Frankfort Benefactress
May von Weinberg of the
House of the
Earls of Granard

May von Weinberg. Mack, ill. 6 with source
Institut für Stadtgeschichte (ISF), Frankfort/Main

to her
150th Birthday
15 December 2016


Mack, Die Frankfurter Familie von Weinberg
Ernst Mack, Die Frankfurter Familie von Weinberg
– enclosed here in each case –
otherwise apart per 29,060/€ 12.80


Alexander Archipenko

Kiev 1887 – New York 1967

Bronze Bust of May von Weinberg


Bronze Bust of Carl von Weinberg


Ethel Mary

“May” von Weinberg

Villa Waldfried: Library
The Library at Villa Waldfried (Mack, ill. 22)

née Villiers Forbes

of the House of the Earls of Granard

May von Weinberg: Forbes Arms on Tombstone
Forbes arms (Mack, detail ill. 91)

15 December 1866

Frankfort on the Main
21 January 1937

30 October 1894

Marriage with Carl Weinberg

Frankfort on the Main 1861 – Rome 1943

1919 & 1924 member of the German delegation at the Versailles Peace and Dawes Plan negotiations resp. ( “[1919] he obtained from the adverse party important technical concessions … ‘and by this saved the German people so great assets that their size cannot be calculated in numbers’ [Baron v. Lersner, 1927] … ”



Moving in in Villa Waldfried

– next to the race course Niederrad –

Villa Waldfried: Gallery
Gallery at Villa Waldfried (Mack, ill. 21)

( English country style along with stud [1896] and polo ground ) ,

the design and furnishing of which was an essential concern of May’s ,
appearing as “the residence of a Fugger or Welser” ,
so acc. to Mack 45 Walter Moszkowski Oct. 26, 1926 in B.Z. am Mittag


Foundation of the Orphanage Villa Waldfried-Eck


Foundation of the day nursery at Odenwaldstrasse/Niederrad


Ennoblement of the Brothers
Arthur & Carl Weinberg

May von Weinberg: Weinberg arms on Tombstone
Weinberg arms (Mack, detail ill. 91)

of the Heriditary Prussian Peerage

for their merits for the chemical industry

( Casella Mainkur as for a time global leader for synthetic dyes;
50 German and numerous foreign patents on the side of Arthur )


Imprint for May von Weinberg

example for May’s membership in the
Societé des Amis du Livre Moderne founded 1874,
see below .

1914 ff.

Setting up & operation of private hospitals

for serious casualties in Villa Waldfried
and Arthur von Weinberg’s neighboring Haus Buchenrode


Conversion from the Anglican High Church
to Catholicism

On the full range of especially May’s charitable activities see in detail Mack .

Provenence Copies
are books
which , like the supralibros , the ex-libris
Exlibris May von Weinberg
May’s graphical ex-libris credo
of a winged angel with the Book of Life in front of Vatican ambience with St. Peter’s, Ponte Sant’Angelo & Castel Sant’Angelo, opened at May’s page along with device Dvm vivam et vltra [“hieme et aestate, et prope et procul, usque dum vivam et ultra”, in winter and summer, near and far, during life and beyond within the meaning of the canon “Everything is vain but Thou remain and whom Thou write into the Book of Life”]. Below the arms of both families below crown

or an autograph annotation prove ,
origin from a famous library
and stood in a personal relation
to its owner ”

Hans Bohatta
in Lexikon des Gesamten Buchwesens,
vol. III (1937), page 58

In May von Weinberg’s Armorial Binding
Balzac, Paysans
by Ernst Ludwig at Frankfort

“ the till today most important novel of French peasantry ”

with the Jeanniot Illustrations

Honoré de Balzac (Tours 1799 – Paris 1850). Les Paysans. Scènes de la vie de campagne. With

