The  Lion  Copy

with  the  No. 1

as  the

Author’s  Copy

Ridinger, Johann Elias. (Representation of the Fair Game with the respective Tracks and Traces, Goings, Get-offs, Turns, Flight, and other Signs more … drawn from Life) / Abbildung Der Jagtbaren Thiere mit derselben angefügten Fährten und Spuhren, Wandel, Gänge, Absprünge, Wendungen, Widergängen, Flucht, und anderer Zeichen mehr … nach der Natur gezeichnet, samt einer Erklärung darüber. Augsburg, the author (1737-)1740. Large fol. 1 l. title. With pictorially executed large etched title vignette “Search-Hunter with Leader” (6 × 9¼ in [15.3 × 23.4 cm]) and, mixed with engraving,

23  etchings

(c. 14⅝-14¾ × 11⅜-11¾ in [37-37.5 × 29-30 cm])  with  plates  1-20  being

proofs  before  the  numbering

that had been added in the right sequence at the same place in pen and ink

by  the  master  himself

as it is the conviction here sounded by wide comparisons of the numbers with Ridinger’s writing. Additionally

with  two  other  important  deviations .

Ruby red morocco volume with 5 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 ruby red fly leaves. In desert-colored morocco Solander box with ornamental raised bands and with the

original  printing plate

for  sheet  ONE

“ ( Trace  of  the  LION ) ”

in reverse (14⅞ × 12 in [37.9 × 30.4 cm]) traced back here far beyond Thieme-Becker (vol. XXVIII, 1933, p. 308) + Thienemann (1856), p. XXIII, seamlessly directly to the master’s estate itself as removable solitaire laid into the front cover under polycarbonate glass (more resistant to aging + UV light than Plexiglas, but equally sensitive to scratches), inscribed

“ 1. / J. E. Ridinger inv. del. sc. et exc. A. V. ”

Above the artist’s name and below the

hall  mark  as  unicum

Johann Elias Ridinger, Lion Copy


( –  Lion  Copy  – )

and in the inner front cover below ridinger handlung niemeyer (ridinger gallery niemeyer), all in 23.5 carat. (Bookbindery M. Hierl Bonn, 26⅜ × 17¾ × 2 in [67 × 45 × 5 cm], 10.5 kg.)

And by that following refined collector’s custom “to enlarge and illustrate for esthetic reasons beautiful scientific works with extras which referred to the person of the author

and  had  an  inherent  collector’s  value ,

manuscripts of the author , drawings ( , the various states of print ) and so on … to document the creation”. It marked the birth of the

exemplaire enrichi

by French collectors of the 19th century as proverbial own group of the extra get-up with i. a. British roots in the 17th century (Nicholas Ferrar) and the 2nd half of the 18th (James Granger) and strong echo in America (enriched book, 19th cent.). Shortly, per grangerized book

“ the  embellishment  of  a  valuable  bibliophile  object

by own addition of supplementing extras. The copy as well as the extras should be

high-graded  bibliophile

at  intrinsic  value  as  in  the  outer  form .

The possessor wishes to set off his book by the extras … against all other copies

making  it  a  collector’s  object , a  unicum …

Done moderately, each of these kinds of completion of the print has its high value for future research ”

(Hans Bohatta in Löffler-Kirchner, Lexikon des gesamten Buchwesens, I [1935], 511 f.).

And so it was for the ridinger gallery on its part no question at all to crown this as the master’s studio copy for the collector anyway already quite unique object of ultimate desire as far as possible with a now indeed most ultimate dot over the i. And so it took , what it had . And that was not more or less , it was pure and simple all , a ne plus ultra ,

an  original  printing plate !!

