Martin Elias Ridinger, Musk Pig

Ridinger, Martin Elias (1731 Augsburg 1780). Musk Pig. The Indian Musk or Javelina Pig , as such nevertheless rejected by Th.: “Yet what this curiously cubed pig should mean I cannot discern by any means.” Before landscape scenery standing to the right. Colored etching with engraving. Inscribed: PORCVS INDICVS. / Muscus Schwein. / Porc d’Inde. / Familia II. zwey Hufige. / M. El. Ridinger, Sc: 11⅞ × 8¼ in (30.1 × 21 cm). – Thienemann & Schwarz 1026.


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.

In addition to Thienemann’s aforesaid rejection just formally the designation of the plate is confusing as the related passage in the preamble – included here in copy – correctly describes the Mexican musk pig as purely South American, quoting the Danzig naturalist Jacob Theodor Klein as source. Introduced, however, in the preceding paragraph by

“ Both the following presentations of foreign pigs originating from India which are marked quite particularly … It is this the so-called Musk Pig, and the (now indeed East Indian) babirusa … ”

West Indies & India just not being distinguished. Nonetheless :

pictorially  markedly  painterly .

With Jacob Theodor Klein (“Plinius Gedanensium”, Königsberg 1685 – Danzig 1759; town clerk in Danzig, later director of the Society of Naturalists Danzig co-founded by him, member of the Royal Society, London, and honorary member of the Russian Academy of Sciences in Saint Petersburg; ADB XVI, 92 ff.), famous for his collections, Ridinger was in close communication and supported in his Colored Animal Kingdom undertaking in many ways, too. Following Klein’s classification according to kind and number of extremities – superceded by Linné’s anatomical classification – the early states of some plates of the set still show references to his Quadrupedum dispositio brevisque Historia Naturalis of 1751, as known to Thienemann for some plates and documented here for several more by a complete copy available here. Ridinger himself emphasizes by the preface in his words of thanks “in particular the tremendously beautiful collection of P(rofessor). Klein of the Ludolph estate, which comprises nothing but original items.”

With watermark C & I Honig as that sturdy Dutch quality paper Ridinger used in line with his preamble to the Principal Colors of Horses

“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 1.7-3.5, below 5.5 cm wide.

Offer no. 15,899 / EUR  530. / export price EUR  504. (c. US$ 609.) + shipping

Ridinger’s Colored Animal Kingdom in Original Coloring

available in

A Great Plenitude of Individual Plates


An Absolutely Exceptional Complete Provenance Copy

  1. “famous work which the merited naturalist Jacob Theodor Klein in Danzig published 1751 under the title: Quadrupedum Dispositio brevisque Historia Naturalis. Enlarged and revised, he had translated it into the German himself and his friend Gottfried Reyger published it 1760 under the title: J. Th. Klein’s Natural Order and Augmented History of the Quadruped Animals. Ridinger was in close communication with Klein, was supported by him in many ways in this (Animal Kingdom) undertaking and followed Klein’s system” (Th., p. 200)

„ die Sendung ist unversehrt … angekommen, vielen Dank. Alle Blätter finden unsere Zustimmung, wir möchten alle erwerben. Ich habe die Rechnung bereits auf den Verwaltungsweg gegeben … “

(Herr R. G., 21. Dezember 2011)


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