50 etchings by Georges Jeanniot

printed in brown, 24 of which as plates (c. 7½-7⅝ × 5⅛-5½ in [19-19.5 × 13-14 cm]), 24 within the text (c. 2¾ × 4⅞-5⅛ in [7 × 12.5-13 cm] and that of the title 2¾ × 2 in [7 × 5 cm] resp.) & 2 on the wrapper (7⅞ × 5⅛ and 4⅛ × 4⅛ in [20 × 13 and 10.5 × 10.5 cm] resp.), partly with signature and monogram resp. in the plate, the one of the front wrapper also with date 1911, as well as initials & ornament vignettes printed in green & black. Paris, SOCIÉTÉ des AMIS du LIVRE MODERNE, 1911. 4to (11¼ × 8⅝ in [28.5 × 22 cm]). 4 unnumbered ll. preliminary matters, 378 pp., 1 l. imprint. Cornflower blue morocco with 5 ribs with

May von Weinberg’s armorial supralibros

along with Forbes’ device Bear and Forbear

on the front cover, 4 cm wide manifold formed lining of both covers with particularly

cornflower bloom border as the Weinberg’s arms symbol ,

complete decoration interrupted only by title plate of back & leading edge determined by cornflower bloom as well as broad gilt interior edge, all in gold, blue silk moiré for inner covers & fly-leaves as well as bound with orig. wrapper including its back. Gilt edges. (E. Ludwig, Frankfurta/M 1911.)

“ John Pierpont Morgan

… did not want to buy cheap , but good value

and purchased only the best which was offered to him ”

Hans Bohatta

in Löffler-Kirchner , Lexikon des gesamten Buchwesens ,

vol. II (1936) , page 486

Loubier, (The Book Binding in Old and New Time), 1903, page 178; Carteret IV, 55 ( “Belle publication cotée” ); Mahé 122. – Arranged by Charles Meunier & Jean Renouard. – Preliminary matters in reddish brown (so the headings of the chapters, too) & black. – Etchings printed by Ch. Wittmann, the text by FIRMIN-DIDOT (“applies in particular to ills. works, too, éditions de luxe”, Löffler-Kirchner I, 541) under the direction of Th. Levevre. The especially made paper by PERRIGOT-MASURE .

No. 45/125 A copies (total edition 150 copies, 15 of which outside of the trade [B] & 10 for employees [C]) as

Exemplaire imprimé



as member of said second eldest French society of bibliophiles and here in the perfectly fresh

personal luxurious master binding
Silk paste-down
by Ernst Ludwig

“ (Also by Ernst Ludwig in Frankfort on the Main stylish bindings of various material have become known recently) ”

so Jean Loubier, “(Inspirer on the field of modern book art … in the binding commission formed at his suggestion he did the most important works)” (L.-K. II, 1936, 372). In such a manner then

exemplary instance of the binding art of the early 20th century

adequately containing

“ the till today most important novel on French peasantry ”

from the pen of the “grandiosely faun-like nature of Balzac , earth-like elementary and bound up with the dark origins of life” (Laaths, [History of World Literature], 1953, page 612) and, adequately once more – just as then, a slight waving of the moiré doublures aside, the preservation, too – , powerfully illustrated by Pierre Georges Jeanniot (Geneva 1848 – Paris 1934, since 1906 Knight of the Legion of Honor, friendly with Manet, familiar with Degas):

“ J.s graph(ic) works manifest the same versatility of the (painterly) subject-matter and the technique.

Above all he uses to do the etching …

Jeanniot, Marie TonsardJeanniot, Comtesse chez Olympe

His effortless command of the representation of the forms of movement enabled him especially as illustrator … i. a. … Balzac’s (1845) ‘Paysans’ ”

(Thieme-Becker XVIII [1925], 476). His obituary in the New York Papers of January 4, 1934.

Waldfried, Blue Parlor
The Blue Parlor at Villa Waldfried (Mack, ill. 27)

ENCLOSED: Ernst Mack. The Frankfort Family von Weinberg. In the Sign of the Cornflower Blooms. In German. Revised new edition. Frankfort/Main 2000.

Offer no. 28,946 / price on application

is a book
‘with genealogical tree’
which originates from well-known
Ridinger, Black Bear
The Great Black Bear

distinguished estate …
whose ambulation
through the various collections

is followed with enthusiasm ”
( and thereby a surviving into the depth of time )

G. A. E. Bogeng
Einführung in die Bibliophilie
1931 , page 187

Frankfort Exceptional Copy
Ridinger, Rhinoceros
The rare Indian rhinoceros Maid Clara
by Ridinger drawn from life 1748

Colored Animal Kingdom

Ridinger, Koloriertes Thierreich (Weinberg-Exemplar)

“ A Thing of Beauty is a Joy for Ever ”

John Keats

With 8 Undescribed First States !

