Bird of the Year 2005
The Eagle Owl
Bird of Wisdom
May the attention the eagle owl receives this year not only benefit the smaller members of its family as well, but the wisdom of the owls proverbial since antiquity also come over many a so-called “decision maker” fancying himself imaginarily strong and sacred while he thinks about ever new strangulation of civil rights once gained in hard and bloody battles or expansions negating all cultural borders. For that in days to come one has not just saved the right to live for the owls, but could carry these again hither and thither as expression of human wisdom and far-sightedness …
Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Falconer Groom carrying the Eagle Owl on the hand. / Valet de Faucon tenant les Hibou dess la main. “He rides a dapple and has the eagle owl on the left. Open landscape” (Th.) with parishes from the hill above left to far right. Etching with engraving by Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780). C. 1764. Inscribed: Joh. El. Ridinger inven. delin. et excud. Aug. Vind. / Martin Elias Ridinger Sculpsit., otherwise in German-French as above. 13¼ × 10 in (33.7 × 25.5 cm).
Thienemann + Schwarz 120. – Sheet 8 of the 25-sheet set of the Hunters and Falconers with their Work, transferred into copper exclusively by Johann Elias’ eldest. – The preparatory drawing in the National Printroom Munich. – Fleur-de-lis watermark. – The margin 1-1.8 cm wide with faint old mounting spots. – The fine motif as moreover
splendid early impression before the numbering “G”
top right as traded here for but one exception – Helbing XXXIV, Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger (1900), 271 for sheet “M” as highly valued “Proof before all letters and before many later works” – without reference to literature quite occasionally already.
Offer no. 15,822 / EUR 870. / export price EUR 827. (c. US$ 947.) + shipping
“ He who suppresses weaker ones
should not rejoice too much .
For quite easily
a stronger one comes over him ”
Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). The poor hare becomes part of the sun-shy owl and that of the hunter’s barrel /: A rare case!:/ … Eagle owl with hare in the claws above hilly landscape with rocks under the full moon, looking down to the firing huntsman. Etching + engraving by Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780). Inscribed: III. / Joh. El. Ridinger inv. et del. / Mart. El. Ridinger sculps. Aug. Vind., otherwise in German as before and below. 13⅞ × 9⅜ in (35.2 × 23.9 cm).
The very very fine scenery
as sheet III of the 46-sheet set To the Special Events and Incidents at the Hunt ( “The rarest set of Ridinger’s sporting line engravings”, Schwerdt 1928), etched exclusively by Martin Elias after predominantly his father’s designs and concluded posthumously in 1779. With the two final lines of the caption
“ He who suppresses weaker ones should not rejoice too much .
For quite easily a stronger one comes over him ”
documenting also here that Ridinger deliberately passed over in silence till now, who was subject of the “Dresden Address – The Minimized Ridinger” here given on the ceremonial act of the Technical University Dresden on occasion of his 300th birthday.
Marvelous impression of the first edition
with the Roman number
(“If they are missing, so this indicates later impressions”, Th.)
with provenance Von Behr of the House Stellichte
assumedly purchased directly from the Ridingers between 1768 + before 1779, so just at times of foundation of the United States. The German Von Behr family itself reaching back far into the centuries. I. a. already in 1470 – 29 years before Columbus! – it was enfeoffed with the water castle in Stellichte, Lower Saxony, as the ancestral seat up to date.
WANGEN watermark. – Three sides with margins 3-4.5 cm wide and here partially quite minimally fox spotted, on the left 2 cm around the plate-margin itself nearly 1 cm wide though. Helbing’s copy then with only “almost full margin”.
Offer no. 14,465 / sold
– – – A new copy in wide-margined impression of very fine chiaroscuro with the Roman number (“If they are missing, so this indicates later impressions”, Th.) originating from the omnibus volume of the old estate of a nobleman.
Offer no. 15,705 / EUR 870. / export price EUR 827. (c. US$ 947.) + shipping
“ Yet on top the Eagle Owl is enthroned ”
Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Bird-catcher going to the Fowling-floor with his Utensils. Oiseleur sur L’oiselerie tirant les filets. Etching and engraving by Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780). C. 1764. Inscribed: Joh. El. Ridinger inv. del. et exc. Aug. Vind. / Mart. El. Ridinger sculps., otherwise in German-French as above. 13⅜ × 10¼ in (34 × 26 cm).
