Didactic  Pieces  of  Hunting

Thoman(n) von Hagelstein, Ernst Philipp (1657 Augsburg 1726). Didactic Pieces of Hunting. Set of 4 sheet. Mezzotints printed in brown. Sheet 1 inscribed: E. P. Thoman. excudit. 13⅞ × 19⅝ in (35.2 × 49.7 cm) and (sheets 1-3) subject size 13½-13¾ × 19¼-19½ in (34.3-35 × 49-49.4 cm) resp.

Schwerdt III, 171, a (Baillie-Grohman’s copy; “A complete and interesting set”). – For fitting into an album three sides trimmed to platemark (only sheet 4 with fine margin) and below at loss of the German quatrains + numbering (Schwerdt: N.1–N.4), mounted by old on laid paper and lined in brown ink. In the white upper margin old inventory inscription (Nro 1, 7, 8, 6/Tom: X/Fol 88, 94, 95, 93), also in brown ink. – Smoothed centerfold.

Pictorially & instructively  marvelous  set

of  complete  extraordinary  rarity

(provable here only the Schwerdt-Baillie-Grohman copy now preserved at the British Museum) in the fine impressions of a comprehensive old stock, richly nuanced in its chiaroscuro and, as all mezzotints by Ernst Philipp, even in individual plates, as here in 52 years also not been present, exceedingly rare. So then, too, as only sheet among the about 27,600 of the first 28 sections of Weigel’s Art Stock Catalog (1838/57; 6,211) just the portrait Rauner as the only one known to Nagler, too, besides a Marten, robbing a Pigeon’s Nest (19,715) figuring as by the son Tobias Heinrich. Which should be a modified repetition of his father’s Marten at the Nest of a Couple of Wild Ducks in the Reeds, on the other hand with regard to the caption certainly missing here along with supposed signature also a casual title by Weigel cannot be precluded.

Ernst Philipp Thoman von Hagelstein, Wolf Hunt

Wolf  Hunt

In the foreground three wolves at the pegged billy-goat shielded by two huntsmen as bait, one of them already shot; in the centre a carrion dragged by a horseman with also two wolves greeted by three huntsmen; in the background near a property the hunt by a pack and hands, the latter armed with pike, flail, and net. – Laterally right quite slightly rubbed and hair-like tiny fold.

Ernst Philipp Thoman von Hagelstein, Fox Hunt

Fox  Hunt

Smoking out, stoning, picking down from a tree, but foremost on two separated levels full cry of the horsemen, the footmen, the packs. – Slightly larger worm trace in the image margin upper left.

Ernst Philipp Thoman von Hagelstein, Hare Hunt

Hare  Hunt

At the center on a clearing covered on two sides by partly mounted groups two foxes accompany the run of five hares. The group in front with mounted master + mistress of the hunt, suite and a retrieved hare which to give up the hound is taught. The hounds except for one running at the tail of the field all at the leash. Instructive the different equipment. – Slightly larger worm trace in the image margin upper left and several small to tiny paper abrasions.

Ernst Philipp Thoman von Hagelstein, Badger + Hedgehog Hunt

Badger  and  Hedgehog  Hunt

Digging out, slaying + dachshund hunt of the badger. In front already several bagged while another is retrieved faithfully. The partially mounted hunters supported by numerous pack en passant also taking care of a fox slipping into the earth and a roe. Only with the


– “ Very  rare  and  never  seen  by  myself  in  an  illustration ”

(Renate Seemann, Naturhistorische Landessammlungen Müritzeum) – in front right it does not make fun. So one urinates on it, rubs the nose in displeasure or dances around in rage. And during this the fellow even runs on. In the background a castellum. – As a whole somewhat agemarked with additional smoothed vertical fine fold in the right image field and spot-like paper abrasion and some small glazing spots. All this, however, very little disturbing, disguised by the dense action and, as said, moreover with fine paper margin on three sides.

Beyond the individual-specific rarity above of together general scarceness as result of the mezzotint technique itself. Already in 1675 the expert von Sandrart figured “clean copies” of the velvety mezzotint manner at just about “50-60 (!) … soon after, however, (the picture) grinds off for it not goes deeply into the copper”. Correspondingly in 1856 Thienemann referring to Ridinger :

“ The  mezzotints  are  almost  not  to  be  acquired

on  the  market  anymore … and  the  by  far  largest  part  (of  them) …

(I  have)  only  found  (in  the  printroom)  at  Dresden. ”

On the artist dynasty of the Thomans originating from Lindau and flourishing more than 200 years see Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie XXXVIII, 65 f. Whose leading present Ernst Philipp :

“ Did his studies in Italy and acquired fame as

one of the best artists of his time

… In the later period of his life he occupied himself with the mezzotint manner and had in this but One predecessor in Augsburg ”

(Nagler, who mentions animal and hunting pieces, according to ADB in just this manner, only from hints by the younger Paul von Stetten, 1731-1808, but himself found “none of these specified in detail”).

Especially only the Schwerdt Catalog (III [1928], 170 ff.) shed more light into his and his next interesting son’s Heinrich Tobias graphic œuvre, to be complemented by occasional appearance of further works as here, for instance, not least by The Earth / La Terra as, any special literature aside, a first indication to a 4-sheet set of the Elements.

Yet in such a way they are trouvailles still surpassing said technically conditioned preciousness. And here indeed

as  a  complete  didactic  set  of  hunting

a  wall  decoration  par  excellence .

Offer no. 28,996 / price on application

“ I am curious as to the history of this (original Ridinger printing) plate (I just bought) and the others you have offered. Did you purchase them from the Ridinger estate (indirectly, indeed) or a private collector? These are truly rare one of a kind pieces ”

(Mr. L. A. F., October 28, 2003)


The  Cream  of  the  Day