Mountain (Black) Cock Month

Johann Elias Ridinger, The Capercaillie Display
Johann Elias Ridinger, The Capercaillie Display (detail)

“ The Canadian Indians name their months mostly from the hunt, from the turning red of the deer, after casting off their antlers, after the coming out of the gophers, and so forth. Besides they have a Beaver Month, a Travelling Month (October, when they leave for the hunt). ”

Something similar the arch nimrods among us could introduce, too, or could they? Like this …

April Mountain (Black) Cock Month

Who knows better names shall let out!
Else he may deign to the use of mine!

L. C. E. H. F. Wildungen, Jägerkalender, quoting from v. Zimmermann’s Taschenbuch der Reisen of 1804 (Weidmanns Feierabende II [1816], pp. 100 f.)

“ … regarded as equal to a deer ”

Johann Elias Ridinger, The Capercaillie Display

“ The Wood Grouse
is the Noblest among all Wood Birds ”

The Capercaillie Display. La Sur prise des Coqs de Bois. In the mountain forest at supposedly besides still moonlit dawn on a branch of an old tree the courting cock at which the hunter front left aims. Behind him the gun cocker, keeping a second gun ready. Below the tree a second cock displaying, from the right a hen flies along. Etching with engraving by Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). (1729.) Inscribed: Avec privil de Sa Maj. Imp. / I. El Ridinger inv. pinx sculps. et excud. Aug. Vind., otherwise as above and German-French textbook caption. 13⅜ × 16¾ in (34.1 × 42.5 cm).

Thienemann & Schwarz 47; Catalog Weigel XXVIII (1857), Ridinger Appendix 3A (“Old impressions with the original title. The paper has lines as watermark.”). – Not in the Ridinger catalog Kielce (1997). – From the unnumbered early, textbook-like designed 36-sheet Representation of the excellent Princes’ Hunting Pleasure or the Noble Hunting as the first hunting set transferred into copper by Ridinger himself and besides published by himself and listed in literature as its 35th sheet. – The original drawing in bister & pen with the complete text traded here in the late 80s into splendid international collection.

“ The capercaillie is the noblest among all wood birds and is regarded as equal to a deer, therefore his display is held in high esteem by grand seigneurs, he likely stays in high mountains and large woods where there are warm springs, his display sometimes even starts in the cold period … in March … mostly it happens on a height where there are many common beeches as he uses their buds for his nourishment … is to be found there every morning and brings on the capercaillie hen by loud calling quite soon … by the display calls the capercaillie is … properly surveyed, if such is indicated to a lordship one betakes still before dawn to the place and if one hears him calling he must be jumped on nimbly … but if he stops one has to stand still presently, otherwise … he flies away, however while calling he may even not take notice of a miss … ”


– not by chance already in 1901 Ernst Welisch qualified Ridinger as the indisputably “most important Augsburg landscapist of this period” –


as in such quality rare of old. – Margins above and below 4.5-5.3, laterally 8 cm wide. – Far left still the two pinhead wholes from the original stitching in numbers.

Offer no. 29,080 / EUR  1380. / export price EUR  1311. (c. US$ 1585.) + shipping

Wood Grouse Courting. (Morning.) Crouched behind a rock on the hilltop the hunter points his gun at the courting capercaillie. Mountain and fir wood decoration. Chalk lithograph printed with grey-olive tone plate by Eugen Krüger (Altona 1832 – Düsternbrook/Kiel 1876) for Boyes & Geisler in Hamburg. (1861-62.) Inscribed: Gez. u. Lith. (sic!) v. E. Krüger, caption in German as before. 10⅝ × 12½ in (26.9 × 31.9 cm).

From the 22-sheet album Die Jagd gezeichnet und lithographiert von Eugen Krüger (Souhart 275) published in 7 (!) installments. – With the printer’s address “Druck von Winckelmann & Söhne in Berlin”. – On light cardboard. – On the back slightly foxing, on the front perceptible in the white margin only.

Not in Schwerdt! – Boetticher I/2 (1895), 808 f., Rump (1912; new ed. 1980 and, enlarged, 2005 & 2013) & Thieme-Becker XXI (1927), 593 (bibliographically mixing with the one here with besides erroneous dates “1860” and “2nd ed. 1865”) each with but the autonomous set Wild und Wald of likewise 22 lithographs published 1866/67 by Otto Meissner in Hamburg.

As a whole the in such a way largely unknown, painterly suite is – “was the first in Hamburg to produce color lithographs” (Th.-B., at the same time emphasizing Krüger’s “painterly technique as close to Ruths and Geißler”) – is

of the greatest rarity.