“ In the hands he carries the disk on the long pole, destined to the seat of the owl which has an important role with his catching. Beside him his trusty, well-loaded, thus quite slowly striding along white horse. On it poles, bird-cages, large and small, round and square, nets, cloth and what else not, on top, however, the long-eared owl is enthroned … In the background the well-equipped fowling-floor, the destination of the excursion. ”
Shining contrast-rich on buff laid paper as characteristic of the contemporary impressions. – Typographic watermark. – At the sides with 3.8-4 cm of fine, top and below with 7.8 and 7 cm resp. excellently wide margins.
Offer no. 28,593 / EUR 760. / export price EUR 722. (c. US$ 827.) + shipping
Offer no. 28,461 / EUR 29. (c. US$ 33.) + shipping
Not rare at all , yet as protected as the Eagle Owl :
When Crows still were allowed to be hunted
Fröhlich, Ernst (Kempten 1810 – Munich 1882). (The Crow Shed.) / Chasse aux Oiseaux de Proie. Eagle owl sitting on the mast, above it hater loosing feathers by the shot. Further coming nearer. Chalk lithograph by Victor-Jean Vincent Adam (Paris 1801 – Viroflay 1866). Inscribed: (Drawn by) Frœhlich. / Lyth. (by) V. Adam. / (Printed by) Lemercier, Benard & Co. / Bey Artaria & Fontaine in Mannheim / Chez Rittner & Goupil à Paris, otherwise in German-French as above. 11 × 12½ in (28 × 31.6 cm).
From the 18-sheet set “(Hunting Memories)”. – Schoeller Coll. 426. – Not in Schwerdt. – The charming sujet with instructively drawn guide of the line. – The general fine foxspottedness barely impairing only. – In the extremely wide white margin waterstain lower right and backed minimal tear.
Offer no. 11,233 / sold
Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Falconer Boy taking up the Eagle Owl from the Ground. Postcard in rotogravure after Thienemann 121 by O. Felsing, (Berlin-)Charlottenburg. C. 1900-1918. 5½ × 3½ in (14 × 9 cm).
Unused “ARTIST POSTCARD” after the sujet of the Falconers set etched by Martin Elias R. – “He rides a fine English stallion … above magpies fly …”.
Offer no. 28,458 / EUR 29. (c. US$ 33.) + shipping
And of what does the wise owl warn — na , whom do you suppose ? — as well ?
… to take the continuance
of democratic constitutional rights
Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Innocence is often saved through the Hatred of the Evil. An owl once cheated by the fox warns “a flock of wild geese” to praise the death of Reynard the Fox as guaranteed. Etching + engraving by Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780). 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 × 24.7 cm).
exceptionally rare first 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 set consists of 20 plates, of which Johann Elias, however, has published only the first sixteen. Presumably by stylistic scruple. For with the last four, etched/engraved only by his eldest, Martin Elias, and published posthumously, as then here, too,
he gives up the superabundance of the previous ,
his moreover only newly worked fable conception ,
in favour of a now also for himself thoroughly newly ,
sovereignly formulated large flat clearness
with which to grapple with he obviously has shied at the end though. And where to follow him was impossible for Thienemann, too, still one hundred years later (“have less artistic value, but are nevertheless estimable, and their rarity is to be regretted”). What here, however, is seen as a remarkably advanced artistic expressiveness.
Culminating just in the fascination
to have created not only a new fable image ,
but cultivated this , once more in itself , to a new level .
Comparable in this connection, as quoted repeatedly by Ridinger, it may be pointed out to Watteau and here to his “Party in the Open/Park” in Berlin, on which Pierre Rosenberg notes: “… the Berlin painting is
an evidence that the artist wished to reinvent himself
by creation of a new type of composition …”
(Exhibition Catalogue Watteau, Washington/Paris/Berlin 1984/85, p. 415).
Ridinger’s fable image then also a highly momentous milestone within the “basic corpus of about 900 editions of illustrated fable books” up to Chagall’s Lafontaine folio with its 100 etchings worked 200 years later as downright a glaring light for the immortality of the fable illustration.