The only Colored First Edition

Colored Animal Kingdom

in a
Roundabout Absolute Unrivaled Copy

of presumably ultimate Ridinger genuineness with particulars sovereignly outperforming the characteristics of the regular copies. Where in his cumbersome piecing together one yet only almost complete copy Thienemann happened upon 7 print variants, here then, at a blow!, as jackpot fourteen of these ! As well about 10% of the whole ! And en passant still several variants to Thienemann into the bargain.

In addition to this a binding of quite unique singularity ,

remarkably thoughtful and comfortable at once :

first the combination of text & plates, leading into a leather binding the titling of which in turn points at the Ridingers. Who in such a manner quite obviously would have laid the copy in stock for high society walk-in customers. Specifically ordered, compiled specifically chosen. As the very best of the best.

As conjectured here before on occasion of two leather-bound copies ,

whose purchaser must have called in Augsburg between 1777 & 1779.

Yet of all this that early colleague from about the last quarter of the 19th century still had no idea about, when he cataloged this copy as

“ a complete copy in such preservation

complete copy in such preservation on sale never before

supposedly went on sale never before. ”

This sound original provenance as prelude to two further no less grave ones!


Jan Hendrik Niemeyer

Johann Elias Ridinger in the Kingdom of the Colored Animals

Creation and Completion of a Suite

Revised new edition 2010

– publications of the ridinger gallery niemeyer 22 –

Thienemann 974-1102 & pp. 298 ff.; Schwarz 974-1102 (vol. I, pl. XXX & XXXI & ill. p. 140); Weigel, Art Cat., sect. XXVIII, Ridinger appendix 63a (torso of only 120 ll., correspondingly “Complete copies are almost untraceable”, 1857); Coppenrath Coll. II 1599 ( “Extremely rare absolutely complete copy”, 1889); Reich auf Biehla 206 ( “Extremely rare work”, 1 l. missing, some ll. slightly damaged, 1894); Hamminger Coll. 1834 (“Excellently preserved copy”, 1895) & 1835 (1 l. missing) as well as three torsos (1836 ff.); Helbing, Works by J. E. and M. E. Ridinger (cat. XXXIV, 1900), 1490 (“Complete extremely rare”, pt. II not quite faultless) as well as 1491 f. (torsos); Schwerdt III, 145 f. (the copy D. C. Marjoribanks); Counts Faber-Castell 66b (1958; boards loose); Hippologica Coll. Sarasin 117 (1999); Nissen, ZBI, 3408; Ebert 19109; Graesse VI, 119-20; Brunet IV, 1299; Rümann, Illustr. Buch, 950; Fürstenberg, Frz. Buch, 128.

Not in the rich Silesian R. coll. 1885 at Boerner XXXIX with just 16 ll. of the suite (lot 1955); R. coll. at Wawra (1890; besides 234 drawings 600 prints).

The etchings on the high-quality Dutch paper

— “ for it is for this the most decent and best ”,

so Ridinger in the introduction to the Principal Colors of Horses — with watermark Strasbourg fleur-de-lis above arms (Heawood 73) as well as partly below (Heawood 64), partly as secondary mark, C & I Honig. Further secondary mark IV (Jean Villedary). Beside now and then also only typographically C & I Honig similar to Heawood 3346 + 3348. The text on common laid paper with isolated figurative (shield below crown?) and typographic watermarks. – The paper mill Villedary prospering for 150 years in Angoulême (1668-1758 acc. to Churchill, 1935, p. 21) with continuation/branch (also) at Hattem/Gelderland since 1758 appears “sometimes in conjunction with the names of Dutch paper-makers” (Emma Ruffle) where their IV/I V i. a. appears as secondary mark to those of C & I HONIG (about 1724/26-1902), too, generally also abused as pirated mark as other marks standing for first qualities, too. “IV” papers were esteemed in Augsburg also by Rugendas.

