and presents quite nonchalantly
Two Rarest Additions
to the Most Wondrous Deer
Ridinger – Laifle, J(ohann). Ridinger-Album. (A Collection of the Finest and Rarest Deer and Roebuck Abnormities photographed from the Original Engravings) of Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767) and, sporadically, Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780) resp. With foreword by F(ranz) von Kobell. Regensburg, Alfred Coppenrath, 1865. Large 4to. (12⅝ × 10¼ in [32 × 26 cm]). 3 ll. title, foreword + contents. With
50 albumen prints rolled on thin cardboard
in their facet richness of splendid chiaroscuro
(6½-6¾ × 5⅛-5¼ in [16.4-17.2 × 12.9-13.3 cm] at 12⅛ × 9⅝ in [30.7 × 24.5 cm] plate size), each with number, publishing house & “(Photographed by J. Laifle” on the mount.
Ruby red cow-hide with 4 lined ornamental raised bands, spread over lines on the covers, rich title stamp on the front and large ligated RS monogram as brand of the Red Series here as centerpiece on the backcover, black back-plates – all gilt tooled – , Chromolux inner covers & fly-leaves stamped in brown as well as again gilt red series and ridinger handlung niemeyer resp. at the lower edge of inner covers & JayAitchDesign on the backcover’s lower edge. In uniform half leather slipcase, the black Efalin paper covers of which bearing the gilt Ridinger stag brand here.
Earliest (?) Ridinger photographicum
in besides already here glossy albumen (white of egg) quality
as by Meyers Conversations-Lexicon noted as standard only for a quarter of a century later (4th ed., vol. XIII , p. 17) :
“ of high gloss … (as) now preferred ,
for it reproduces the finest details .”
This contrary to the before conventional papers coated with starch and thereby producing a dull image effect and consequently not up to the high demand of the great Ridinger collector Coppenrath.
Adequately in a
Showcase Copy within niemeyer’s Red Series
having no equal.
And where the bibliographic literature only knows the 1st issue
here then the complete set
in additionally obviously first state .
The set reproduces 4 sheets of the Incidents at the Hunt and by 44 sheets the red deer core of the Representation of the Most Wondrous Deer and other Animals, only to finally let go with
2 most precious additions to the Wondrous
as dots on the i,
by documenting Th. 1299 and red-hot 1325
(by way of appendix page 289 and page 2 of the 2nd separate appendix of only 1861/62 resp.), commented by Thienemann as
“ For the similarity of the two plates
and the extraordinary rarity of the one described now (1325)
one might get to the assumption that Ridinger
has destroyed the engraving after few impressions ”
“ … from these fine drawings an engraving (Th. 1299) has been done by our master, which seems to have survived in a few copies only … (The sheet) seems to be meant by Ridinger for the set of the hundred sheets”.
What appears quite simple from these annotations actually is quite complex. So first
version 1325 deviating quite decidedly from 255
proves to be the real original version
of the motif. For its inscription on the left still refers to the original creator: “(Drawn from Joh. Ernst Wagner Princely Gun Cocker there” and Ridinger himself inscribes on the right only with “Joh. Elias Ridinger sculps. Aug. Vindel.” (from Schwarz 1325). On Th. 255 there the Wagner reference is not there (anymore) and Ridinger (now also) assumes the privilege of the draughtsman for himself by inscribing “Joh. El. Ridinger del. sculpsit. et excud. A. V.”. What seems plausible as the representations composed in reverse to each other are linked only by the antler and the mountain fortress Hohenneufen. Since Laifle has photographed both etchings (plates 40 & 50) these differences are easily found out.
What now concerns the “46” point stag of Th. 1299
(Coppenrath II, 1604), so Thienemann refers back to his pos. 166, the stag of sheet 4 of the Representation of the Fair Game with the large traces, and two preparatory drawings to this. One of which might be plate VII in Sälzle (Corpus of the Drawings to the Fair Game). But this corresponds with the copper 1299 and has nothing to do with sheet 4 of the Fair Game in respect of antler and landscape (in reverse and with changed fence plate X in Sälzle), however, it was not intended for the transfer into copper, since being in the same direction as the engraving and also without marks of transfer. That the explanations to both plates are confounded with each other at Sälzle complicates the disentanglement additionally.
The tread seal of Th. 1299 given in outline only with the inscription “(The Trace of the Stag)” suggests that Ridinger originally had intended the sheet for the set of the Fair Game, but then redevoted it by caption à la Wondrous, added even by 8 lines each on the details of the stag, into which finally it was not incorporated either.
The 48 other plates regarding Thienemann
243, 244, 245 – 247 (the 66 point stag in Moritzburg/Dresden) – 248 – 249, 250, 251 – 253 – 255/57 – 260 (58 point stag of 1675) – 262 – 263 – 264 – 267 – 277 – 292 – 294 – 297 – 299 – 301 – 304 – 305 – 313 – 414 (roebuck of 43 points) – 318 – 320/21 – 323 (roebuck with wig) – 325 – 326 – 327 – 329 – 330 – 332 – 335/40 (339: “in the background … Kranichstein Castle near Darmstadt”; Martin Elias Ridinger’s original printing-plate after Georg Adam Eger, court hunting painter of the famous Nimrod landgrave Louis VIII of Hesse-Darmstadt, of 1767/68 along with further more to these available here) – 342 – 350 – 353 (“Magnificient antlers … [and] oak leaves in the mouth … belonging to the best [of the Wondrous]”) – 371 – 373 .
The almost untracability of said two Thienemann additions proclaimed ex cathedra corresponds to
the superb rarity
of a complete copy , as here ,
of Laifle’s photographic “Ridinger Album”
including just both of these motifs.
Top-notch evidence also the contents by reference to their, now and then, material copies, paintings (sic!) & printing plates as well as, frequently, preparatory drawings & proofs, any errors.
Splendidly wide-margined, the plates bear the number of their respective issue in pencil by old hand lower left. A mostly only faint (fox) stainedness of the wide margins of the mount to be noted throughout again and again remaining marginal as barely spoiling. To the opinion of a restorer, however, the significant staining of the white back of plate 28 also affecting the margins of the subject side of plate 29 – here also the photo itself in its caption barely perceptible, yet minimally stained – should result from a mishap during the mounting.
And so presenting then here and today just plain contentwise
the grand occasion which .
For the Ridinger collection as such just as only (!) as image documentation under artistic as zoological-hunting aspect, accompanied by two exorbitant additions as truffles for the Wondrous and for the œuvre in general. And ultimately for a
rare desideratum from the early period of photography
as the exacting young collecting field sui generis becoming more and more dominating. At which not least the master himself as attracted pioneerlike by all technically new of his profession – it should be reminded of his said merits about color printing – would have had his pleasure in. As no less at the outward
adequate splendid ne plus ultra .
Offer no. 15,609 / price on application