— La Précieuse Suite —
Thienemann 1314–1317 (!!)
in its hitherto
one and only copy provable here
as the second-earliest Hunting Set
Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Hunt for Wild Ducks, Foxes, Badgers and Wolves. Set of 4 sheet in engraving by Andreas Hofer in Nuremberg (’20s/’30s of the 18th century) for Martin Engelbrecht in Augsburg. Inscribed: 1(-4) / Ioh. Elias Ridinger inv. et del. / Andreas Hofer fecit / Cum Priv. Sac. Cæs. Maj. / Martin Engelbrecht excud. (l. 2 excudit) Aug. Vind., otherwise parallel German-Latin caption as following. 9-9¼ × 12⅝-12¾ in (22.8-23.5 × 32-32.5 cm). Under acid-free bevel passepartout ready for framing, too, in
ruby red morocco Solander box
(17¾ × 22¼ × 1⅛ in [45 × 56.5 × 3 cm]) with 4 ornamental raised bands, 2 dark green gilt back-plates, gilt bipartite title on the front cover, gilt reduced Ridinger stag from the Evening sheet (Th. 240) of The Deer’s Four Times of Day on the back cover, at its lower inner edge additionally “ridinger handlung niemeyer” (ridinger gallery niemeyer), and on the front red inner panelling in German, as all likewise in 23.5 carat, …
“ I will describe
these very scarce plates in greater detail
which I find notified only in Heinecken’s
Ms. of the Dictionaire des Artistes
(print version Leipsic 1778/90)
in the Dresden printroom
(but possess myself by now) ”
(Thienemann, 1st separate addendum [between 1857+1861], pp. 1 ff.)
And, continuing there, “It consists of four numbered sheet … , thus to the set described there first … also in this very similar ,
and seems to represent a completion (of Th. 1-8) ,
because containing four fair games not illustrated there .”
Neither apart nor complete in the Pembroke + Marjoribanks Folios (c. 1770 and 19th century resp. with 716 and at least c. 650 sheets resp. of the respective etched/engraved work). – Not among the Ridingeriana of the Von Behr Library of the House of Stellichte (purchased probably between 1777 + 1779 from the Ridingers themselves; at least 416 leaves of the etched/engraved work).
Just so not in Weigel, Art Stock Catalogue, division I-XXVIII (1838/57; more than 1000 R. sheets of the etched/engraved work) , Silesian Ridinger collection at Boerner XXXIX (1885; “of greatest richness … [many rarities]”) , Coppenrath Collection (1889/90) , R. collection at Wawra (1890; besides 234 drawings 600 prints) , Reich auf Biehla Collection (1894; “Of all [R. collections on the market] since long time there is none standing comparison even approximately with the present one in respect of completeness and quality … especially the rarities and undescribed sheets present in great number”; 1266 sheet plus 470 duplicates + 20 drawings) , Georg Hamminger Collection (1895; catalog nos. 1490-1945, containing [partly] complete sets, individual sheets, mixed lots, duplicates up to 74 drawings as single & aggregate lots) , R. catalog Helbing (1900; 1554 nos.) , Horn Collection (1903 acquired entirely by Baron Gutmann; “The engravings and mezzotints described by Thienemann and Stillfried were present almost completely with few exceptions. Besides several sheets undescribed hitherto”) , Schwarz (! ! , von Gutmann Collection, 1910; with 1606 [sic!] sheets almost the complete graphic work ! !) , Schwerdt Collection (1928/35), R. list Rosenthal (1940; 444 nos.), collection of the counts of Faber-Castell (1958; 106 drawings + 1160 prints).
And not even just mentioned neither by Schott (! !), Martin Engelbrecht und seine Nachfolger (together with catalog of publications), 1924. Accordingly then also not anymore in Engelbrecht’s list of forthcoming new editions of August 1824 after taking over the Ridinger publishing house.
The practically unique Set
and by this a sensation of collecting
from the early years of the not yet own working in copper, rightly set into context by Thienemann with the set Th. 1-8, “The Pleasure of Great Lords in all Kinds of Hunting” etched by Georg Christoph Steudner (6) + our Andreas Hofer (2) about 1722 for likewise Engelbrecht, with which it corresponds as well formatwise as in its
youthfresh ease of execution
but letting its already merciless rarity
– “(Of ultimate rarity” , so L’Art Ancien in 1939 on occasion of Schwerdt’s impeccable 4-sheet torso formerly with Baillie-Grohman, also 5 sheet only moreover strongly impaired with Counts Faber-Castell per 1958, 3 practically impeccably preserved ones distributed here among three private German collections –
behind absolutely as here provable in just only the copy above,
thus not even
in only a one and only additional single ( sic! ) sheet , too ,
what suggests the assumption that
in the copy here
we come across with Thienemann’s unique own one !
What a provenance then !
And in what a copy !!
In impeccably fine vibrant chiaroscuro of most wonderful print quality !!!
With still recognizable writing lines and slight plate dirt here and there , marvelous preservation and margins 2.5 – 4 cm wide !
The paper with line web difficult to read as had to be stated previously for individual sheets from Th. 1-8 in conformity with literature :
“ With the progress of the manual skill in the production of the (pulp) forms though the refinement of the netting grows, it becomes finer and finer. The papers of the eighteenth and early nineteenth century occasionally show a fin web so fine that one can barely recognize it when looking through ”
(Renker, Das Buch vom Papier, 2nd ed. , p. 101).
But already for a sheet from about 1670 there is a reference to its “delicately structured laid paper”.
Sheet 1 with a shade of even age tone, sheet 2 above only 2 cm wide, sheet 3 with a stain in the left white upper corner and weak foxspot right outside in the text margin where there also is a restored tear injury reaching into the subject margin barely perceptible with the naked eye. On its most professional repair also a trace of a centerfold noticeable on the back of all four sheets smoothed in a way it is not perceptible from the front.
Engraved by Andreas Hofer in Nuremberg working namely for publishers in Augsburg for whom Thieme-Becker report mentions of 1736 + 1738, Nagler as far too late „about 1780“, to be supplemented now at hand of his present Ridinger by the early ’20s. Secured Engelbrecht time frame for the set would be the years 1719-1739 as the life of the imperial privilege shown on the sheets (see Schott, op. cit., p. 23). But already between 1724 + 1728 Ridinger worked himself in copper (about the set Th. 797-802 and in ca. 1728 he established his own publishing house.
Four times instructive-rich hunting scenery ,
four times communicating though one-sided fullness of life ,
four times picturesque landscape ,
“always remarkable”, but never “a little stiff” as Thienemann nags about these „earlier, imperfect works“. And here then for the first time in 58 years present in not just one sheet as has happened for Th. 1-8, no, the complete set at once as otherwise moreover yet not provable ! Shortly ,
as the invitation to a matchless collection’s enrichment .
Adequately presented within the Red Series of lüder h. niemeyer as of highest grade .
Offer no. 15,075 / sold