“ … drawn from life in 1774 ”
The Asian or Axis Deer
for Helbing 1900 ( “Extremely rare” )
one of the most valuable of the set
Ridinger, Martin Elias (1731 Augsburg 1780). On this sheet are presented a couple illustrations of Asian deer which are strange to look at for their regular kind of spots, their basic color is reddish brown … They have, however, many things in common with (fallow deer) and our wild deer, also propagate their kind in Europe, therefore they are also kept by grandseigneurs in pleasure gardens, for difference and according to the country’s habits one uses to call the stag the Axis buck and ditto deer, have drawn such from life in 1774. Stag + deer, both with collar, that of the latter one with monogram B(D?)TOH ( HOHENLOHE ? ), in park with outside staircase, column of water etc. Etching + engraving. Inscribed: XXIX. / M. E. Ridinger, sc. A. V., otherwise in German as before. 13¼ × 9¾ in (33.5 × 24.8 cm).
Thienemann + Schwarz 372; Silesian Ridinger collection at Boerner XXXIX, 1881 (“Extremely rare”, 1885); Reich auf Biehla Collection 115 (“Extremely rare”, 1894); Helbing XXXIV, Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 888 (“Extremely rare”, 1900). So then also
missing among the 33 sheets of Coppenrath in 1889/90
and Helbing marked it within the 43 available to him
with 50 Goldmark and thus a great margin to the gross of the others .
Sheet XXIX of the 46-sheet set To the Special Events and Incidents at the Hunt (“The rarest set of Ridinger’s sporting line engravings”, Schwerdt 1928 ) etched exclusively by Martin Elias after predominantly his father’s designs and concluded in 1779.
At which not only after realization here Martin Elias’ impact on the Ridinger œuvre is much larger than that of an engaged co-worker as engraver only. Already at an age of thirty he just acted as a spiritus rector behind the scene ensuring that sets were completed or, as here, published posthumously.
And as Wolf Stubbe (Joh. El. Ridinger, 1966, pp. 16 f. + pl. 34), going in medias res, celebrates Th. 722, The Wild Bison and the Crocodile, from the Fights of Killing Animals as an artistic zenith of the late work in respect of its luminous efficiency, he pays tribute together, because judging by the plate, not the drawing, to Martin Elias as the etcher/engraver of that work. An aspect illustrating deeply the Ridinger teamwork.
criticized by Thienemann as “rather rough and stiff … the father would have presented them differently”.
“ The Axis lives in the plains of East India and on the neighboring islands, at night roaming about in large herds at night,
and is object of most passionate hunting .
“ Of the (Indian) splendour prevailing in these parts, there are no stronger marks, than the extensive forests, in which are shut up untamed beasts of the grandest kind. A spacious wood, in which numerous unfailing springs give cheerfulness to the scenery, is selected, encompassed with a wall, and interspersed with towers for the reception of the hunters … ”
He becomes completely tame, also propagates in Europe … ”
(Meyers Konversations-Lexikon, 4th ed., VIII , 565/I with ills.).
Martin Elias might have seen the axis all the more in a Hohenlohe park as Georg Adam Eger, acquainted to him already from the latter’s days in Darmstadt, seems to have been in service there during the 70s. Stag & deer of an axis are to be found, too, on Willem Frederick van Royen’s fine Berlin oil The Menagerie of Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg of 1697 at the Hunting Seat Grunewald (for ill. cf. Bol, Holländische Maler des 17. Jhdts., 1969, pp. 289 f.).
Originating from the omnibus volume of the old estate of a nobleman, here then
marvellous in their warm chiaroscuro
of the wide-margined impression with watermark WANGEN as one of Ridinger’s preferred firm laid paper qualities
with the Roman number
(“If they are missing, so this indicates later impressions”, Th.). – In the left white margin fold & little stitching holes from former binding.
The set itself “arranged almost throughout so that always two by two harmonize with each other and form pendants, just as they have been sold in pairs, too” (Th.).
Offer no. 15,719 / EUR 1500. / export price EUR 1425. (c. US$ 1723.) + shipping
„ (D)ie Sendung (Hogarth / Marriage à-la-Mode) ist gestern wohlbehalten hier eingetroffen. Ist alles bestens, und ich danke Ihnen nochmals herzlich für die Beantwortung meiner Fragen und prompte Lieferung … Viele Grüße … “
(Herr C. K., 3. November 2013)