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 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. 12,511 / EUR 946. / export price EUR 899. (c. US$ 1029.) + shipping
“ World World — Oh Oh ”
Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). Oh Oh. The night owls consumed a poor little hare, so soon cats come along, too, and liked to take them together with the hare, there it is about hairs so about feathers. An eagle owl – Thienemann comments – , sitting on a captured hare, is attacked by two cats which want to take the hare from it. Above a second owl tries to fly down and hinder the robbery. ADDED: World World. The foxes fetched a banquet in the hen-house, but at once the dogs were hunted on them, and thus it is about feathers so about hairs. Two foxes – Thienemann comments – , one takes to his heels with a hen in the mouth, the other had dropped the killed cock to defend himself against a dog. Two further packers hurrying down an elevation to take part in the battle. / 2 sheet as lively wall-mighty sceneries in fine hilly water landscape (under the full moon), located each on the other side of the same water. Etching + engraving by Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780). Inscribed: XXXIII. and XXXIV. resp. / Joh. El. Ridinger. del: et inv: (l. 34: invin:, sic!) 1753. / M. El. Ridinger. Filio suo. sp. 1777, otherwise in German as before and below. 13¼ × 9¾-9⅞ in (33.7-33.8 × 24.7-25.1 cm).
Thienemann + Schwarz 376/377; Helbing XXXIV, Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 892 + 893 (“RARE”, 1900!). – The pair XXXIII/XXXIV of the 46-sheet set To the Special Events and Incidents at the Hunt ( “The rarest set of Ridinger’s sporting line engravings”, Schwerdt 1928), etched exclusively by Martin Elias after predominantly his father’s designs and concluded posthumously in 1779, here present
in marvelous impressions of the first edition
with the Roman number
(“If they are missing, so this indicates later impressions”, Th.)
with provenance Von Behr of the House Stellichte
as above and assumedly purchased directly from the Ridingers between 1768 + before 1779, so just at times of foundation of the United States.
The set itself “arranged almost throughout so that always two by two harmonize with each other and form pendants, just as they have been sold in pairs, too” (Th.). To the “World World” sheet follow as lines 4 f. “All brave bachelors are burdensome to the belles, but the latter in their turn often dangerous to the former”, on which Thienemann remarks laconically “But how maidens and bachelors fit here Ridinger may know”. The “Oh Oh” sheet with lines 4 f.
“ There is no end to robbing and killing ,
and so outrage becomes the third sin ”.
The German Von Behr family itself reaching back far into the centuries. I. a. already in 1470 – 29 years before Columbus! – it was enfeoffed with the water castle in Stellichte, Lower Saxony, as the ancestral seat up to date.
Arched undulation at top. – WANGEN watermark. – Margins of sheet 33 on three sides, and here partially weakly fox-spotted, 3.5-5.5 cm wide, on the left with only 0.5-1 cm (here slight trace of glue in the upper third) around the white plate-margin itself 1 cm wide though. – Margins of sheet 34 on three sides 2.6-6.8 cm wide, on the left with 1.5 cm, half of which with former stitching fold with stitching holes, around the said wide white plate-margin. – Helbing had the sheet “with almost full margin” only.
Offer no. 14,496 / sold
– – – A new copy in wide-margined impressions of vibrant chiaroscuro with the Roman numbers (“If they are missing, so this indicates later impressions”, Th.) originating from the omnibus volume of the old estate of a nobleman. – See the complete description.
Offer no. 15,820 / EUR 1780. / export price EUR 1691. (c. US$ 1936.) + shipping
(Eagle Owl, The.) Huntsman with the eagle owl on his arm. Wood engraving after Herbert König (Dresden 1820 – Niederlößnitz near D. 1876). (1876.) Inscribed: HKönig (ligated). 6⅝ × 5⅜ in (16.7 × 13.8 cm).
Offer no. 11,668 / EUR 65. (c. US$ 74.) + shipping
“ I purchased this set (Leonardo’s Anatomical Studies) from you at the beginning of this year (recte already in 2011). The books are one of my prized possessions … and thank you again for being a part of this special section of my library … ”
(Mr. M. W., December 19, 2012)