Martin Elias Ridinger, Ant Eater / Long-tailed pangolin

“ The Illustration of the Giant Anteater
is … quite well-done ”

Ridinger, Martin Elias (1731 Augsburg 1780). Ant Eater = / particular Scaly Animal =. In stony environment the “Long-tailed pangolin … colored verdigris-green, like a lizard, should appear brown, colored like fir-cones. The illustration of the Giant Anteater is done from that by Klein in his Quadr. Dispos. and quite well-done” (Th.). Colored etching with engraving. Inscribed: TAMANDUA= Phatagin= / Ameisen Fresser = / besonders Schuppichtes Thier =. / Fourmiller= / Quogelo= / Familia III.Vierzeegig. & 5- / M. El. Ridinger. sculp. 12⅛ × 8⅛ in (30.7 × 20.5 cm).

Thienemann (with entirely deviating designation, see below) & Schwarz 1040.


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.

“ These animals have no tongue (as the Ant Eater), but a proper elephant’s trunk, at the end of which is like a small finger. The whole frame of the body of these animals quite particular by the way, also in regard of the color it strongly differs from the others, even though in the behavior it has much in common with them. We have rendered this animal

after Mister S(ecretary) Klein (in Danzig/Society of Naturalists)

with which the representation of Mr. Buffon has been compared, too,

here as well for its rarity ,

what probably will not be disagreeable for some amateurs of natural history since it still is very little known and

has not yet come before the eyes of very many ”

(Ridinger’s sons in the preamble to pt. II, p. 2, enclosed in copy).

Ridinger, Pangolin (detail)
“Long-tailed pangolin … should appear brown, colored like fir-cones”

With Jacob Theodor 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. 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. ”

Thienemann apparently had the plate in a different state, designated as “Myrmecophaga; omnium maxima. Phatagin. Groester Ameisenfresser. Fourmillier grand. Familie III. Vierzæhige.”

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 1.9-3.4 cm, below 5.3 cm wide. – Isolated quite faint (little) stains in the white plate/paper field and small faint spot far left outside the latter precautionarily backed acid-freely.

Offer no. 16,021 | 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)

“ I purchased this set (Leonardo’s Anatomical Studies) from you at the beginning of this year (recte already in 2011). The books are one of my prized possessions … and thank you again for being a part of this special section of my library … ”

(Mr. M. W., December 19, 2012)


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