Literature :

Thienemann (without knowledge of states before numbering) + Schwarz (Cat. of a Ridinger-collection, color plate vol. I, X) 162-185; Weigel XXVIII, 15, before A (of C); Thiébaud 783; Ridinger Cat. Helbing XXXIV, 325 ff., all in the final state with the etched number upper right; however, Helbing 354 + 356 bare of any numbering + 359, 362, 364, 366, 369 + 374, in each case marked “proof with written instead of engraved number”; Schwerdt III, 137; Ridinger Catalogue Darmstadt, 1999, III.20-III.30 with 11 ills.

Thus are plates 1-20 PROOFS before the first edition, plates 21-23 with the reduced traces in the final state with printed numbers, plate 22 printed from two plates with loss of one parting line as known for all three plates from Schwerdt’s copy as one traded here in earlier years and seen as later interim state. Entirely printed on finer laid paper than usual and thus stressing

the  brilliant  quality  of  vibrant  chiaroscuro

according to the state.

All inscribed in the plate with several variants of J(ohann) E(lias) Ridinger inv(enit) del(ineavit) sc(ulpsit) et exc(udit) A(ugusta) V(indelicorum), plts. 21-23 without invenit. – Title in red and black.

Without the text sheet which “is concerned solely with the traces and could be new and important for the young hunter only” (Th.), the “(Preliminary Report)” on the back of the title covered by mounting. – The plates throughout trimmed on or close to the platemark and, with the exception of the singular opening lion, mounted two by two on full sheets (folded once to c. 24¾ × 16½ in [63 × 42 cm]) of Whatman paper with watermark “J. Whatman / Turkey Mill / 1832”, what

Johann Elias Ridinger, Titel (Th. 162)Johann Elias Ridinger, Trace of the Lion (Th. 163)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Tiger + Bear (Th. 164 + 165)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Stag + Deer (Th. 166 + 167)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Boar + Fallow Deer (Th. 168 + 169)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Wolf + Roebuck (Th. 170 + 171)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Lynx + Ibex (Th. 172 + 173)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Chamois + Hare (Th. 174 + 175)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Fox + Beaver (Th. 176 + 177)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Otter + Badger (Th. 178 + 179)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Wild He-cat + Pine Marten & Weasel (Th. 180 + 181)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Iltis & Squirrel + Plate of Traces (Th. 182 + 183)Johann Elias Ridinger, Plates of Traces (Th. 184 + 185)

generous  arrangement  by  twos  grants  an  unusually  comfortable  aspect .

The latter quite in the tradition of the great Vasari (1511-1574, “first systematic collector of artist drawings”) who his drawings, harmoniously arranged, “pasted … onto large-scale album pages” (National Gallery Washington regarding the 2006 exhibition “Six Centuries of Master Drawings celebrate 15th anniversary of arrival of Woodner Collection”).

To the conviction here

Ridinger’s  Personal  Copy

with a high degree of certainty in 1830 together with the bequest of the drawings passed into the hands of J. A. G. Weigel in Leipsic. Cornerstone of this thought is the 1832 Whatman paper on which the etchings are mounted.

For paper as make-up corresponding with a copy of early print quality of the set Fights of Killing Animals (Th. 716-723) traded here formerly, at which temporal congruence – 1830 + 1832 – and marks respecting state + preservation lead to Mr. Weigel and over this beyond to the bequest as source. Working up the acquired immensely rich stock Weigel obviously had mounted trimmed sets on Whatman, but without also still let bind them.

From the estate the trace leads, as documented in detail further below,

directly  to  Ridinger  himself

correcting  his  prints  carefully .

For the numbering, already in itself remarkably correct and corresponding with the later engraved one, comes across on a parallel to a copy of splendid print quality of sheet 19, marten + weasel, Th. 181, traded here formerly which pointed at the same place the numbering “19” likewise written by hand. The comparison of both “19” made out sufficiently clearly the same hand, showing at the end of the undertook extensive general comparison of signatures Ridinger himself as writer. Who therefore soon after printing the first impressions of the just completed plates realized the missing numbering as deficiency and this remedied by hand at the copies already in stock, but for the future in the plate.

