Johann Elias Ridinger, Spring-Gun on a Bear

Scrounger clawing for others’ Honey

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Spring-Gun on a Bear. The bear, stretched up high, reaching in strained expectation for the honey-pot buzzed about by innumerable bees and licking the golden juice running freely, in the moment of the shots coming off from two sides. Joined by two ropes the bait is mounted to the cross-beam of a trestle resting on strong palisades. Etching with engraving. (1750.) Inscribed: Joh. Elias Ridinger del. fec. et excud. Aug. Vind., otherwise in German as above and below. 9¾ × 14¼ in (24.7 × 36.2 cm).

Thienemann & Schwarz 76; Ridinger catalog Darmstadt, 1999, V.11 with ills.; Ridinger catalog Kielce, 1997, 31. – Sheet 8 of the instructive 30-sheet set Ways to trap the Wild Animals (“A rare set, of importance to those who are interested in the various methods of trapping wild animals”, Schwerdt 1928, and “Rarest of All Hunting Sets by Ridinger” [Halle, Munich 1928, LXVIII/323]), as a whole missing even in Helbing’s monumental offer Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger (catalog XXXIV [1900], 1554 lots). – With 6 lines constructive caption:

“ … little by little a fence is made from planks which directs the bear to a certain place there at the same time an elevation should be created there little by little, too, this place one has to bait once in a while that the bears get to know and visit the same … athwart the rise a beam should run … if one now … has heard that the place is visited … so at the beam running athwart a pot with honey is hung … ”.

A larger-sized variant in drawing, yet compared with the print “quite different in the execution” and also proper 6-lined caption at Th., page 274, c.

“ … ‘The Ways to trap the Wild Animals’ belong to the chief works among Ridinger’s representations of the hunt … here, too, extensive captions are added to the plates which elucidate the depiction … This – typical for Ridinger –

combination of high-quality work of art and … text

should be a reason for the great success of his works ”

(Stefan Morét, Ridinger catalog Darmstadt, 1999, pp. 106 f., erroneously stating 31 sheet as belonging to).

Wide-margined, with watermark WANGEN as one of the papers preferred by Ridinger. – Available here both the original printing plate in the shine of its centuries-old copper and the richly washed original drawing in the same direction as the engraving from the small group of the master’s bewitchingly beautiful painterlies.

Offer no. 15,846 / EUR  530. / export price EUR  504. (c. US$ 609.) + shipping

“ … I was digging and I found you. I needed to tell you that your collection for whatever reason has brought tears to my eyes. Thank you … I’m not a collector, or I haven’t known myself to be … I was going to sell this (sheet), but I just may have discovered that I’m to keep this for whatever reason. Have you made a collector out of me … For all your devotion, hardwork … I thank you ”

(Mrs. D. H., June 17, 2002)


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