Aha  –  The  Advanced  Ridinger-Collector’s  2nd  Part

In the first the master has instructed us on the development of an etching, naturally of an own and an exemplary one in addition. Has shown us how such one is yet far from being as ready for the market even if the picture appears already completely in general on the paper. And without having an eye for us he took, quite for himself, the red chalk and marked here and ruddled there all those passages craving for continuation of the work on the plate. And in such a way even us 250 years later ones having had the rare luck to become acquainted with such an example of former doing on the creative way to the finished work of art, yes, having the favor to acquire it for the collection, he allowed the posthumous immediately ardently desired look over the shoulder on the desk of the sudio.

The latter then standing also in the crosshairs of our curiosity today. It is about 1740. Before himself Ridinger has a copy

– and  that  again  as  lying  before  now  here + today –

Johann Elias Ridinger's Author's Copy of his Fair Game

of  his  23-sheet  set  of  the  Fair Game

with their respective life-size tracks and traces (Thienemann 162-185, c. 14⅝-14¾ × 11⅜-11¾ in [37-37.5 × 29-30 cm]). Quite ready as it seems. But naturally the master knows better. That a work must be finished to discover what will be made up leeway. There is above all the omitted numbering complicating a binding as requested. He yet shall has to add them in the plates and later  number  by  own  hand  in  bister  the already existing impressions. And looking over the shoulder we observe this his respective diligent and routine work. Taken for itself nothing world-shaking. But a resistance will be hard for the collector seeing himself in view of the possibility to secure such a copy deviating from the norm in complete  autograph  numbering  by  the  artist .

But the master’s eyes see yet something else. And now it becomes fascinating. Yes, yes, for himself, too. Even when for the present he becomes aware of only the one. Namely that at the 13th sheet, the Trace of the Hare, Th. 175, he was following the less definite inscription of his preparatory drawing – DJM 5180 – in that the marks

“x”  +  “#”  stand  for  soft  and  hard  ground  respectively

Trace of a Hare (preparatory drawing)

but erroneously related by him to the two traces in question.

With the result

“(Hind Leg)” on hard ground instead of correctly “(Fore Leg)” …

and relating the following trace “(Fore Leg)” instead of “(Hind Leg)”.

This oversight described just so by Helbing (Cat. XXXIV [1900], Works of J. E. and M. E. Ridinger, 356).

But  only  in  the  copy  here

Trace of a Hare (proof with etched correction overlays)

this  mistake  has  been  healed  by  etched  cover  labels

on thin paper. And comparing letters and especially the background hatching this could have been done

just  only  by  the  master  himself !

For these overlay sheets are,

as  comparison  and  measurements  show

Trace of a Hare (final corrected state)

in  addition  definitely

text  engravings  in  their  own  right

neither to be brought in congruence with the later correction in the plate nor with an inscription on another sheet of the set and in such a manner also could not have been snipped off from such one, e.g., by another hand at later time. See the edges of the engraved cover labels tenderly perceptible on the 2nd of the three reproductions, but also the varied writing of “V” + “H” compared with the corrected plate version of the lower illustration. And only in the latter now also the triple * for the soft ground appears.

The  second  mistake  to  be  documented  here , however,

Trace of the Badger (preparatory drawing)

even  escaped  the  master  himself , too ,

while we looked him over the shoulder, being also undescribed in literature.

And so the two traces of the 17th sheet, Trace of the Badger, Th. 179, then are described in the copy here up to now as

(Hind “Foot”) + (Fore “Foot”)

Trace of the Badger (proof with the confounded designation)

instead of “(Leg)” each

as after all in the final state.

Trace of the Badger (final corrected state)

Sometime Ridinger has noticed just also here that also with the inscription of this preparatory drawing (DJM 5195) something was not in order.

Helbing lists also this sheet as well as proof as final impression, too, but does not mention any letter variant. The same passes for each one copy resp. without and with numbering by hand figured on the market in our ’70s and ’80s resp., the first of which qualified “Presumably proofs because not any impressions were known to Thienemann either ”.