The mark of state “before” the numbering apart from Helbing’s eight individual sheets, six of which numbered by hand, but without – so far as corresponding with the ones here – linking them up with Ridinger, still known sporadically. So in our ’70s and ’80s respectively each one copy figures – once without, once with written numbering – on the market, the first with the qualification “Presumably proofs because

no  impressions  before  the  numbering  were  known  to  Thienemann  either ”.

Such ones – neither before the numbering nor even before all letter, the latter at the roebuck Th. 171 in Bavarian private collection or so – not became known to Wend, too, for his (Supplemental Handbook to the Definitive Catalogs of the Printed Graphic) in which Ridinger occupies much room (vol. I, 1, Leipsic 1975, pp. 300-376).

However, this for the committed collector irresistible charm radiating from a besides particularly important suite numbered in the artist’s own hand is additionally elevated by

–  as  hitherto  traceable  nowhere  else  –

two  deviations  in  the  describing  caption

still  following  the  respective  drawing .

In the later editions numbered in print these deviations have been corrected or changed resp.

The first mistake – plt. 13, Trace of the Hare, Th. 175 – caused by the misleading text and marks of the original preparatory drawing in Munich (DJFM 5186) in which the marks

“x”  +  “#”  stand  for  soft  and  hard ground respectively

Johann Elias Ridinger, Trace of a Hare (preparatory drawing)

but then are erroneously attributed to the two traces in question:

So then also in the proof here

“(Hind Leg)” on hard ground instead of correctly “(Fore Leg)” … and with the following trace “(Fore Leg)” instead of “(Hind Leg)”. This oversight described just so by Helbing (Cat. XXXIV [1900], Works of J. E. and M. E. Ridinger, 356).

But  only  here

Johann Elias Ridinger, Trace of a Hare (proof with etched correction overlays)

this  mistake  has  been  healed  by  etched  cover  labels

on  thin  paper .

The comparison of letters and especially the background hatching show that

only  Ridinger  himself

could have done this.

For as comparison and measurement show

Johann Elias Ridinger, Trace of a Hare (final corrected state)

these covering labels are moreover clearly autonomous text engravings

not identical either with the later correction in the plate nor with a inscription on another one of the set and in such a way without any possibility they could be snipped off from such ones at a later time.

Apart from that without the two asterisks marking the soft ground as appearing again in the final state.

The  second  mistake  here

even  escaped  the  master  himself

and  has  not  been  described  in  literature  till  now :

Johann Elias Ridinger, Trace of the Badger (preparatory drawing)

On plate 17, Trace of the Badger, Th. 179, – again following the drawing in Munich, DJM 5195 – in the proof here the two traces are designated as

(Hind “Foot”) + (Fore “Foot”).

Johann Elias Ridinger, Trace of the Badger (proof with the confounded designation)

In the final state then in each case

Foot” is replaced by “Leg”.

Johann Elias Ridinger, Trace of the Badger (final corrected state)

Helbing lists also this sheet as well as proof as final impression, too, but without mention of any letter variant.

Since for the two mentioned copies of the younger period letter deviations have not been mentioned neither for hare or badger nor any other plates the proofs seem to differ by themselves

with  the  ones  here  being  the  first  and  foremost  states.

Chronologically for the present not to be dated the title with its uniformly shorter comma strokes, a differing ornament close of the red double-line under the vignette, but especially with a higher type area of 37.8 cm compared to c. 35.9-36.7 cm (tolerance differences of technical nature) of usual ones of the first edition numbered in the print. In the second edition (Weigel B; Helbing 328) the title has been printed uniformly in black according to Thienemann page 294, too.

The line spacings here besides evenly more balanced what is due not only to the higher type area, rather especially to a more exact fit in of the second printing passage, too.

In their valuation the isolated proofs of the Representation of the Fair Game stand far beyond the copies of the final state as less rarer on the market. So in 1900 Helbing offered in his 1554-numbers Ridinger catalog those eight proofs at prices thrice as high than the final states. And that copy from the ’70s, too, had been priced with DM 30,000 twice as high as another one numbered in the plates offered simultaneously, both wide margined.

