The Coburg “46” Pointer
Here the Lens widened
Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). This Stag of 46. Points, and which had weighed about 550. ℔, has been shot 31 August 1736. by His High Princely Serenity Sir Duke Franz Josiæ of S. Coburg-Saalfeld one and a half hours from the Princely Residence Coburg in those so-called Moggen-brun(n) Field shrubs in a battue. Amidst the high text field his trace in outline, inscribed with “The Trace of the Stag.” Rolled-on photograph by Johann Laifle (ascertainable as active Regensburg 1865 – about 1900). (1865.) Inscribed: Johan(n) Elias Ridinger delineavit et Sculpsit Aug. Vind., otherwise in German as above and below & on the mounting carton: 2. / Photographirt von J. Laifle. / Verlag von A. Coppenrath in Regensburg. Size of photo 6½ × 5¼ in (16.5 × 13.2 cm), of carton 12⅞ × 10 in (32.8 × 25.4 cm).
Sheet 2 of the 50-sheet Laifle set. – For the etching see Thienemann (appendix) & Schwarz 1299; Weigel, Art Stock Catalog, XXVIII (1856, p. 107), 127 (“Very rare”); Coppenrath (1889) 1604 and (presumably repeating 1890) 2024 resp. as “ Exceedingly and Extremely rare sheet ” resp.; Helbing XXXIV (Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 1900) 1511 f. (“Very rare”), one trimmed to the platemark, the other to the edge of the image and with slight margin damages; Schwerdt III (1928), 138 f. as bound between in the copy of the Wondrous.
Missing 1958 in the opulent Ridinger collection of Counts Faber-Castell, by the copy of Count Radulf of Castell-Rüdenhausen (1922-2004) a print of this Ridinger rarity could be presented here for the first time within 50 years and handed into Rhenish private collection, where it was assembled to the marvelous von Behr copy of the 101-plate Most Wondrous Deer traded here before.
The sheet itself introduced by Thienemann per appendix only (p. 289) and researched and annotated as follows :
“ Among the original drawings there are two stags, cf. portfolio II, p. 274, once the outline in red chalk, the other neatly executed in ink, about the size as the animals with the large traces … in the lower, otherwise empty space the large trace of the stag in outline. Exactly from these excellent drawings an engraving has been done by our master,
which appears to have been preserved in few copies only
… (The sheet) seems to have been meant by Ridinger for the set of the hundred sheets. ”
What from these annotations seems rather simple, is actually quite complex. So
the “46” Pointer
first proves to be with the most generous counting here at best an odd 40-pointer of 20 : 10 points as missed by Thienemann, Coppenrath, Schwarz, Sälzle, and Schwerdt.
Introductorily Thienemann then refers back to his no. 166, the stag of plate 4 of the Representation of the Fair Game with the large traces and its two preparatory drawings mentioned afore, where the one in ink could be plate VII in Sälzle (corpus of drawings to the Fair Game). However, this corresponds with present engraving 1299 and is both in regard of the antlers and the landscape by no means related to plate 4 of the Fair Game (in reverse and with modified fence plate X in Sälzle), yet was not intended for the transfer to the plate since in the same direction as the print and also free of marks of transfer. That the explanations to the two plates have been mixed up with each other in Sälzle additionally complicates the disentanglement.
The tracks of present motif 1299 given in outline only suggest that Ridinger originally meant the sheet for the set of the Fair Game, yet then redesignated it by means of a legend à la Wondrous for this, into which, however, it was not admitted finally either.
According to Coppenrath the copper printing plate to 1299 and the stag’s coat & antlers as well as a painting, rendering him, pursued by a hound, in Coburg; a proof before the letter, which is inserted by Ridinger in writing, then in the Dahlberg collection on Datschitz in Moravia.
Here then rendered within Laifle’s set Ridinger Album. A Collection of the Finest and Rarest Deer and Roebuck Abnormities photographed from the Original Engravings published in 5 numbers – complete showcase copy available here – it is a more covetable collection enrichment than probably obvious at first sight. For added to the motif documenting by itself a hurting desideratum Laifle’s general claim with the album for a
photographicum of the first generation ,
of which the bibliographical literature only records the 1st number. – On paper coated with the white of egg, that is
albumen print “ of high gloss … (which) renders the most minute details ”
(Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., XIII , page 17, yet recording it as standard a quarter of a century later only). This in contrast to the previously common papers coated with starch, hence resulting in a dull image effect, which consequently could not meet the standards of the great Ridinger collector Coppenrath. And Danuta Thiel-Melerski 2006:
“ The first photographs on albumen paper were so thin
one had to glue them onto cardboard ”
As here then, too and supposedly both belonging to Laifle’s earliest group of works as also representing
the earliest Ridinger photographicum
in general. In short ,
the youthful photography is enthusiastic about Ridinger
and therewith bestows a collection enrichment of the most charming kind . Up to the spot on the wall !
Of significantly more comprehensive sets announced by two competitors between 1867 and 1873/75 nevertheless 24 and 48 sheet resp. seem to have been realized only and therefore take second place to Coppenrath’s pioneer edition not just chronologically. In such a manner Laifle & Coppenrath not only were the first to pay their photographic reverence to Ridinger, rather this even in virtually chronological setting as
incunabula of photography !
Laifle’s late period documented here besides by a “Portrait Postcard System Laifle.” from 1899, by which individual portrait photographs were applied to Laifle’s landscape postcards. Laifle won medals at the World Exposition Vienna 1873 & 1876 in Munich.
Offer no. 15,678 / EUR 168. (c. US$ 203.) + shipping
“ I am pleased to inform you that I received the book in good order and it is very beautiful, I have looked at it now many times and it is very useful for my studies. ”
(Mevr. E. E., June 29, 2002)