Johann Elias Ridinger, Otter Copy

with  Book + Printing-Plate

of  “ One  of  the  Most  Famous  Series  of  the  Artist ”

( FAZ Oct. 14, 1995 )

upon  which  still  the  “Blue  Rider”  Franz  Marc  drew , too

Ridinger, Johann Elias. (Representation of the Fair Game with the respective Tracks and Traces, Goings, Get-offs, Turns, Flight, and other Signs more … drawn from life) / Abbildung Der Jagtbaren Thiere mit derselben angefügten Fährten und Spuhren, Wandel, Gänge, Absprünge, Wendungen, Widergängen, Flucht, und anderer Zeichen mehr … nach der Natur gezeichnet, samt einer Erklärung darüber). Augsburg, the author (1737-)1740. Large fol. 1 ll. title, preface + description. With pictorially executed large etched title vignette

search-hunter  with  leader

(6 × 9¼ in [15.3 × 23.4 cm]) and, mixed with engraving,

23  etchings

(c. 14⅝-14¾ × 11⅜-11¾ in [37-37.5 × 29-30 cm]).

Ruby  red  morocco  volume

with 4 ornamental raised bands, fly leaves of the contemporary original binding incl. its hand-written title-plate, 2 dark green back-plates, gilt two-piece title on the front + Ridinger-stag-vignette on the back cover, gilt lines on both, and in the inner of the front cover below ridinger handlung niemeyer (ridinger gallery niemeyer), all in 23.5 carat, in

homogeneous  Solander  box


– traced back here far beyond Thieme-Becker (vol. XXVIII, 1933, p. 308) + Thienemann (1856), p. XXIII, seamlessly directly to the master’s estate itself – the

original  printing-plate

for  plate  16

“( Trace  of  the  Otter )”

in reverse (15 × 11⅞ in [38.1 × 30.1 cm]) as removable solitaire laid into the front cover under polycarbonate glass (more resistant to aging + UV light than Plexiglas, but equally sensitive to scratches, such a little, indeed, below right), inscribed

“ 16. / Joh. El. Ridinger inv. del. sc. et exc. Aug. Vind. ”

Below the gilt

hall  mark  as  unicum

Johann Elias Ridinger, Otter Copy

–  Otter-Exemplar  –

(– Otter  Copy –)

(Bookbindery M. Hierl Bonn).

And by that following refined collector’s custom to enlarge and illustrate for esthetic reasons beautiful scientific works with extras which referred to the person of the author

and  had  an  inherent  collector’s  value ,

manuscripts of the author , drawings ( , the various states of print ) and so on … to document the creation”. It was the hour of birth of the

exemplaire enrichi

by French collectors of the 19th century as proverbial own group of the extra get-up with i. a. British roots in the 17th century (Nicholas Ferrar) and the 2nd half of the 18th (James Granger) and strong echo in America (enriched book, 19th cent.). Shortly, per grangerized book

“ the  decoration  of  a  valuable  bibliophile  object

by own addition of supplementing extras. The copy as well as the extras should be

high-graded  bibliophile

at  intrinsic  value  as  in  the  outer  form .

The possessor wishes to set off his book by the extras … against all other copies

making  it  a  collector’s  object , a  unicum …

Done moderately, each of these kinds of completion of the print has its high value for future research ”

(Hans Bohatta in Löffler-Kirchner, Lexikon des gesamten Buchwesens, I [1935], 511 f.).

And so it was for the ridinger gallery no question at all to crown this contemporary collector’s copy additionally to its only now adequate binding with such a dot over the i. And so it took , what it had . And that was not more or less , it was pure and simple all , a ne plus ultra ,

an  original  printing-plate !!

Literature :

Thienemann + Schwarz (Catalogue of a Ridinger-collection, colour plate vol. I, X) 162-185; Weigel XXVIII, 15, A (of C); Schwerdt III, 137; Thiébaud 783; Ridinger Catalogue Darmstadt, 1999, III.20-III.30 with 11 ills.; Cat. Helbing XXXIV (Ridinger) no. 325 as “One of the most important collections of the artist” (1900).

Early impressions on large strong laid paper of 19⅛ × 13½ in (48.5 × 34.3 cm) – divided in wide margins above + below and smaller at the sides – as almost perfect. Then pronounced larger copies of 19¾-20⅛ × 14⅛-16¾ in (50-51 × 36-42.5 cm) as the ones in the Schwerdt Collection and former here were to qualify as an intermediate state somewhat later in respect of their plates 21-23 as printed from two plates. – Title and plates a little time-marked throughout, but as a whole a very fine copy already before its binding, Solander box and – printing-plate in its optically excellently condition.

The  first  edition  of  the  final  state

with  the  etched  numbering

above right and the further marks as there are the title in red and black, the plates 21-23 printed from undivided printing-plate by analogy to the plates 1-20 and other finer characteristics more.

In the 2nd edition (Weigel B, Helbing 328) the title is printed uniformly in black as Th. page 294, too. Between them that state with the title in red + black, but the plates 21-23 printed from two printing-plates while omitting a separating line each (copies Schwarz/von Gutmann + Schwerdt).

