Johann Elias Ridinger


What by mostly

Sire Louis George

Margrave of Baaden Baaden p.p.

has been shot and captured

in His own Grounds in the Year 17..

« The trade of an art dealer

is a difficult , quite peculiar , but always interesting métier .

However , if I came into the world a hundred times

and brought along into my new life …

the recollection of the work of the previous one ,

I would choose just this métier again and again ,

with the same enthusiasm , why , with the same passion

I am addicted to it today »

Augusto Jandolo

Memorie di un Antiquario, 1939

(from the German edition Bekenntnisse eines Kunsthändlers, Vienna 1954, page 309)

“Hunters of the Wanted Prints”

Paul Dahms titled 2008 in Wild und Hund on occasion of Ridinger’s 310th birthday his portrait of niemeyer’s as the store “specialized on the baroque engraver’s œuvre”. To change over in another place, for instance his Wild und Jagd vom Darß bis zu den Alpen (Munich 2005) as a picture and reading joy of its own, by example of the large, black cock into the hunter’s practical experience and bringing alive the frequently “arduous matter” of wood grouse stalking. “… not only passion and shooting skill, but patience … Several evenings before the actual hunt …”. Huntsmen, you have it better than such an antiquary the old, to paraphrase Goethe.

For what are a number of wasted times waiting on the hide, even several years, to finally still get a royal one, compared to the dealer’s long, long breath necessary many a time, who certainly knows what in the collections of today is just as missing as in almost any of the earlier ones of distinction, yet has no idea where and with whom he should start. Because it’s nowhere present beside old literature – except in his own head, in his thoughts, and his downright maniac desire. Piercing and biting. And this since fifty years, soon after first closer occupation with the works of the dominant stag of his century and beyond up to today. In Thienemann ( 1856 !! ) he read in this regard

“ I let follow a very rare sheet …

I feel bound to describe it in great detail and exhaustively ”. And decades later in Hugo Helbing’s giant Ridinger offer of 1900 ( !! )

“ The rarest sheet of Ridinger’s ,

which hardly ever occurs in the trade ”,

with 400 Goldmark

now already valued equal to a complete copy

“ of greatest beauty with very wide margins as … occurring rarely only ”

of the 36-sheet Princes’ Pleasure ,

as in turn also in “Brilliant impression with wide margins”. And these two four-hundreders in their infinitely far distance to the field of 1554 lots only outdone by 750 Goldmark for the 101-sheet Wondrous Deer in a copy “of greatest beauty” and by 700 Goldmark for a merely “very fine copy” of the 127-sheet Colored Animal Kingdom along with a further incomplete one as third in league of the four-hundreders.

Otherwise, however, Helbing’s understatement as regards “almost never occurring in the trade”. For with each further Ridinger inventory bestowed on him, by and by present practically conclusively from the late 19th century, the sleuth’s curiosity suffered a rebuff except for Schwarz (Baron von Gutmann, 1910) as the last time. Whatever his name and Ridinger collector’s fame! Included such prominent ones as Theodor Reich auf Biehla (1894; “[of the collections] come up for public sale in a long time, in regard of both completeness and quality … none can compete even approximately with the present one”), George Hamminger (1895) as market sweeper in the truest meaning of the word, Richard Schwerdt (1928; “My greatest pleasure in life was collecting”, yet at least conquering one of the two preparatory drawings known), Counts Faber-Castell (1958).

Negative report also around the then exhibition roundabout to the 300th birthday and their catalogs. Beginning with the touring exhibition through Poland 1997/98 fed by first princely source up to the no less substantial 2-months-show at Kranichstein (Darmstadt) 1999!

And then suddenly one morning the hint . Out of a blue sky. Followed by the shot hitting home . And the enormous joy of making sure rubbing one’s eyes ,

niemeyer’s has it !!!

