Of  Greatest  Beauty


in  the  hitherto  Unknown  Second  State

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Pastor bonus. Christ as Good Shepherd with crook, surrounded by four sheep, in rocky landscape. Mezzotint by Johann Jacob Ridinger (1736 Augsburg 1784). Inscribed: Ioh. Iacob Ridinger sculps. / Ioh. El. Ridinger del. A. V., otherwise as above. 19⅞ × 14½ in (50.5 × 36.9 cm).


Counts Faber-Castell

their Ridinger sale 1958
with its lot no. 108
on the underlay carton

Radulf Count of Castell-Rüdenhausen


Thienemann + Schwarz 1270 (cf. Schwarz II, pl. XLI as “Variant”, recte first state, 1488); Silesian Ridinger collection at Boerner XXXIX, 1998 ( “Very rare”, 1885 ! ); Reich auf Biehla ( “Rare”, 1894 ); Gräflich Faber-Castell (1958) 108. – Boerner + Biehla without state detail.

Not  in Weigel, Art Stock Catalog I-XXVIII (1838/57; there only per 18,543 a Pastor bonus in octavo) , Coppenrath Collection (1889 f.) , Hamminger Collection (1895) , Helbing XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger; 1900), Rosenthal, Ridinger list 126 (1940) .

The  pictorially  tremendously  sympathetic  sujet

Johann Elias Ridinger, Pastor bonus

in  a  marvelous  copy  of  vibrant  chiaroscuro

as  hitherto  not  recognized  second  state

with otherwise minimal deviations distinguishable by the stylistically refined cartouche in the lower, otherwise empty, text field, as routine faux pas expressly regarded by Schwarz as Baroque cartouche as with its mussel decoration and the curved lateral guidance with ornamental foot actually correct for 1488 only. Present one, however, with exception of the lateral, though likewise simplified vine-leafs stripped of any decoration and also laterally closed plain-austerely. In the lower margin of it the upper delineation of the lower of the two previous mussels still tenderly visible.

With WANGEN watermark as standing for old impressions and with margins of 3-5.5 cm on all sides with partially still slight plate dirt in the lateral and lower platemark. The utterly smoothed out former centerfold not perceptible from front. Acid-freely backed small tear in the white right lateral margin.

“ The  mezzotints  are  almost  not  available  in  the  trade  anymore

… all worked by and after Joh. El. Ridinger (are) that rare that they are to be found almost only in some public, grand print rooms. I have come across most of the described ones only in the famous print room at Dresden … ”

(Thienemann, 1856, pages VIII & 270).

A situation also possible new editions could change little as according to the expert Sandrart (1675) the technically conditioned extremely fast wearing off mezzotint plate only permits 50-60 good impressions. ”Afterwards (the picture) soon grinds off“.

Correspondingly rare then, too, both present Th./Schwarz 1270 as also Schwarz 1488, of the latter a copy is traced here in the trade of the ’80s. As “Rare” already 1850 Weigel lists per 18543 a Pastor bonus in full figure (together with St. John Baptist + St. Joseph), but as octavo not identical with the present one. If that refers to the compositionally entirely different Th./Schwarz 1322 – Christ enthroned on clouds, the right foot on the skull of the dragon – must be left undecided as both do not give the format.

Here  then  the  wonderful  copy  Counts  Faber-Castell

of  Thienemann/Schwarz  1270 .

Offer no. 14,876 / EUR  1995. / export price EUR  1895. (c. US$ 2291.) + shipping

„ … sind die Dachse perfekt verpackt und verschnürt bei mir … angekommen. Schon das Auspacken des Bildes hat mir große Freude gemacht und der ‚Ridinger‘ gefällt mir sehr gut, da es eine realistische Stimmung am Bau wiederspiegelt … werde ihn unter meiner Dachsschwarte aufhängen … Ich nehme dies zum Anlaß auch weiterhin in ihrem Fundus zu suchen … Besonderen Dank auch für die Beilage der Dez. 08 Ausgabe von Wild & Hund mit dem gelungenen (Ridinger-)Artikel … Ihnen nochmals herzlichen Dank für ihre fabelhafte Arbeit … “

(Herr K. R., 19. Juni 2009)


The  Cream  of  the  Day