Johann Elias Ridinger, Wood Devil

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Wood Devil. Le Satyre. “Is the mandrill, Cynocephalus Mormon auct. Baboon with red nose and blue cheeks. Quite fine” (Th.). Sitting to the left, one paw on a stone, the head turned to the beholder. After Karl Wilhelm de Hamilton (Brussels 1668 – Augsburg 1754). Etching with engraving. Inscribed: CYNOCEPHALVS PABIO. / Hamilton pinx. / N.o 2. / J. E. Ridinger sc. et exc. Aug. Vind., otherwise German-French as above. 12½ × 8⅜ in (31.8 × 21.2 cm).

Thienemann & Schwarz 542; Ridinger cat. Darmstadt, 1999, III.14. – The drawing in slight pen in the 1869 catalog of Weigel’s bequest of Ridinger drawings per 121. – Large crowned watermark with typographic pendant FAI / WANGEN. – With a sheet size of 17⅞ × 11¾ in (45.5 × 30 cm) perceptibly exceeding that of the Earl of Fife with Schwerdt with but 16⅜ × 11 in (41.5 × 28 cm) and thusly with margins above and below 2-3¼ (5.2-8.2), laterally 1⅝-1¾ in (4-4.5 cm) wide. – Particularly in the right white margin isolated small to tiny tears backed acid-freely. Lastly in the white top margin still both the two little holes of the original stitching of the installments.

Sheet 2 of the set of Ten Plates Monkeys or Animals yet related to them published without title sheet, “destined to be colored and to follow Ridinger’s large work”,

for the 1st edition — as here — generally only black impressions hold true .

Thienemann’s further remark that the plates had been “reduced later … and incorporated slightly modified (partly with respect to the caption, too) into the colored plates” not correct and presumably just superficially based on the equal number of 10 plates each. Actually in the Colored Animal Kingdom, not completed anymore by the father himself, the depictions themselves are considerably smaller to provide more space for the caption, while the plates are of almost the same size. Where with the exception of the Lion Long-tailed Monkey (Th. 548 and 1088 resp.) repeated in almost unmodified position, Martin Elias as engraver of nine of the ten plates took over numerous, but by no means all animals of the set of the monkeys, partly in similar, yet distinctly modified position, partly in entirely new compilations, as well as adding previously not considered species. Present wood devil there then in the same position, but standing (Th. 1086).

Nonetheless, also of the 2nd edition of the independent suite, which is to be regarded as chronologically earlier, colored copies remained largely unknown and are not mentioned by Weigel either (28, A-E). Yet one and only one such was traded here in 1972 as an extreme exception into Hessian collection.

Present copy furnished with all the characteristics of the first edition as described by Thienemann and Schwarz, but in this regard only partly corresponding with Weigel. Criteria for first impressions are for the latter the single-lined caption in German-French as well as the missing “of the borderline on both sides and … the arched one at top. Originally these impressions seem to have been determined for the Original Animal Work.” The second impressions then were “furnished with the borderlines and modified captions as well as numbers”.

Here then single-line caption as one of Weigel’s criterions for first impressions, but with borderline & number as according to Weigel criteria of the second prints. Since descriptions of other copies do not comment on this – only Schwerdt III, 141, f notes the numbering for his copy from the collection of the Earl of Fife – further comparative research therefore is needed in this case, too.

Offer no. 16,171 | EUR 530. | export price EUR 504. (c. US$ 609.) + shipping

Ridinger’s Colored Animal Kingdom in Original Coloring

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An Absolutely Exceptional Complete Provenance Copy

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