The  systematic  comparison  of  the  numerals

of the written numbering here with dates especially of the drawings to the set here as with dates and figures on other drawings of different working periods of Ridinger documented in the records here leads to a side by side of quite clear, strong characteristic numerals, which are confronted by others not demonstrably so as has been shown neatly in issue 18 of the publications of the ridinger gallery niemeyer.

So this comparison could just give rise to a character analysis of Ridinger to someone interested in graphology. In doing so it would have to be taken into account also that in the grandiose 1723 key drawing Alexander the Great at the Hyphasis the vanity symbolism of bursting columns and splintered trunks already were present to the young artist, leading him finally shortly before his death to the Self Portrait with Death in the Studio described by Thienemann XXI, 4 and now in Berlin (Catalog Darmstadt, color ills. 9).

Based on the comparison of the numerals alone a quota of error of about 30% could be conceivable in respect of single figures in contrast to a general impression given by words or even sentences. The coming along of further signs – from the 19 of the said marten sheet up to the engraved covering labels – broaches however this remaining uncertainty so conclusively that here an

original  Ridinger  numbering

is believed.

Plates 1-20 in their upper almost three quarters show the animals in typical situations in grandiose environment and below

their  traces  in  original  size

excepting the reduced ones of lion + tiger (recte “maybe a jaguar”, Th.) as “not to be found in our forests”. The others apply to bear – staghind – boar – fellow-deer – wolf – roebuck – lynx – ibex – chamoishare – fox – beaverotter – badger – wildcatmarten + weaselpolecat + squirrel.

In Helbing’s catalog (XXXIV, 1408) after all a reference generally fallen into oblivion again to a copy of proofs, recte presumely a waste copy, of the Paradise suite whose reverse sheets – presumely with the exception of three sheets – were printed with text to the set here, one of which inscribed with “Joh. Elias Ridinger, Augsburg A. C. 1738”. The set known only with the 1740 title would be proven consequently not only as appeared in serial parts as besides the rule at Ridinger, but above all as accompanied by detailed text. Although probable that in this connection there never had been more than such printing proofs, printed therefore also only one-sided and used then for other start printings, so in the Ridinger œuvre unica fascinating the collectors surprise again and again.

But as already discussed this together supports the belief, that after completion of the work Ridinger made out the drawback of a numbering as such, maybe, because now the bookbinders could or would not get along guided by the only one text sheet.

Obviously for better presentation the Whatman-sheet for title + plt. 1 parted. The title itself complete, but severely trimmed and with trifle scratch (3.5 cm) in the middle of the vignette and a marginal tear of 4.5 cm settled by mounting and uniformly slightly browned as plt. 23, too. The wonderfully wide-margined Whatman-sheets with prevailingly only small marginal repairs, otherwise fine and absolutely fresh. Only the last one with plts. 22 + 23 with more tears.

Plate 7 – fallow-deer – with printing spot touching the caption, plate 10 with little black spot below the chest of the lynx. Here and there slightly foxed in the margins. Otherwise still some plate dirt on plate 1, the lion. Therefore by itself

of  serene  splendor

and thus for the adequate collector the elitist piece of its own.

That, however, grants the collection only in company with the

original  printing  plate

laid  into  desert-colored  ground

its, indeed, unprecedented unicum.

That  the  master  has  worked  it  himself  alone

shall be mentioned expressly. Just as documented by inscription. – Shielded from tarnishing by fine application of varnish, the plate is generally printable in the ordinary course of its use through the times, however, it is offered and sold as a work of art and a collector’s item, thus without prejudice to its eventual printing quality.

Thematically beyond

moreover  with  a  further  dot  over  the  i

as stated here for the first time. For no less man than the

“ Blue  Rider ”  Franz  Marc

the marten-weasel-sheet served together with two further Ridinger coppers as inspiration for his painting “Playing Weasels” of 1911, Hoberg-Jansen 144 with ills.

