Johann Elias Ridinger, Wildcat or Male Cat

“ Their Skin belongs to the Furs
and is the Best of Them ”

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Wildcat or Male Cat. The one standing dominantly on his hind legs on a bent trunk, the other below right ripping a captured snipe. “Again a quite appealing sheet. The one cat eats a woodcock … the other is about to leap down and assist” (Th.). Colored etching with engraving. Inscribed: CHATUS SYLVESTRIS. / Wild Katze oder Kuder. / Chat souvage. / Familia IV. Fünfzähige / Ridinger fec. 12⅜ × 8¼ in (31.4 × 20.9 cm).

Johann Elias Ridinger, Wildcat with Snipe (detail)

Thienemann & Schwarz 1069. – 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.

Johann Elias Ridinger, Wild He-cat
Trace of the Wild Cat. Detail of the preparatory drawing to Th. 180 (DJFM)

For the cat lower right, turned to the left, Ridinger reverted to the preparatory drawing from December 1737 for the Trace of the Wild Male Cat (Th. 180) of the set of the Fair Game with the Large Traces published 1738-1740 (Sälzle, Facsimile Ed. of the Preparatory Drawings [1980], pl. XXV). There turned to the right, devouring a snipe-like bird (Th. here: woodcock), Ridinger, however, modified the cat radically in the etching, showing him occupied with himself.

In similarly crooked position, yet rather from front and killing a duck below a willow, the cat figures anew in the dateless red chalk sketch of the collections Marshall von Bieberstein-Reich auf Biehla-Goldschmidt.

Johann Elias Ridinger, Wildcat (detail)

“ If they want to plunder, they lurk on the branches of the trees until they become aware of something that suits them. At this they do a leap which always turns out well and then seize their prey. Their skin belongs to the furs and is the best of them. In its weight it has a particular heaviness and above all the value of the same is that to those who are stricken with severe stomach-ache … it provides great relief and help ”

(Ridinger’s sons in the preamble to pt. II, p. 11, enclosed in copy).

With typographic 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 1.7-3.3 cm, below 4.9 cm wide. – In the white field of the subject between two tips of the green accessories chain of little faint foxspots c. 3 cm long, in the left white paper margin quite faint foxspot, otherwise impeccable. – Splendidly lusciously coloring.

Offer no. 15,924 / EUR  490. / export price EUR  466. (c. US$ 563.) + shipping

Ridinger’s Colored Animal Kingdom in Original Coloring

available in

A Great Plenitude of Individual Plates


An Absolutely Exceptional Complete Provenance Copy

“ The prints arrived safely. What is your return policy? My boss, doesn’t like the images, which I understand is subjective (– probably in reaction on the 11th September –) and no reflection on the condition or any representations you made. Sorry to bother you with this ”

(Mrs. A. P., September 26, 2001)


The  Cream  of  the  Day