Martin Elias Ridinger, (A Crocodile with the Comb Back

“ With opened Jaws , not bad ”

Ridinger, Martin Elias (1731 Augsburg 1780). (A Crocodile with the Comb Back.) Lying by a water to the right, “With opened jaws, not bad” (Th.). Colored etching with engraving. Inscribed: CROCODILUS. 10¼ × 8¼ in (26 × 21 cm).

Thienemann & Schwarz 1100. – 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., sect. 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.

“ According to Mr. Klein’s information there are … two kinds … the (present) other with a comb back, also called alligator … When they get old they reach a length of 25 feet and a gauge of five feet. Their skin is very thick and especially strongly armored and covered with subdivided scales ”

(Ridinger’s sons in the preamble to pt. II, pp. 18 f., enclosed in copy).

With Klein (“Plinius Gedanensium”, Königsberg 1685 – Danzig 1759; town clerk in Danzig, co-founder and later director of the Danzig Society of Naturalists, 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 Following Klein’s classification according to kind and number of extremities – superceded by Linné’s anatomical classification – the early states of some plates of the set still show references to his Quadrupedum Dispositio brevisque Historia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 (offer no. 16,287). 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 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 1-3.6 cm wide. – Absolute torso due to loss of the text field still close into the subject. Large corner/margin tear off also upper right along with adjacent faint waterstainedness of 1¾ × 3½ in (4.5 × 9 cm). The plain picture, instructive and charming, almost intact and matted, as being delivered, ultimately still satisfactorily presentable.

Offer no. 16,016 | EUR 48. (c. US$ 58.) + shipping

– The same in a fine, complete copy. – See the complete description.

Offer no. 16,279 | EUR 1100. | export price EUR 1045. (c. US$ 1263.) + 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)

“ Just received the James Figg item safely today. I have a couple questions. Art in general is new to me so I‘m asking you to educate me on this item … First of all I‘m happy with the item, just trying to understand it better … Thanks again ”

(Mr. A. C., March 27, 2008)


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