Ducks .
“ Thus a theme with 21 variations … What a variety, what a truth in the expression of emotions! Yes, indeed, he is in fact an animal mind-painter. Hence his works speak to us so exceedingly, hence we cannot take our eyes off them, hence he sticks … always new, valuable and esteemed … One of the later works of Ridinger, but completely done himself alone … ”
On top the figuration closed in an arch. – With 9-13-line caption as well to the game itself as to selection + action of the different races of its assailants. In this instructiveness quite in the sense of Stubbe, who quotes in respect of the Par force Hunting as a further late work (p. 30):
“ … and their captions … bring together the pleasant satisfaction
which good informations , devised thoroughly , can give .
A life full of hunting experience ,
a knowledge, earned in many years by conceivable alert attention, of the causes and considerations which lead to the single steps and hunting practices qualify the artist to define all kinds of hunting
not only after their execution ,
but especially out of their reasons .
This happens … in all shortness … the limited space below the subjects suffices for intensive, yet easily understandable annotations in engraved writing. ”
And so it is the quite extraordinary satisfaction and joy here together to be able not alone to not just present anew this
textually as optically so splendid homage to our hounds –
“ The care of the hounds let be highly recommended to you
out of dark lair you will drive surely a wild boar by their cries! ”
( caption of the title-vignette ) –
after the copies of the Luza collection, Amsterdam, (1982) and within the second of the two Pompadour volumes of the Marjoribanks Folios traded here in 1998 resp., but in company with the original plate of the title and the wide-marginedness crowned by being uncut on three sides as
grand et unique exemplaire de luxe
for elitist placing. As a provocatingly exclusive sovereign eye-catcher, enviedly reflecting the noblesse of the house.
That the master has worked the printing plate himself alone
shall be mentioned expressly. – Sheltered from environmental influences by varnish the plate is printable generally in the ordinary course of its use during the times, but no guarantee for its final print quality. Quite irrespectively of this, however, you should have a look
fully imbued with inner touch at this incomparable
on account of its beauty as a Gesamtkunstwerk ,
a synthesis of the arts ,
again and again.
Offer no. 29,108 / price on application
“ Thank you Mr. Niemeyer, The prints (you have delivered two weeks ago) are being framed right now. My framer is very particular (works for the National Gallery … ) and I am having a perfect frame made for the large Ridinger (the imperial stag hunt Th. 67). Best regards ”
(Mr. J. R. L., November 19, 2003)