Prior Provenances

Anonymus after 1856

Catalog clipping
Mounted catalog clipping

Dr. Alfred Ritter von Pfeiffer

( 1858 – 1913 )

His library mark printed in gold (Lugt 2067a)

Library mark Alfred von Pfeiffer

as well as ex-libris covered by the Weinberg mark.
His sale Leipsic May 1914, pt. II, no. 92 as

“ Splendid copy … In this completeness and preservation of utmost rarity ”
Originating from Wurttemberg banker’s family and encumbered on his father’s side (paintings), paintings, watercolors, drawings & miniatures were sold in first auction together with the Coll. Count Hügel already in November 1913 in Vienna.
In the May sales library & print collection together with original sketchbooks followed, the prints led by “precious series by Dürer and Rembrandt”,
Ridinger himself represented by “belle série” (Lugt) .

Weinberg Provenances

Ethel Mary ( May ) von Weinberg

( 1866 – 1937 )

Her ex-libris over Ritter von Pfeiffer’s on the front paste-down endpaper


Municipal Collections Frankfort on the Main



“ … in application of Act No. 59 of the American Military Administration (Act on Restitution) … ”

Cf. Mack, op cit., pp. 90 f.

Richard Baron von Szilvinyi

( 1899 – 1966 )

son-in-law of Carl and May von Weinberg

as their universal heir after his and Wera von Weinberg’s († London 1943) son Alexander was allowed to fall for the German Wehrmacht on the Western front 1944.

1959 badge of honor of the City of Frankfort.

Liselotte (Lilo) Baronin von Szilvinyi

( 1910 – 2008 )

née von Schnitzler

( Georg August von Schnitzler and wife Lilly née von Mallinckrodt )

as Richard von Szilvinyi’s widow in his second marriage.

Lilly von Schnitzler’s (Cologne 1889 – Murnau 1981) and her husband’s artistic and literal (Rilke) salon in Frankfort especially in the 1920s enjoyed legendary fame, elevated however by her friendly patronization of Max Beckmann whom she visited twice in exile in Amsterdam and who in turn made her immortal as one of the five women of his Great Picture of Women of 1935. Her Beckmann collection comprised 22 paintings from 1924 to 1949.

Amicable collector’s relations also existed with Carl von Weinberg and in the course of the marriage of her daughter Lilo with Richard von Szilvinyi finally parts of both the extensive collections were united in their hands.

Johann Elias Ridinger, IbexJohann Elias Ridinger, The Kranich at Oldenburg in East Frisia

Martin Elias and Johann Jacob Ridinger
( ed. )

Representations des Animaux selon leur grande varieté et leurs belle couleurs suivant des desseins (sic!) originels / (The Animal Kingdom represented in its Great Variety and in its Fine Colors from Original Drawings). 2 pts. in 1 vol. (Augsburg, author’s ed., 1754 – c. 1773.) In-2 (16⅛ × 11⅜ in [41 × 29 cm]). 20 pp. (French text), 24 pp. (German), 1 l. index; 17 pp. (French), 20 pp. (German), 1 l. index. 2 etched title engravings in ruddle, woodcut border, 5 large figurative vignettes (1 engraved, 4 in woodcut) and

127 colored copper plates

— here even mostly glazed —

after and predominantly by Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767) himself, else Martin Elias, 4 of which printed in green, in upright & 3 oblong formats of c. 12-12½ × 7¾-8½ in (30.4-31.7 × 19.6-21.5 cm) and 8¼ × 12¼-12½ in (21-21.1 × 31-31.6 cm) resp. Contemp. marbled calf (on 6 ribs with red title plate “Histoire naturelle des Quadru[pedes]”, gilt floral back & leading edges as well as marbled fly-leaves & red edges).

The only Colored First Edition .

A second one, printed from the now numbered plates, shortened at top, furnished with new captions and partly also otherwise modified, and left black and white, was published 1824/25. – The plates bound between the French text and facing this optically almost throughout; the plates to be assigned to the respective recto thus bound left, those of the verso right, however. The German text together with the index sheets bound after each of both parts. As in such a manner not the rule

in remarkably thoughtful convenient binding ,

see below.

