… in niemeyer’s garden …

Young Long-eared Owls
So much for their “purely nocturnal way of life (only) hard to watch”. No sooner early afternoon drew to an end , the old one sighed , cheeped the young ones . The latter soon enough quite lively , see the picture . Performing contortions , monkeying about , with faces like green monkeys from afar .

The Long-eared Owls

with their three young ones! Occupying the territory from time immemorial. But as far as recollection goes never before as close to the house as this year. With the old one(s) being quite like Löns’ owls. Firm view at spectators. Then taking off. And really, really close above the head of the respective niemeyer, looking downwards.

Then veering off in right angle into the nearest willows and ashes. And moaning Nowhere in life there is some rest … ( à la Th. 389/390 ) we owls – neither scared off for notice of its attic for too much dirt besides the barn owl – feel fine, the niemeyers come about. Who then indeed fancy having seen enough, disturbed enough. And recall somewhere at the back of their mind Löns’ story of a couple peasants sitting with the parson at the foot of the steeple for some evening chat – and upsetting the breeding owls. The quickest legs supposedly belonged to the bands subscriber. Meanwhile it turned increasingly secretive again.

… yet in niemeyer’s shop …

… there are to have …

Ridinger, Eagle Owl (detail)

Johann Elias Ridinger

Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767

“ The Title
belongs to the Finest Engravings
of German Rococo ”

( L’Art Ancien 1938 )

Representations designed from Nature How all Big and Small Game, along with the Winged Game is trapped alive or dead in various manner with Reason Artifice and Force! Etching & engraving. Inscribed in German: All drawn from life and published by Johann Elias Ridinger in Augspurg in the year 1750. May. 10th, otherwise as before along with 8 lines explanation in German. 9¾ × 14¼ in (24.9 × 36.3 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz (vol. I, plate V & ill. p. 69) 69; Ridinger catalog Darmstadt, 1999, V.9 with ills.; Ridinger catalog Kielce, 1997, 27. – The wide white margin partially minimally foxing.

Ridinger, How to trap all Game

On the right dominantly sitting an eagle owl.

Centrally a hooded falcon literally enthroned above a scutcheon-like arabesque. At his claws a larger bird defending its nest of eggs against a he-cat already caught in a foothold trap. Far left a row of toils and the here variedly equipped known pole with bleating sheep on the cartwheel at top. Otherwise traps, nets, firearm as messenger of destruction up to the shooting horse on fenced farm paddock far right.

The only rarely to be captured constructive title sheet

to the 30-plate set of the Ways to trap the Wild Animals, that “highly interesting work (containing) beautiful and remarkable sheets … drawn from life” (Nagler) and showing the practician everything he needs outdoors. – Known on the market from the 1980s the richly washed original drawing in the same direction as the engraving from the small group of the master’s bewitchingly beautiful painterlies. – Supposedly watermarked WANGEN as one of the papers preferred by Ridinger.

Offer no. 15,848 / EUR  630. / export price EUR  599. (c. US$ 653.) + shipping

Ridinger, Falconer Groom carrying the Eagle Owl on the Hand

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$ 901.) + shipping

Falconer groom picking up the Eagle Owl from the Ground. Postcard in rotogravure after Thienemann 121 by O. Felsing, Charlottenburg (Berlin). C. 1900/20. 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 horse … above magpies fly …”.

Offer no. 28,458 / EUR  29. (c. US$ 32.) + shipping

Bird-catcher with the Eagle Owl and those Lime-twigs. Postcard in rotogravure after Thienemann 132 as before. – “Rich sheet. In the center a strong trunk, on it the eagle owl, weaker ones on the side bristling with lime-twigs … (On the right the) hut in which the bird-catcher whistles with the pipe”.

Offer no. 28,461 / EUR  29. (c. US$ 32.) + shipping

“ Oh Oh ”

Ridinger, Night Owls consumed a Little Hare

And already 125 Years ago definitely Rare !

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 is about to fly down and prevent the heist. In fine hilly water landscape under the full moon. Etching with engraving by Martin Elias Ridinger (1731 Augsburg 1780). Inscribed: XXXIV. / Joh. El. Ridinger. del: et invin: 1753. / M. El. Ridinger. Filio suo. sp. 1777, otherwise in German as before and below. 13⅛ × 9¾ in (33.3 × 24.8 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 377; Silesian Ridinger collection at Boerner XXXIX, within 1887 ( “New impressions”, 1885! ); Reich auf Biehla Collection 119 ( “Rare”, 1894! ); Helbing XXXIV, Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 893 ( “Rare”, 1900! ).

Waved arched top sheet 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 in 1779.

At which not only after realization here Martin Elias’ impact on the Ridinger œuvre is much larger than that of an engaged co-worker as engraver only. Already at an age of thirty he just acted as a spiritus rector behind the scene ensuring that sets were completed or, as here, published posthumously.

And as Wolf Stubbe (Joh. El. Ridinger, 1966, pp. 16 f. + pl. 34), going in medias res, celebrates Th. 722, The Wild Buffalo and the Crocodile, from the Fights of Killing Animals as an artistic zenith of the late work in respect of its luminous efficiency, he pays tribute together, because judging by the plate, not the drawing, to Martin Elias as the etcher/engraver of that work. An aspect illustrating deeply the Ridinger teamwork.

