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Mules
Martin Elias Ridinger, Ditto loaded Mule
Ditto loaded Mule (offer no. 16,137)

by
Ridinger !

Ditto loaded Mule. On precipitous path to the left, whining. Richly decorated with bells and colorful pompons and fringes and loaded with two baskets with one lamb each. On top cage with drake and pheasant (?). Instructive, too, the clearly recognizable shoeing (see below). Colored etching/engraving by Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780). Inscribed: MULUS. / Detto beladen Maulthier. / Le Mulet chargé. / Familia I. Einhüfig. / Ridinger =. 12⅜ × 8¼ in (31.5 × 21 cm).

Thienemann & Schwarz 984. – 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.

The attribution of the work to Johann Elias’ eldest, Martin Elias, arises from the notation of the inscription provable otherwise in the Animal Kingdom only with the Camel Deer (Guanaco; Th. 1038) as “M. El. Ridinger =”.

“ In their colors they are very different … but those of dark color with light or reddish mouths (as here) are considered the best … For covering one chiefly has to make a good choice, for one has to take a good well-built, fine and large mare … Before three years they shall not be coerced for work, otherwise many are ruined in size and strength. In Italy, Spain and France they are found the most, for there they are very useful for the mountains and narrow passes, and … can carry great loads of three hundredweight … It is also the custom to adorn them very nicely … Their shoeing at the hooves have no less particular advantages as such rise above at the front, so that, if there are stones in their way or if they encounter steep paths, they get along the more secure ”

(Ridinger’s sons in the preamble to pt. I, pp. 11 ff., enclosed in copy).

As the prelude to a long chain of works on mules and hinnies figures the red chalk drawing of a loaded mule from front with long bells & feed bag by the 16, at most 20-year-old Johann Elias Ridinger here.

Watermarked Strasbourg fleur-de-lis above arms & C & I Honig (type Heawood 64/Churchill 428) 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 1.9-2.6 cm, below 4.7 cm wide. – In the white left and lower paper margins isolated (quite) faint foxspots, the right lower corner slightly soiled. – Of shining-beautiful colorfulness.

Offer no. 16,137 / EUR  570. / export price EUR  542. (c. US$ 655.) + shipping

At  the  Beginning  of  a  Decades-long  Chain

Johann Elias Ridinger, Mule from Front (1714/8)

The  16(?)-Year-Old  Ridinger’s
Fully  Valid  Drawing  of  a  Mule

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Mule from Front. With long bells & feed bag, packed evenly on both sides with covered baggage. Red chalk. Inscribed: 1718(4?). 8 × 5⅞ in (203 × 148 mm).

On buff laid paper under acid-free passepartout with 23.5-carat gilt stamped artist’s name and dates. – Of perfect preservation irrespective of a small unfounded backing between the forelegs.

Work  documenting  the  master’s  from  his  youth  on  long  breath

from 1718 the latest, rather supposedly from already 1714 as the then 16-years old though. For the 8 of the date, smaller than the other figures, is oblique and open above and in such a manner to be related to the representation of half eight values. And therewith completely differing from the normal 8 of a pencil sketch to Th. 503, Great Mule Loaded, laterally from behind, instructively packed to the left, inscribed with “Ridinger/del./1718” documented here. By hook or crook it belongs to the

prelude  of  the  drawn  œuvre .

Again and again through the decades Ridinger turned his attention to the professionally packed mule and horse, why, even the stag (Fable XVIII, Th. 782). The set of the Fables was published in 16 sheet in 1744, the drawings to the exceedingly rare, however available here, additional four sheets have to be dated correspondingly later and were transferred into copper only after 1767 by Martin Elias.

We encounter the whole plenty of loaded animals in parts 6 & 7 of the 126-sheet set Design of Several Animals published only 1754/55 – pts. 1-5 already 1738/40 – and here especially among the mules and donkeys from 1754, Th. 503 ff., most available here in splendid copies of the first edition, then 1755 in the Sumpter Horse (Th. 501).

However , in  analogy  to  the  present  drawn  Mule from Front

solely  the  engraved  Mule from Behind , Th. 509 .

For the Mule in Full Dress from Front (Th. 507) is just a lateral view as the Great Mule Loaded (Th. 503) and Mule with Its Leader (Th. 506) and also A Kind of Great Mule with the little dog on top (Th. 504) is seen laterally, the Mule in Full Dress, from the Side (Th. 508) anyway.

The same holds true for Hinny, Loaded Mule (Th. 983, “J. E. Ridinger ad viv. del. fec. et exc. Aug. Vind.”) after a drawing from 1752 and related to Th. 507 and, to be attributed to Martin Elias with no drawing documented here, Ditto Loaded Mule (Th. 984) from the Colored Animal Kingdom.