Offer no. 28,891 / sold

Johann Elias Ridinger, How the Capercaillies are shot before the Capercaillie dog or Yapper

“ … now if he gets at this noble winged game … ”

How the Capercaillies are shot before the Capercaillie dog or Yapper. In original wood cock flown up in a tree. Below the yapping bird dog, on the left the hunter shooting. Etching with engraving by Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). (1750.) Inscribed: Joh. El. Ridinger del. sculps. et excud. Aug. Vind., otherwise in German as above and below. 9¾ × 14¼ in (24.7 × 36.3 cm).

Thienemann & Schwarz 94; Dietrich Stahl, Über die Jagd mit verbellenden Vogelhunden, in Et Multum et Multa, Festgabe für Kurt Lindner, 1971, pp. 385 ff. with ill. 2. – Not in the Ridinger catalogs Darmstadt (1999) and Kielce (1997). – Sheet 26 of the instructive 30-sheet set Ways to trap the Wild Animals (“A rare set, of importance to those who are interested in the various methods of trapping wild animals”, Schwerdt 1928, and “Rarest of All Hunting Sets by Ridinger” [Halle, Munich 1928, LXVIII/323]), as a whole missing even in Helbing’s monumental offer Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger (catalog XXXIV [1900], 1554 lots). – With 6 lines caption:

“ Notwithstanding it is professed that the capercaillies can be shot only in the rutting, so one has carried the matter so far nonetheless that one shoots them outside it, too, by a really small dog called the capercaillie yapper … now if he gets at this noble winged game it flows up in a tree as the dog barks at it, if the hunter hears this he has to come running upwind as much as possible but also be cautious that he does not make the capercaillie get off by too much noise … ”

“ It certainly belongs to the rarities in the field of the hunting technique having one kind of hunting been preserved practically unchanged through centuries down to our present time. This is especially true if it is about such a specific hunt as that with bark alerting bird dogs … Johann Elias Ridinger

has represented this hunt in a particularly fine sheet ”


In the margin 3.2-4.7 cm wide partially unessentially timemarked. Pinhead-small brown spot in the foliage of the upper edge of the subject.

Offer no. 15,756 / EUR  630. / export price EUR  599. (c. US$ 724.) + shipping

– – – The same on strong laid paper with typographic watermark WANGEN (?) and 1-1.4 cm margin around the itself 5 mm wide white platemark.

Offer no. 16,159 / EUR  590. / export price EUR  561. (c. US$ 678.) + shipping

Pointer standing Black Grouses

Pointer standing Black Grouses. With hunter & hunting-hand each on horseback along with a further hound. Steel engraving. C. 1835. Inscribed as no. I, otherwise as above in German along with the address of the Art Establishment of the Bibliographical Institute, Hildburghausen & New York. 6⅞ × 8 in (17.6 × 20.2 cm).

With the full platemark not measuring with, as rather more seldom for steel engravings, and left-sided stitch-margin.

Offer no. 14,813 / EUR  72. (c. US$ 87.) + shipping

Christian Kröner, Wildcats

Wildcats. Two cats in old oaks, contending for the prey of one, supposedly a black cock. Wood engraving after Christian Kröner’s (Rinteln 1838 – Düsseldorf 1911) picture of 1869 for R. Brend’amour, Dusseldorf. (1873.) 10¾ × 7¼ in (27.4 × 18.5 cm).

Offer no. 11,206 / EUR  91. (c. US$ 110.) + shipping

The Last Wood Grouse at Birch Hill. Gliding down to the ground, seized by the throat by the marten. Wood engraving after Ludwig Beckmann (Hannover 1822 – Dusseldorf 1902). (1873.) Inscribed: Ludw. Beckmann, otherwise in German as above. 11⅛ × 7½ in (28.3 × 19.2 cm).

Thieme-Becker III, 156 on Beckmann :

“ Animal painter … First carriage builder and as such also active as writer (‘On the Importance of the Carriage in Cultural History’). His passion for hunting led him to study animal life, to animal painting, and again by way of literature to animal illustration, in which he performed excellently. His bear and boar hunts painted especially for English connoisseurs were well received; they distinguish themselves by a sharp observation of animal life. The best known though he became by his drawings for the wood engraving … As cynologist Beckmann was an authority of first rank ” (his still highly esteemed standard work: History and Description of the Races of the Hounds, 2 vols., Brunswick 1894-95, with 86 plates).

Offer no. 11,167 / sold

“ Hello again! It arrived this morning – everything fine and ready for framing! Thank you for your kind assistance. Best regards ”

(Mr. J. R. L., May 25, 2005)