So the proofs seem to differ by themselves

with  the  ones  here  being  the  first  and  foremost  states.

With exception of the synoptic sheets 21-23 with the reduced tracks and traces lying before in the final state with printed numbers. Yet plate 22 printed from two plates with loss of one parting line as known for all three plates from Schwerdt’s copy as one traded here in earlier years and regarded here as later interim state.

As said, quite exciting the whole, not to say , this Ridinger . And for the copy here he used a remarkably fine paper, too. No, no, by no means to all superfluity yet. For only such one gave him the final impression of the print quality, shew him, whether the plate reproduces how he thought it. There the connoisseur’s eye shines yet somewhat brighter against a copy of an ordinary edition. All

the  brilliant  print  quality  of  vibrant  chiaroscuro

finds on such fine paper just yet a heightening.

And if you now change from the master’s studio to your Ridinger dealer who can tell you still a by-path referring additionally into the Holy of Holies and on its part strengthening the result of that what was to be seen there.

It relates to the arrangement of our copy’s engravings. For excepting the singular initial lion as the number 1 of the set all the others stand two by two against each other. Mounted on c. 24¾ × 16½ in [63 × 42 cm] Whatman sheets watermarked “J. Whatman / Turkey Mill / 1832”, rendering by this way

Johann Elias Ridinger, Titel (Th. 162)Johann Elias Ridinger, Trace of the Lion (Th. 163)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Tiger + Bear (Th. 164 + 165)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Stag + Deer (Th. 166 + 167)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Boar + Fallow Deer (Th. 168 + 169)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Wolf + Roebuck (Th. 170 + 171)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Lynx + Ibex (Th. 172 + 173)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Chamois + Hare (Th. 174 + 175)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Fox + Beaver (Th. 176 + 177)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Otter + Badger (Th. 178 + 179)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Wild He-cat + Pine Marten & Weasel (Th. 180 + 181)Johann Elias Ridinger, Traces of Iltis & Squirrel + Plate of Traces (Th. 182 + 183)Johann Elias Ridinger, Plates of Traces (Th. 184 + 185)

an  unusually  comfortable  aspect .

The latter quite in the tradition of the great Vasari (1511-1574, “first systematic collector of artist drawings”) who his drawings, harmoniously arranged, “pasted … onto large-scale album pages” (National Gallery Washington regarding the 2006 exhibition “Six Centuries of Master Drawings celebrate 15th anniversary of arrival of Woodner Collection”).

An arrangement corresponding then also in respect as well of paper as processing with a copy of early print quality of the set Fights of Killing Animals (Th. 716/23 once traded here and leading now to the dropping of the penny. In both cases identical 1832 mounting paper. Was there not something in those early 1830s? But certainly, of course. In 1830 J. A. G. Weigel in Leipsic, matter of reccord by literature, had taken over the immensely rich assets of Ridinger’s drawings. And with that together, granting this to be so, residues of prints + supporting documents, too. And obviously in processing the latters trimmed printing material – like the Fights sheets above also the ones of the Fair Game here are thoroughly trimmed on or close to the platemark – was mounted on Whatman for a better presentation in interest of selling without, however, having it also yet be bound.

Both spectacular facts and conclusions led then inevitably to the certainty to hold in hands here

the  author’s  copy  of  Ridinger’s  Fair Game !

What a genesis , what a hit !

How immoderately to want more ! But immoderate is the collector’s desire . And so the custom established “for esthetic reasons

to  enlarge  and  to  illustrate  works  with  extras  of  own  collector’s  value ”

(Löffler-Kirchner, Lexikon des Gesamten Buchwesens, I, 511/I). It was the hour of birth of the

Johann Elias Ridinger's Author's Copy of his Fair Game

exemplaire  enrichi .