The caption quoted above supplemented by the motto

“ Oh Oh =
There is no end to robbing and killing ,
and so outrage becomes the third sin . ”

Present motif besides doubtless inspired Friedrich Gauermann (1807-1862) to his oil Fight between Foxes and an Eagle about a Dead Snow Grouse (Boetticher 64) then in the collection Prince Liechtenstein.

Wide-margined impression of vibrant chiaroscuro originating from the omnibus volume of the old estate of a nobleman on firm laid paper with typographic watermark as one of Ridinger’s preferred qualities

with the Roman number

(“If they are missing, so this indicates later impressions”, Th.). – In the far white upper margin still both the two pinholes from the original stitching in numbers, at the far right edge small tidemark.

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.). Here thus with the Foxes who fetched a Banquet in the Hen-house.

Offer no. 15,723 / EUR  930. / export price EUR  884. (c. US$ 963.) + shipping

“ Yet on top
the Eagle Owl is enthroned … ”

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).

Thienemann + Schwarz 131; Deutsches Leben der Vergangenheit, Eugen Diederichs Verlag, ill. 1482. – Sheet 19 (“S.”) of the 25-sheet set of Hunters and Falconers with their Work, here

Ridinger, Bird-catcher going to the Fowling-floor

“ 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$ 787.) + shipping

Eagle Owl — Hare — Hunter — Triad

Thematically as well as the Sheet itself “Extremely Rare”

The poor hare falls to the sun-shy owl’s share and this to 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 at 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. 13¾ × 9¼ in (34.9 × 23.6 cm).

Thienemann + Schwarz 346; Silesian Ridinger collection at Boerner XXXIX, 1868 ( “Very rare”, 1885! ); Reich auf Biehla Collection 93 ( “Extremely rare”, 1894! ); Helbing XXXIV, Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, 860 (“Rare”, 1900).

The very very fine scenery

as sheet III of the 46-sheet set On the Special Events and Incidents at the Hunt ( “The rarest set of Ridinger’s sporting line engravings”, Schwerdt 1928) as already above.

The two closing lines of the caption

Ridinger, Eagle Owl with Hare shot

“ He who suppresses weaker ones should not rejoice too much .

For quite easily a stronger one comes over him ”

besides 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.

Wide-margined impression of very fine chiaroscuro originating from the said omnibus volume of the old estate with typographic watermark as supposed countermark of the Wangen paper mill as one of Ridinger’s preferred firm laid paper qualities

with the Roman number

(“If they are missing, so this indicates later impressions”, Th.). 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.). – Acid-freely backed small tear as well as small box pleat at the white upper edge.

Offer no. 15,705 / EUR  870. / export price EUR  827. (c. US$ 901.) + shipping

Was Ridinger shy
at Confrontation with the Own Work ?

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).

Thienemann + Schwarz 781; Metzner-Raabe, Illustr. Fabelbuch, 1998, vol. II, 123.I. – Sheet 17 of the Fables. – Small figurative watermark. – The repeated “.” after Ridinger missing in Schwarz who besides mentions a “:” after FABUL instead of the simple dot here. – Additionally to the fine white platemark with also wide paper margin on two sides. In the narrower left one old traces of stitching.

Ridinger, Fable 17

The 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, p. 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 great intellectual relationship with the already mentioned Hogarth by the way also unmistakably expressed in Garrick’s epitaph for this:

“ Whose pictured Morals charm the Mind ,
And through the Eye correct the Heart.”

Chronologically interesting in this connection that on the other side of the channel in 1726 John Gay, famous-notorious for his Beggars Opera (Brecht, Threepenny Opera!), had presented by his Fables “the most important achieved hitherto by English poets in this kind” (Meyers Konvers.-Lex., 4th ed., VI, 960/II). – More  of  these  highly  interesting  Ridinger  fables  here  in  stock .

The set consists of 20 plates, of which Johann Elias, however, has published only the first sixteen. Presumably by stylistic scruple. For with the closing four, etched/engraved only by his eldest, Martin Elias, and published posthumously, 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 (exemplarily for this especially 17th & 20th) 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 regarded 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).

Relating to Ridinger quite exemplary his “Memento Mori” Schwarz 1426 worked in mezzotint, for that three states could described here for the first time which document a radicalized spiritualization of the civic fine composition of the picture originally Dutch anchored. In this case promoted by the necessity of retouchings of the mezzotint plate technically conditioned extremely fast wearing off which according to the expert Sandrart (1675) only permits 50-60 good impressions.

Ridinger’s general 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 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$ 980.) + shipping

And Generations after Ridinger :

(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). 16.7 x 13.8 cm. – With text sheet in German.

Herbert König, Eagle Owl

“ As soon as the days start to turn noticeably shorter, rich dew covers the fields in the morning and the waving crops have been brought into the farmer’s barn … we see the huntsman rambling to the field in the early morning with the eagle owl on the arm, which he has wrapped with a net or cloth … ”

Offer no. 11,668 / EUR  65. (c. US$ 71.) + shipping

“ … I was digging and I found you. I needed to tell you that your collection for whatever reason has brought tears to my eyes. Thank you … I’m not a collector, or I haven’t known myself to be … I was going to sell this (sheet), but I just may have discovered that I’m to keep this for whatever reason. Have you made a collector out of me … For all your devotion, hardwork … I thank you ”

(Mrs. D. H., June 17, 2002)