Present  drawing  created  40  years  before

therefore  was  spiritus  rector

without  having  been  reproduced  itself !

Filling the given sheet size on three sides completely, on the right up to 15 mm, the subject size is generally larger than the later engravings with their accessories & caption, yet already defined about their size. Th. portfolio IV, p (p. 276) on his part records two “Mules loaded” remaining not engraved, however executed in “wash and brown ink” like all 118 sheet for the set of the Design of Several Animals known to him. A brush drawing from 1724 of a horse to the left heavily loaded with household effects and mounted by a woman with baby related to this context was with count Radulf zu Castell-Rüdenhausen.

His  début  in  serious  drawings  Ridinger  had  made  at  the  age  of  12 years  at  the  latest . So per collective number 6 – “10 sheet. Different Horses. Earliest (inscribed sanguine) works (in quarto) from 1710 till 1717” – of the Fine Collection of Drawings and Engravings of Joh. El. Ridinger from the Property of a well-known Collector at Wawra in Vienna 1890. 1717 earliest date, too, in the 305-sheet collection of “Studies, Contours and executed Drawings” as item 318 of the Ridinger-Appendix of the 1869 Weigel Catalog of his left Drawings.

There per 377 then also A Loaded Mule coming up a Slope in white heightened black chalk on bluish paper and per 378 from 1718 A Sheet with Two Loaded Mules in slight pencil outline. Both in small quarto and not inscribed. Without signature + date then also A Saddled Mule in black chalk and large quarto as pos. 9 at Wawra as before. Per Weigel 665 then finally a Going Loaded Mule, the Driver behind it of 1752, again in ink and bistre.

An Animal Jaw-Bone of 1718 figured as earliest date among the 109-sheet Faber-Castell Codex of drawings of the master (95) and his sons. Corresponding and documenting a long breath again with a present Upper Jaw-Bone of an Old Horse worked 45 years later.

The 1714/18 mule here then an in its documentory value not at all to be overestimated

CORNER  POINT  OF  RIDINGER’S  DRAWN  ŒUVRE .

Enjoying in its youthful freshness at the same time the eyes . In the chest now and then , at shadowy wall permanently . By hook or crook  a  preciousness  for  the  collection .

Offer no. 15,527 / price on application

Johann Elias Ridinger, Great Mule

Great Mule Loaded. Laterally from behind, instructively packed. Etching & engraving by Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). (1754.) Inscribed: J. E. R. fec. / No. 23., title in German as above. 7½ × 5⅝ in (19 × 14.4 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 503. – Plate 23 from Design of Several Horses … Mules and Donkeys as parts VI/VII of the instructive set Design of Several Animals ( “These plates are much wanted and frequently copied”, Th. 1856). – Marvelous wide-margined impression of the 1st edition.

Offer no. 7,338 / EUR  197. (c. US$ 238.) + shipping

Johann Elias Ridinger, Loaded Mule from the Front

Mule in Full Dress from the Front. As instructively as preciously packed, going downhill. Etching & engraving by Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). (1754.) Inscribed: J. E. R. fec. / No. 27., title in German as above. 7½ × 5⅝ in (19.1 × 14.4 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 507. – Plate 27 from Design of Several Horses … Mules and Donkeys as parts VI/VII of the instructive set Design of Several Animals ( “These plates are much wanted and frequently copied”, Th. 1856). – Wide-margined impression of the 1st edition with still some plate dirt.

Offer no. 7,342 / EUR  197. (c. US$ 238.) + shipping

Johann Elias Ridinger, Mule in Full Dress

Mule in Full Dress from the Side. As precious as the harness the cover of the load, too. Etching & engraving by Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). (1754.) Inscribed: J. E. R. fec. / No. 28., title in German as above. 7½ × 5⅝ in (19.1 × 14.3 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 508. – Sheet 28 from Design of Several Horses … Mules and Donkeys as parts VI/VII of the instructive set Design of Several Animals ( “These plates are much wanted and frequently copied”, Th. 1856). – Marvelous wide-margined impression of the 1st edition.

Offer no. 7,343 / EUR  197. (c. US$ 238.) + shipping

Johann Elias Ridinger, Mule

Mule from behind. Instructively perceptible the pacing gear. Etching & engraving by Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). (1754.) Inscribed: J. E. R. fec. / No. 29., title in German as above. 7½ × 5¾ in (19.1 × 14.5 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 509. – Plate 29 from Design of Several Horses … Mules and Donkeys as parts VI/VII of the instructive set Design of Several Animals ( “These plates are much wanted and frequently copied”, Th. 1856). – Marvelous wide-margined impression of the 1st edition.