Whom to show out of innerst impetus its deep reverence the ridinger gallery would not at all be able to deny it in this case. And so it took, what it had . And that was not more or less , it was pure and simple all , a ne plus ultra :

the  original  printing-plate

for  sheet  ONE,  Th. 163 ,

“ ( Trace  of  the  LION ) ”

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

With the result of a  worldwide  unique  collector’s  item  of  degree  composed from

the  above  author’s  copy

Johann Elias Ridinger, Johann Elias Ridinger's Author's Copy of the Representation of the Fair Game

in  ruby  red  morocco

with 5 ornamental raised bands, 2 dark green gilt back-plates, gilt two-piece title on the front + Ridinger-stag vignette on the back cover, gilt lines on both, and ruby red fly leaves


desert-colored morocco casette with ornamental raised bands and with the removable printing-plate as solitaire laid into the front cover under polycarbonate glass (more resistant to aging + UV light than Plexiglas, but equally sensitive to scratches), inscribed

“ 1. / J. E. Ridinger inv. del. sc. et exc. A. V. ”

Above the master’s name, below that the unicum title

Johann Elias Ridinger, Lion Copy


( –  Lion  Copy  – )

and in the inner front cover below ridinger handlung niemeyer (ridinger gallery niemeyer), all in 23.5 carat. (Bookbindery M. Hierl Bonn, 26⅜ × 17¾ × 2 in [67 × 45 × 5 cm], 10.5 kg.)

That  the  master  has  worked  the  printing-plate  himself  alone

shall be mentioned expressly. Just as documented by inscription above. Apart from that sheltered from tarnishing by fine application of varnish and printable generally in the ordinary course of its use during the times, but no guarantee for its final print quality.

Thematically the coppers 1-20 show in their upper almost three quarters the animals in typical position of their splendid environment and under that the

traces  in  original  size

namely for bear – staghind – boar – fallow-deer – wolf – roebuck – lynx – ibexchamoishare – fox – beaverotter – badger – wildcatmarten + weasel (used by Franz Marc inter alia as model for his 1911 oil “Playing Weasels”, Hoberg-Jansen 144 with ills.) – polecat + squirrel , while the ones of lion and tiger (recte “perhaps a jaguar”, Th.) are reduced as “not to be found in our forests”.

In Helbing’s catalog (XXXIV, 1408) after all a reference generally fallen into oblivion again to a copy of proofs, recte presumely a waste copy, of the Paradise suite whose reverse sheets – presumely with the exception of three sheet – were printed with text to the set here, one of which inscribed with “Joh. Elias Ridinger, Augsburg A. C. 1738”. The set known only with the 1740 title would be proven consequently not only as appeared in serial parts as besides the rule at Ridinger, but above all as accompanied by detailed text. Although probable that in this connection there never had been more than such printing proofs, printed therefore also only one-sided and used then for other start printings, so in the Ridinger œuvre unica fascinating the collectors surprise again and again and then also lying before here and already was the subject of the advanced Ridinger-collector’s 1st part.

Without the text sheet which “is concerned solely with the traces and could be new and important for the young hunter only” (Thienemann), the “(Preliminary Report)” on the back of the title covered by mounting and trimmed within its last line. – Obviously for better presentation the Whatman-sheet for title + plt. 1 parted. The title itself complete, but severely trimmed and with trifle scratch (3.5 cm) in the middle of the vignette and a marginal tear of 4.5 cm settled by mounting and uniformly slightly browned as plt. 23, too. The wonderfully wide-margined Whatman-sheets with prevailingly only small marginal repairs, otherwise fine and absolutely fresh. Only the last one with plts. 22 + 23 with more tears. Otherwise practically best and impeccably fresh.

Plate 7 – fallow-deer – with printing spot touching the caption, plate 10 with little black spot below the chest of the lynx. Here and there slightly foxed in the margins. Otherwise still some plate dirt on plate 1, the lion. Therefore by itself of serene splendor.

Offer no. 28,888 / price on application

„ Ich habe die letzten Tage auf Ihrer Website gestöbert, weil sie dem Uhu und anderen Eulen viel Platz gewidmet haben … Da haben Sie mir eine tolle Nachricht geschickt. Ich freue mich auf Ihre Post … Der Inhalt Ihrer Eulenbroschüre ist äußerst gelungen … (Da) haben Sie mir ein schönes vorweihnachtliches Geschenk gemacht! “

(Herr A. O., 19. November/19. December 2015)