« Again and again it’s breathtaking

what offers you can make … »

So an international publisher

on occasion of a previous Ridinger offer

Top Myth of the Œuvre

Ridinger, La Légendaire Gravure

The Shooting Table
Thienemann 161

“ I let follow

a very rare sheet …

Ridinger, Shooting Table / Boar (detail)Ridinger, Shooting Table / Deer (detail)

I feel bound to describe it

in great detail and exhaustively ”

Thienemann (1856)
No. 161

Which should be about

the Weigel copy



What of Deer and wild Boar Game as also Predators, Winged Game, and Birds of Prey usually in Serene Presence of His Princely Serenity the Reigning Sire

Ridinger, Shooting Table / Title (detail)

Sire Louis George Margrave of Baaden Baaden p.p.

Ridinger, Shooting Table / Table (detail)

has been shot and captured in His own grounds in the year 17.. .

The splendidly spreading – painterly with cascades made up of the heads of hounds as pedestal surround – imperial arms supported by lion & griffin, each crowned, below prince’s hat before the Rastatt residence of Versailles splendor on the left and the center of the city with church before mountain ridge on the right. Below in German

the 6-columned TABELLA for indeed

Stags / Deer and Calves / Wild Boars /
Fallow Deer / Fallow Deer and Calves / Roes //

Hares / Lynxes / Wolves / Foxes / Badgers / Otter //

Wild Cats / Marten / Polecats / Weasels / Wild Rabbits //

Wood Grouses / Swans / Cranes / Bustards / Black Cocks //

Hazel Grouse / Pheaseants / Wild Goose / Wild Ducks / Snipes / Partridges //

Guinea Fowl / Common Snipes / Quails / Bitterns / Wild Pigeons / Birds of Prey ,

Summa      Pieces

blank as already 100/150 years ago the three or even less copies below as the only earlier ones traceable here, probably even one and the same. Fore and middle ground finally

with most lavish surrounding of the whole TABELLA content ,

apart and in (parforce) hunts ,

Ridinger, Shooting Table / Parforce Hunt (detail)

with nets and coned pillar on pedestal

as hunting trophy with courting wood grouse on top

and further heart-warming more. Up to falcon , flight of ducks and heron in the skies .

Engraving with etching. (1753.) Inscribed: Joh. El. Ridinger sculps. Aug. Vind. Sheet size 10⅜ × 14⅝ in (26.3 × 37.2 cm).

In ruby red calf Solander box

(18⅞ × 24 × 1⅛ in [48 × 61 × 3 cm]) with imitation ribs with gilt fillets on spine & both boards, front cover tooled Johann Elias Ridinger / La Légendaire Gravure & referring to the coat-of-arms Golden Fleece in the four corners, back cover with ligated red series RS stamp as centerpiece & JayAitchDesign at the lower edge, black spine label Johann Elias Ridinger / Th. 161 as well as red endpapers with stamping regarding text and rarity. Besides at the center of the inner edge of the bottom ridinger handlung niemeyer – red series. All in 23.5 carat gold.

Providently furnished finally with two red-covered dummies

to receive both the two preparatory drawings known to literature in case of becoming available.

inspired by the joy to be able to fulfill desires

Weigel, Art Stock Catalog, sect. XXVIII (1857) ,

Ridinger Appendix, no. 14

Ridinger, Shooting Table (Th. 161)

“Exceedingly rare ”,

with 20 Reichsthaler still only (!!) valued equal to the first editions

of the 23-sheet set of the Fair Game , the originally only 16-sheet Fable set and the 12-sheet Paradise set.

And by this higher than the first editions

of the 16-sheet Parforce Hunt (16 RTh.) , the 30-sheet set of the Ways to trap the Wild Animals (18) , the 25-sheet Falconers set (12) , the 22-sheet set of the Fair Game hounded by Hounds (15) , the large-sized 8-sheet set Study of the Wild Animals with the small tracks (15) , the 45-sheet set of the Special Events and Incidents at the Hunt (10) , the 36-sheet set of the Horses of the Nations (12) , the 18-sheet Great Riding School (15) , the 16-sheet set of the Princely Persons mounted on Horseback (18) .