The title etching of pt. I with completely taken out vertical fold and generally soiled. 3 plates (quite) feebly evenly browned and besides 2 small worm-holes in the white margin and field resp. 6 plates with practically imperceptible small to tiny tear backed acid-freely in the lower part of the outer margin. The 4 plates surrounding pages 13-16 of the 2nd part with slight text copy. The text particularly in the upper and lateral margin partially slightly to a little foxed, but only in the case of five of the explanation sheets bound in-between also affecting the immediate preceding and following plate resp. from almost not at all to faint. The binding corresponding to its age particularly at the edges somewhat rubbed. The leading edges of both the lower corners and a small missing spot at the top spine-end restored quite unsuspiciously, neutralizing by the latter also the 3.5 cm ensuing tear of just the leather at the frontcover joint. The latter there also with regard to the 1.5 cm torn leather there below ( ditto: not the joint itself ! ). The minimal stainedness of the backcover of patina character. A 2-sheet front fly-leaf of 1816 Whatman sheets according to the finding of the restorer an addition by later hand. – Margins at the side c. 2.5-3.5, above 1-3, below, however, 5.5-7.5 cm wide. – In such a manner then the plate work printed on heavy laid paper as a roundabout

impressively beautiful copy

of great freshness and shiningly saturated coloring .

Ridinger, Colored Animal Kingdom / Contents pt. I
Plate index pt. I (German)

The French text — according to Thienemann by Johann Christoph Thenn, Protestant vicar at St. Ulrich in Augsburg and friend of Johann Elias Ridinger’s, “to whom he always carried a special fondness” (introduction), whose portrait by Gabriel Spitzel (also Spizel, 1697 Augsburg 1760) the younger son Johann Jacob worked in mezzotint as remained entirely unknown to Thienemann and presently available here in an updated second state as remained unknown to Stillfried + Schwarz — of at least the first part published according to the final note before the German text, which was published together with the index only the other year, what might give rise to the presumption that present sequence of the binding including the text bound in-between up to the respective plates presented en face might

correspond with the ideas of the Ridingers

and an interim binding provided by them at any rate .

This not least supported, too, by the said text copy of pp. 13/14 & 15/16 of the second part as the two final plate-text-blocks as presumably the last printed before stitching & distribution. A quite trifling copy then also the verso of the last plate facing the final French page 17 shows.

That this supposed interim stitching nevertheless applies to the complete works and not just its first part or even single issues follows from its visibly soiled title etching. Neither that of the second part nor the opening pages of the German text parts or any of the other plates show even remotely other than of great to untouched freshness. Also the back fly-leaf with its lines and the mark IB XL (?) as watermark could originate from the interim stitching.

Johann Elias Ridinger, ChamoisJohann Elias Ridinger, Roebuck

One of the only three

originally colored Ridinger works

(the usual hints in the trade to two base on the unawareness of the existence of copies of the 2nd edition of the Ten Plates Monkeys intended for coloring, Th. 541-550, which in this state neither Thienemann, Weigel, Schwarz, Faber-Castell etc. ever set eyes upon, though Thienemann was acquainted with yet and was traded here 1972 most beautifully)

of all together utmost rarity

from the master’s late work and by this – supposedly with exception of the first, black & white edition of the Monkeys – published only partly or not anymore resp. by himself. On this Thienemann :

“ Ridinger, who as great animal painter quite realized that the colors were nothing inessential with them, intended in his later years … to crown his works and publish yet some

suites colored exactly and finely from nature . ”

These editions are of ultimate beauty and

belong to the finest of the fine

of the illuminated animal books of all times .

Their number of copies cannot be assumed small enough. And only seven years after publication of present posthumous complete edition of the Animal Kingdom with Martin Elias the one of the two sons more familiar with the œuvre passed away.

And after the plates had passed into Engelbrecht’s art shop 1821 the latest they were, Thienemann’s comments on this or not, mutilated beyond repair to create under a likewise altered title in the following years a

new edition actually yet never coming to the stage of coloring

to meet the supposed requests of the time. A fate practically all the other then still about 800 plates were spared and what – up to in contrast also to the colored Principal Colors of Horses, see next paragraph – did its share to secure

the colored original edition of the Animal Kingdom

for all times its special position within the œuvre .

The Gift of the Counterfeiters
Ridinger, Crane of Oldenburg
The Crane
of Oldenburg Count Anthony Günther

According to an adaptation by Isabelle Yeginer on a homepage of the city of Oldenburg on occasion of journeys count Anthony Günther (1583-1667, since 1603 Imperial Count of Oldenburg and, from 1647, Delmenhorst), horse lover of degree, fell into the hands of counterfeiters in a haunted castle and escaped with his life only by promising absolute secrecy, presented years later by those with this

“ most beautiful horse he had ever laid eyes upon ”.

