The White of the Vogelsberg
Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). In the Year 1741. in the Month of Septembr: This Stag of 16 Points Has been shot at the High Princely Hunting Lodge Jægerthal in the Forest Romrod by His Princely Serenity the ruling Sir Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (Louis VIII) himself. Of color he was white, especially the head the whitest, however, the ears. Rolled-on photograph by Johann Laifle (ascertainable as active Regensburg 1865 – about 1900). (1865.) Inscribed: J. E. Ridinger fec., otherwise as above in German, besides within the picture above the building complex Princely Hunting Lodge Jægerthal and on the mounting carton: 35. / Photographirt von J. Laifle. / Verlag von A. Coppenrath in Regensburg. Size of photo 6⅜ × 5¼ in (16.2 × 13.2 cm), of carton 12⅞ × 9⅞ in (32.6 × 25 cm).
“ As model a picture by court painter Stockmar might have served,
however, contrary to Eger models it is not mentioned …
Romrod, at the northern edge of the Vogelsberg,
was the court hunt of the landgraves of Hesse-Darmstadt until 1937 …
The so-called hunting lodge Jägertal actually was not a house.
It was modeled on a tent camp and consisted of 14 separate buildings.
It was built in the years 1721/22 … ”
(Siebert-Weitz). – Sheet 35 of the 50-sheet Laifle set published in 5 numbers as plate 50 of the Most Wondrous Deer, Thienemann 292. The bibliographical literature only records the 1st number of the album. – Gisela Siebert & Wolfgang Weitz, Ridinger – Bilder zur Jagd in Hessen-Darmstadt, 1999, pages 24 f. with ill. – 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. By Johann Laifle’s “Photographic Institute for Portraits and Landscapes” at Klarenanger No. 2 in Regensburg. His Ridinger Album. A Collection of the Finest and Rarest Deer and Roebuck Abnormities photographed from the Original Engravings – complete showcase copy available here – supposedly representing both Laifle’s earliest group of works as also
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. 15,689 / EUR 118. (c. US$ 143.) + shipping
“ Stumbled upon your excellent website while researching Ludwig Beckmann, and must say that I was most impressed. In any case, since you are the closest I know to an authority on antique German books and prints I am wondering if you could help me pinpoint the origin of a piece I have in my dachshund collection … ”
(Mr. & Mrs. J. L., August 14, 2008)