As inspired by Ridinger known hitherto only Marc’s woodcut “Riding School after Ridinger” of 1913 (Lankheit 839) as detail interpretation of the background figure of the mounted rider of the third sheet (Th. 608) of the 1722 Riding School annotated by literature with

“ Illuminating that Marc with his quite intimate knowledge of art history

turns to just these masters of the depiction of the horse

(Delacroix and Ridinger)

of the 19th and 18th centuries resp. as models ”

(Christian von Holst, Franz Marc – Pferde, 2003, pp. 166 ff. within [‘… the Hoofbeats of my Horses’]).

For already his painting “Playing Weasels” from 1911, preceded 1909/10 by the lithograph of the same name, betrays the knowledge of several Ridinger coppers from entirely different sets. Marc shows two weasels, of which the one in the tree, bowed over a bough, looks down upon the one sitting in raised attitude on the ground. The trees besides of an eccentricity which he uses in this ostensible density in the painted œuvre only in the two “Acts below Trees”, H.-J. 143, of the same year. For the thematic initial spark Ridinger’s small-sized sheet “The Weasels”, Th. 479, from 1740 as sheet 89 of the set Design of Several Animals stands. Here, too, two of them playing, yet both on the ground and in an utterly different context. The latter Marc split up. And took the attitude of the two animals from sheet 86 of the set, the two pine martens Th. 476 (additionally available here the companion piece with the two beech martens Th. 475 plus the original printing plates to both). The young one of which hangs across a bough of equally low height as with Marc and looks down at the mother standing on the hind paws against the trunk luring with a captured bird. “Playing Squirrels” as sheet 88 (Th. 478) shows the same situation, only with the difference of a further one in the tree, too, but keeping a little aloof and not involved in the play. Yet the bizarre tree – and as such Sälzle characterizes it expressly in the 1980 facsimile edition of the preparatory drawings for the suite here – as rather rare also for Ridinger he took from “Trace of a Marten / Trace of the Weasel” (Th. 181, separately available here) with the same attitude of the marten in the tree and the, however, neutrally shown weasel on the ground.

Thus Marc designed his “Playing Weasels” just so by means of divers Ridinger references as the latter on his part composed his “Amusement of the Shepherds” after Watteau, Th.-Stillfried 1397, from four models of the Frenchman. That finally also the more typical trees of Ridinger’s were not unfamiliar to Marc, the right group of trees of his painterly forest interior “The Würm at Pipping” from 1902/03, H.-J. 15 with ills., demonstrates. But also the par force scenery on the watercolor “Ried Castle” from 1914 – Holst, ills. 11, p. 29 – stands as further example for Marc’s occupation with Ridinger,

which  in  this  plurality  has  been  missed  till  now .



The “manual” suite as one of the “most famous sets of the artist” (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung Oct. 14, 1995) in

Johann Elias Ridinger, Johann Elias Ridinger's Author's Copy of the Representation of the Fair Game

the  unique  author’s  copy

waiting on with spectacular new discoveries and here then additionally grangerized with its

original  printing plate

to plate 1 of the suite, the lion in his majesty. And thematically enlarged with an additional broadside by

an  artistic  bridging  from  18th  to  the  20th  centuries .

Presented this all then adequately as

ruby  red  morocco  volume

Johann Elias Ridinger, Lion Copy

in  desert-colored  morocco  Solander  box

both gilt stamped of 23.5 carat.  Shortly , the  worldwide  unrepeatable

Johann Elias Ridinger, Lion Copy

Lion  Copy

for most elitist placement. As a provocatively inaccessibly sovereign eye-catcher, the envy of your friends, reflecting the noblesse of your home.

Johann Elias Ridinger's Author's Copy of his Fair Game

Offer no. 28,888 / price on application

The Red Series - a creation of lüder h. niemeyer The Red Series - a creation of lüder h. niemeyer