Johann Elias Ridinger, Greater Kudu

“ … have drawn myself from a Taxidermied Original ”

“ The Africans call this Animal Cuttu ”

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). African Elk. Recte the Greater Kudu. Standing to the right. Colored etching with engraving. Inscribed: CUTTU. / Africanisches Elend-Thier. / Elan d’Afrique nom(m)é Couttou. / Familia II. Zweÿhufige. / J. El. Ridinger sc. et exc. A. V. 12¼ × 8¼ in (31.2 × 20.9 cm).

Thienemann (in present first edition per addendum only) & Schwarz 1002. – IN  THE  RIDINGERS’  ORIGINAL  COLORING  from the unnumbered Colored Animal Kingdom created since 1754 and concluded finally posthumously not before 1773 (“Complete copies are next to untraceable”, so Weigel, Art Cat., part XXVIII, Ridinger Appendix 63a as merely 120-sheet torso, 1857 ! , but also just individual plates quite rarely on the market only, at niemeyer’s presently nevertheless the one as the others). – Remaining uncolored contrary to the prospectus, a second edition from the plates shortened even under loss of animals and with modified titling and the Ridinger inscription removed, yet now numbered, was published by Engelbrecht/Herzberg in Augsburg 1824/25.

Especially rare plate which Thienemann had on hand per addendum only :

“ The African elk deer is almost entirely different in figure from the European. Then with this the base color is yellowish, he also has particular jags and so beautiful white stripes as not to be found easily on an animal … The antlers are much different, too … The representation here I have drawn myself from a taxidermied original, which had been captured 80. miles from the Cape of Good Hope. The Africans call this animal Cuttu ”

(Ridinger’s sons in the preamble to pt. I in German and French, p. 14 & 11 f. resp., enclosed in copy).

On which Thienemann – “Since I do not have this plate on hand in the Old Edition, I cannot indicate the names specified in it” – notes on occasion of the moose as the European Elk (Th. 1014):

“ What Ridinger describes (in the preamble) as African elk, is … nothing but the Greater Kudu. ”

Watermarked Strasbourg fleur-de-lis above arms & C & I Honig as that sturdy Dutch quality paper Ridinger used in line with his preamble to the Principal Colors of Horses (single plates from this available)

“on  account  of  the  fine  illumination”  for  the  colored  works

“as for this purpose it is the most decent and best”. – Margins on three sides 2-3.5 cm, below 4.8 cm wide. – Pinhead-sized small brown spot on the right in the white plate field. A somewhat larger slight further one barely perceptible on the front. – Sovereign sujet.

Offer no. 15,877 / EUR  570. / export price EUR  542. (c. US$ 655.) + shipping

Ridinger’s Colored Animal Kingdom in Original Coloring

available in

A Great Plenitude of Individual Plates


An Absolutely Exceptional Complete Provenance Copy

“ … 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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