Johann Elias Ridinger, The Capercaillie Display

“ … regarded as equal to a deer ”

“ The Capercaillie is the Noblest among all Wood Birds ”

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The Capercaillie Display. La Sur prise des Coqs de Bois. In the mountain forest at supposedly besides still moonlit dawn on a branch of an old tree the courting cock at which the hunter front left aims. Behind him the gun cocker, keeping a second gun ready. Below the tree a second cock displaying, from the right a hen flies along. Etching with engraving. (1729.) Inscribed: Avec privil de Sa Maj. Imp. / I. El Ridinger inv. pinx sculps. et excud. Aug. Vind., otherwise as above and German-French textbook caption. 13⅜ × 16¾ in (34.1 × 42.5 cm).

Thienemann & Schwarz 47; Catalog Weigel XXVIII (1857), Ridinger Appendix 3A (“Old impressions with the original title. The paper has lines as watermark.”). – Not in the Ridinger catalog Kielce (1997). – From the unnumbered early, textbook-like designed 36-sheet Representation of the excellent Princes’ Hunting Pleasure or the Noble Hunting as the first hunting set transferred into copper by Ridinger himself and besides published by himself and listed in literature as its 35th sheet. – The painterly original drawing in bister & pen with the complete text traded here in the late 80s into splendid international collection.

“ The capercaillie is the noblest among all wood birds and is regarded as equal to a deer, therefore his display is held in high esteem by grand seigneurs, he likely stays in high mountains and large woods where there are warm springs, his display sometimes even starts in the cold period … in March … mostly it happens on a height where there are many common beeches as he uses their buds for his nourishment … is to be found there every morning and brings on the capercaillie hen by loud calling quite soon … by the display calls the capercaillie is … properly surveyed, if such is indicated to a lordship one betakes still before dawn to the place and if one hears him calling he must be jumped on nimbly … but if he stops one has to stand still presently, otherwise … he flies away, however while calling he may even not take notice of a miss … ”


– not by chance already in 1901 Ernst Welisch qualified Ridinger as the indisputably “most important Augsburg landscapist of this period” –


as in such quality rare of old. – Margins above and below 4.5-5.3, laterally 8 cm wide. – Far left still the two pinhead wholes from the original stitching in numbers.

Offer no. 29,080 | EUR 1380. | export price EUR 1311. (c. US$ 1585.) + shipping

„ das Paket kam heute morgen gut behalten hier an. Haben Sie vielen Dank. Das Blatt gefällt mir ausgesprochen gut … “

(Herr A. L., 11. März 2011)


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