Still higher – at present ! – solely the first editions

of the 36-sheet Princes’ Hunting Pleasure (25 RTh.) , the 40-sheet Brockes set of the Wild Animals (30) , the 101-sheet set of the Wondrous Deer (60) , the 126-sheet Design of Several Animals (25) , one with only 120 plates incomplete copy of the Colored Animal Kingdom (50; “Complete copies are almost untraceable”) and Weinmann’s monumental 1025-sheet florilegium Phytanthoza iconographia printed in colors and colored further (24) .

Schwarz (1910) 161 along with plate I/IX

as the von Gutmann copy as the last one ( ! ) traceable here .

Besides Helbing’s understatement as regards “almost never occurring in the trade” updated by

negative report

in the Ridinger inventories of distinction present here practically conclusively from the late 19th century onward, including Theodor Reich auf Biehla (1894; “[of the collections] come up for public sale in a long time, in regard of both completeness and quality … none can compete even approximately with the present one”), George Hamminger (1895) as market sweeper in the truest meaning of the word, Richard Schwerdt (1928, but at least conquering one of the two preparatory drawings known and commenting on this occasion A study for the rarest of Ridinger’s prints [III, 215]), Counts Faber-Castell (1958).

Negative report

then also around the then exhibition roundabout to the 300th birthday and their catalogs. Beginning with the touring exhibition through Poland 1997/98 fed by first princely source up to the no less substantial 2-months-show at Kranichstein (Darmstadt) 1999!

Marvellous impression of richly contrasted shine

on finely structured light laid paper with watermark Crown below Imperial Orb with pendant A H (?) with fine margin all around, yet trimmed to or just within the platemark and supposedly already in the early 19th century mounted behind thin vélin mat watermarked H SMITH 1815. The general slight creasing perceptible on the back might be owed at least partly to tension of the latter. On the front, however, except for a pleat far left extending from top to the center of the castle base almost entirely negligible.

Designed as annual table ,

the virtual intraceability

arises per se from it being a purpose-made commissioned work not meant for third parties with moreover only eight to nine years currency at most. Although reigning already since 1727, the print is, as proven by the still rather general, larger-sized preparatory drawing Weigel, Johann Elias Ridinger’s Bequest of Drawings, 1869, no. 385 – “one of the finest drawings”, Th. page 275, ad h – of unknown whereabouts, certified by inscription and date, to be dated 1753 the earliest. However, already 1761 the commissioner, Margrave Louis George, apostrophized in analogy to his father, the Turk Louis Margrave Louis William of Baden as builder of the Rastatt residence,

Hunter Louis

had passed away. Member of the Bavarian Order of Saint Hubert, Knight of the Golden Fleece, the latter in present coat-of-arms is suspended in festive manner from the “chain consisting of firesteels and flame-spitting flints” (the emblem of Burgundy [Philip the Good had founded the order in 1429], Meyers Konversations-Lexikon VII, 1889, 487), thus not just on the red ribbon. Therefore following his father’s pride, who had the order, bestowed on him by Spanish King Charles II, engraved into his armor.

Born 7 June 1702 on Ettlingen Castle to Franziska Sibylla Augusta b. Princess of Saxony-Lauenburg – in maternal guardianship she held the regency after her husband’s decease 1707 until 1727 – , the devout Catholic Louis George married 1721 with imperial license obtained by his mother

in first marriage Maria Anna von Schwarzenberg

(1706-1755), daughter of Prince Adam Franz. The wedding took place at the palace Bohemian Krumau (Cesky Krumlov), since 1719 residence of the Schwarzenbergs and after Prague Castle second largest historical building of Czechia, since 1989 national cultural monument, since 1992 UNESCO world cultural heritage, for its architecture and historical significance belonging to the most important architectural monuments in Central Europe (Wikipedia). His practically managing and thinking mother, however, gave her young nimrod on this occasion a hunting lodge on the Fremersberg at Baden-Baden.

The second marriage coupled the widower
with Maria Anna Josepha of Bavaria

(1734-1776), the daughter of Elector Charles Albrecht, later Emperor Charles VII, as whom Ridinger greeted him on his return to Munich 1744 by the works Th. 274 & 275. – Deceased October 22 at Rastatt, margrave Louis George Simpert found his final resting place at the Stiftskirche Baden-Baden as the burial ground of the margravial family. He was followed in regency by his younger brother, Augustus William Simpert (1706-1771), with whose decease the margraviate Baden-Baden rooted in the Zähringen line became extinct in the male line and devolved upon the House of Baden-Durlach. By which was brought together again what had drifted apart in 1535.