Chronologically for the present not to be dated the title page of Ridinger’s personal copy with its higher type area (37.8 cm), the uniformly shorter comma strokes, and a differing ornament close of the red double-line. The line spacings besides evenly more balanced what is due not only to the higher type area, rather especially to a more exact fit in of the second printing passage, too. So far also the copy here allows a limited interesting view over the shoulder of the printer into the sequence of operations.

All inscribed in the plate with several variants of J(ohann) E(lias) Ridinger inv(enit) del(ineavit) sc(ulpsit) et exc(udit) A(ugusta) V(indelicorum), plts. 21-23 without invenit.

For the complete set of the preparatory drawings at Munich see their splendid facsimile-edition.

Plates 1-20 in the upper almost three quarters show the animals in typical situations and grandiose environment and below

their  traces  in  original  size

excepting the reduced ones of lion + tiger (recte “maybe a jaguar”, Th.) as “not to be found in our forests”. Apart from that there are shown bear – staghind – boar – fellow-deer – wolf – roebuck – lynx – ibexchamoishare – fox – beaverotter – badger – wildcatmarten + weaselpolecat + squirrel .

Plates 21-23 repeat the traces reduced like a modern summary. – Shortly ,

the  instructive  and  optically  splendid  set

par excellence. Doubtless the most important illustrated one relevant to the subject. And coming up to modern standards thematically and artistically undispended already in general till to date.

But  as  a  Solander  box  copy  in  company  with  an

Johann Elias Ridinger, Otter Copy

original  printing-plate

a  fascinating  worldwide  unicum

for elitist placement. That

the  master  has  worked  it  himself  alone

shall be mentioned expressly. Just as documented by inscription.

Sheltered  from  tarnishing  by  fine  application  of  varnish the plate is printable generally in the ordinary course of its use during the times. But it is offered and sold as a work of art and an object of collecting. Thus without prejudice to its final print quality.

Thematically beyond

moreover  with  a  further  dot  over  the  i

as stated here for the first time. For no less man than the

“ Blue  Rider ”  Franz  Marc

the marten-weasel-sheet served together with two further Ridinger coppers as inspiration for his painting “Playing Weasels” of 1911, Hoberg-Jansen 144 with ills.

As inspired by Ridinger known hitherto only Marc’s woodcut “Riding School after Ridinger” of 1913 (Lankheit 839) as detail interpretation of the background figure of the mounted rider of the third sheet (Th. 608) of the 1722 Riding School annotated by literature with

“ Illuminating that Marc with his quite intimate knowledge of art history

turns to just these masters of the presentation of the horse

(Delacroix and Ridinger)

of the 19th and 18th centuries resp. as models ”

(Christian von Holst, Franz Marc – Pferde, 2003, pp. 166 ff. within [‘… the Hoofbeats of my Horses’]).

For already his painting “Playing Weasels” from 1911, preceded 1909/10 by the lithograph of the same name, betrays the knowledge of several Ridinger coppers from entirely different sets. Marc shows two weasels, of which the one in the tree, bowed over a bough, looks down upon the one sitting in raised attitude on the ground. The trees besides of an eccentricity which he uses in this ostensible density in the painted œuvre only in the two “Acts below Trees”, H.-J. 143, of the same year. For the thematic initial spark Ridinger’s small-sized sheet “The Weasels”, Th. 479, from 1740 as sheet 89 of the set Design of Several Animals stands. Here, too, two of them playing, yet both on the ground and in an utterly different context. The latter Marc split up. And took the attitude of the two animals from sheet 86 of the set, the two pine martens Th. 476 (additionally available here the companion piece with the two beech martens Th. 475 plus the original printing plates to both). The young one of which hangs across a bough of equally low height as with Marc and looks down at the mother standing on the hind paws against the trunk luring with a captured bird. “Playing Squirrels” as sheet 88 (Th. 478) shows the same situation, only with the difference of a further one in the tree, too, but keeping a little aloof and not involved in the play. Yet the bizarre tree – and as such Sälzle characterizes it expressly in the 1980 facsimile edition of the preparatory drawings for the suite here – as rather rare also for Ridinger he took from “Trace of a Marten / Trace of the Weasel” (Th. 181, separately available here, too) with the same attitude of the marten in the tree and the, however, neutrally shown weasel on the ground.

Thus Marc designed his “Playing Weasels” just so by means of divers Ridinger references as the latter on his part composed his “Amusement of the Shepherds” after Watteau, Th.-Stillfried 1397, from four models of the Frenchman. That finally also the more typical trees of Ridinger’s were not unfamiliar to Marc, the right group of trees of his painterly forest interior “The Würm at Pipping” from 1902/03, H.-J. 15 with ills., demonstrates. But also the par force scenery on the watercolor “Ried Castle” from 1914 – Holst, ills. 11, p. 29 – stands for a further example of Marc’s occupation with Ridinger,

which  in  this  plurality  has  been  missed  till  now .

And in such a way the

Otter  Copy

grangerized with original printing-plate is thematically enlarged with an additional broadside

by an artistic bridging from 18th to the 20th centuries .

Offer no. 15,273 / price on application

The Red Series - a creation of lüder h. niemeyer The Red Series - a creation of lüder h. niemeyer