Offer no. 7,344 / EUR  184. (c. US$ 222.) + shipping

Johann Elias Ridinger, Mule

Mule. Harnessed, but otherwise free and proud, in fine landscape. Etching & engraving by Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). (1754.) Inscribed: J. E. R. fec. / No. 30., title in German as above. 7½ × 5⅝ in (19.1 × 14.4 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 510. – Plate 30 from Design of Several Horses … Mules and Donkeys as parts VI/VII of the instructive set Design of Several Animals ( “These plates are much wanted and frequently copied”, Th. 1856). – Wide-margined impression of the 1st edition.

Offer no. 7,345 / EUR  189. (c. US$ 228.) + shipping

Johann Elias Ridinger, Servitude taken up for Love of Splendor one shall endure with Patience

The Stag in the Fine Bridle of a Mule

Servitude taken up for Love of Splendor one shall endure with Patience. A stag of 12 points subjected himself to the toil of a sumpter-horse for the fine bridle.

“ Thus suffer with patience ”

a badger comments. Etching & engraving by Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780) after a drawing by Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). After 1767. Inscribed: J. El. Ridinger. inv. et del. / M. El. Ridinger. sc. et exc. A. V., otherwise in German, Latin, and French as before. 13¼ × 9¾ in (33.6 × 24.9 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 782; Metzner-Raabe, Illustr. Fabelbuch, 1998, vol. II (Bodemann), 123.I. – Sheet 18 of the Fables. – Wonderful impression of vibrant chiaroscuro. – With fine white platemark and paper margin. In the latter left one old traces of stitching.

The  exceptionally  rare  second  supplementary  sheet

of the intellectually as optically exceedingly charming Instructive Fables from the Animal Kingdom for Improvement of the Manners and especially for Instruction of the Youth by which

“ Ridinger pursued a typical purpose of his epoch. A ‘Correction of Manners’ by the morale efficacy of art – albeit in a quite different manner – William Hogarth, almost of the same age as Ridinger, had attempted by his paintings and prints … Yet while Hogarth and Chodowiecki tried to gain recognition for their (identical) ideas by satirical sets, as A Rake’s Progress, 1735 … Ridinger built on the – especially suitable to him (that is, so he himself, ‘since the hoary times of the ancient ages’) – tradition of the animal fable ”

(Stefan Morét, Ridinger Catalog Darmstadt, 1999, page 96).

Beyond that at the same time also, creating a new image type, leaving behind once more tradition and field. For, so Ulrike Bodemann in Metzner-Raabe,

“ No  similarities  to  fable  illustrations  known  hitherto .

Enormous image sizes filled almost entirely by the representation of a central factor of the fable tale. Surroundings mostly dense, natural wood .”

And Regine Timm, ibid., vol. I, p. 171 :

“ In his large plates Ridinger … sometimes has included vegetable growth or rocks, too, dominantly in his illustrations indeed, but without decorative intention. The plants and rocks mean the thicket, the deserted loneliness of the forest, in which the strange tales among the animals happen. ”

The great intellectual relationship with the already mentioned Hogarth by the way also unmistakably expressed in Garrick’s epitaph for this:

“ Whose  pictured  Morals  charm  the  Mind ,

And  through  the  Eye  correct  the  Heart.”

That Ridinger had conceived his set originally substantially more comprehensively is evidenced by his preparatory drawing to the 20th fable inscribed by him “Fab 31” traded here, that to the 19th inscribed “Fabel 29.” (Weigel, 1869, no. 384), and the one known to Thienemann numbered “30”, yet remained unused like further unnumbered ones.

The practically inevitable great rarity of the four supplementary sheets known to literature since Thienemann’s statement of 1856: they “make themselves very scarce, are already not to be found in some older editions, and have been left out entirely in the latest, what is to be regretted though” (p. 151).

Accordingly then also the 1889 catalog of the Coppenrath Collection on the 20-sheet copy: “Fine main set … Rare”. And in 1900 Helbing qualified in his 1554-item Ridinger catalog (XXXIV): “The last (4) numbers are extremely rare”. And while he owned beside a complete copy multiple single prints of the first sixteen except for 12 & 13, so of the final four plates only 17 & 19 in one additional copy each. On the market till today then almost only the 16-sheet basic set, too.

The different printing states of the title, documenting the repeated editions, besides most beautiful proof of the success of the work, which obviously did reach its particular target group, the youth.

Offer no. 12,512 / EUR  946. / export price EUR  899. (c. US$ 1087.) + shipping


“ Received the Heron Hawking today, it is exceptionally nice. Thank you for packing so carefully … ”

(Mr. L. A. F., December 6, 2005)

 

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