In as great an ambience the Bohemian wedding had been celebrated ,

Ridinger, Shooting Table / Rastatt Castle (detail)

no less magnificient the margravial residence at Rastatt

as the “oldest baroque residence on the Upper Rhine … (following) the baroque ideal of a tripartite unit of palace, park, and city

as it had been realized at Versailles …

(the father, margrave Louis William) situated the new building in the wide plain of the Rhine Valley, where he had it built for 12 million guilders as vast baroque castle complex … The castle with its splendid interior decorations , the geometrically designed city of Rastatt and the vast parks represent a

unique authentical baroque artistic synthesis ”

(Timo John in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of July 5, 2000).

With the laying of its foundation stone in 1698 as at the same time Ridinger’s year of birth, the principal, realizing his very personal idea, reflected also privately that greatness, which made him immortal for the whole world in the wars against the Ottomans (1683-1699) as Türkenlouis – for his red uniform the Turks called him respectfully only The Red King – and let the only 36-year old rise to lieutenant-general after his triumphant victory in the battle of Slankamen 1691, that is supreme commander of all imperial troops as the highest military rank ever, bestowed five times only.

The adequate social rise, however, was denied to him by emperor Leopold I by considering his general neither for the Polish crown nor the ninth German electoral dignity. His assertive reaction was the grandeur of the Rastatt palace as a “huge three-wing building”.

A complex, which appears in the neither signed nor dated, yet already print-sized second of two known preparatory drawings – see Schwerdt III, page 215 & plate 250, now Bavarian private collection – still only in outlines, to show now in the engraving in its full completion of a princely claim to power.

And before this local scene – castle complex on the left, place on the right – the subject then the one which.

The attributes of the whole plenty of baroque court hunting

as the mobile reverbaration of the property. With the coat-of-arms, right far top left a boar, as the central joining link of last resort. Glorious in its assertiveness , its density , its richness , its extension (7½ × 11¾ in [19 × 30 cm]). Communicating the way of thinking and feeling of a house, whose great Louis William not only could errect his Baden Versailles, rather also had it passed to his imperial sovereign acting unduly on him that he were about degrading the princes to “slurry peasants and slaves”.

In no other work of Ridinger’s

we encounter an even remotely comparable princely grandstanding

as in this with old prints supposedly generally

Ridinger, Shooting Table / Arms Cartouche (detail)

quite unique dominance of arms .

Emphasizing on the part of the son, what the father was denied in ingratitude:

the rise to high aristocracy .

Th. 161 in such a manner princely beyond its subject .

For the “minimized Ridinger” the execution of this order must have been fun. Yet where else with him we encounter in a rather limited space such a thematic abundence as downright a

compendium of his huntsmanlike depicting !

All the more remarkable that in contrast to the preparatory drawing Weigel 385 – “with the name. 1753.” – he styles himself in the now corsetted and dynastically enlarged print by inscription only as engraver of what would grow to

260 Years

Ridinger, La Légendaire Gravure

graphical Top Myth of the Œuvre

44 to 54 years

lay between its last evidence and its first-time description by Thienemann. And its in terms of value comparative leap from the 23 sheet of the Fair Game to the 36 of the Princes’ Hunting Pleasure!

Yet 104 to 114 years

lie between today’s offer

and those benchmark data of 1900 & 1910 !!

“ Hunters of the Wanted Prints ”

occurred to


years ago on niemeyer’s .

Ridinger, Shooting Table (detail)


Offer no. 16,115 / price on application

“ I am writing to you to have suggestion from you, the specialist of J.E.Ridinger. I am an art historian … ”


“ Thank you very much for quick response. Your suggestion is so helpful and can correct many erroneous captions which have been attached to the Ridinger’s prints in Japan until now … ”

(Ms. Y. K.-S., 19 + 22 December 2009)