The sujet already amazing Ridinger, nevertheless documented in the preamble as follows:

“ … the matter nevertheless is absolutely true as His Honor the famous professor Klein at Danzig himself has kindly communicated such representation … As far as is known to us

one has almost never seen something like this ,

although it was reported to us that such a white tail is shown by an isabelline colored horse in the natural history collection in Dresden (taxidermied; destroyed by later fire) and that at Florence there has been such a black horse, too .”

With the result that in spite of the from today’s perspective still great chronological nearness and notwithstanding the fact that only 1830 Ridinger’s bequest of drawings had devolved upon Weigel as Thienemann’s source while writing his catalogue raisonné (1856) the latter had laid eyes upon the colored works not at all (Monkeys) or limitedly only. So he fancied to know 28 of the plates of the first edition of the Principal Colors of Horses, which actually should have been those 28 “New colored copies” of the 2nd edition figuring with Weigel as 62 B, yet contrary to his obvious assumption not belong to Engelbrecht’s 40-sheet-only new edition from 1824/25, which he lists as 62 A in black and white. For Thienemann notes explicitly on page 191 that among those 28 (newly) colored sheets were “three of the ten omitted ones”. And as that comprehensive new edition project also not comprised the Ten Plates Monkeys (Th. 541-550) which were traded colored here, identified as second edition, in 1972 (presumably the Hamminger copy, yet not in his catalog lot 1674 as there “mostly with full margin” only, otherwise so far not turned up anywhere), it is to be assumed for the time being, that these just as the 28 newly colored Principal Colors sheets Weigel 62 B belong to new editions before 1821 the latest, at which time Engelbrecht took over the Ridinger publishing house.

On the Animal Kingdom itself Thienemann said as follows :

“ The (Animal Kingdom) presumably is not found completely anywhere anymore, almost not known to many admires and collectors of Ridinger’s art prints, and only by the hardest efforts we succeeded to receive this precious collection fairly completely – three outstanding ones finally yet per appendix pp. 298 ff. – from quite different places. ”

Johann Elias Ridinger, A Bearded Monkey. A Bearded Green MonkeyJohann Elias Ridinger, The noble Stag

The Bisem-Thier (musk-deer, Th. 1004) still with the French designation “Civette” which already Thienemann had criticized as “absolutely inadmissible”. In correspondence also with the French text + index here – but just only there ! – the plate inscription was later corrected to “Musc” as documented here by the Benedict Wilhelm copy traded here in the 60s into Rhenish private collection.

Corresponding with that and a further one known here Th. 1040 headed here divergently with “Tamandua= / Phatagin=” – so also with Schwerdt – while the caption reads “Ameisen Fresser= Fourmiller= / besonders Schuppichtes Thier= Quogelo= / Familia III. Vierzeegig. & 5-“, as for the German part also with Schwarz. Helbing euphemistically just remarks “not quite in conformity with Thienemann’s specifications” who quotes with “Myrmecophaga; omnium maxima. Phatagin. / Groester Ameisenfresser. Fourmillier grand. / Familie III. Vierzaehige” the indeed more correct, yet still entirely different designation indeed and also does not mention that present plate was etched by Martin Elias. The text thus completely changed. The drawings not in Thienemann & Weigel. According to the text the Giant Anteater is worked after Klein, drawing upon Buffon, too, and “quite successful” (Th.). However, a deviation in Th. 1056, Boar Hounds etc., not explained further by Helbing here not provable. All copies of this sheet seen here correspond to Thienemann’s notation ensued only by appendix though as probably overlooked by Helbing.

Following 7 sheet finally in hitherto not described state. So

The horse (Th. 975) still with “J. Theod. Kleinii Secr. Gedan. 2. (sic!, as also elsewhere below, instead of recte the Q otherwise developed from the 2) D. S. IV.” above the Familia line as reference to Jacob Theodor Klein’s (Königsberg 1685 – Danzig 1759, “Gedanensium Plinius”) Quadrupedum dispositio brevisque Historia Naturalis of 1751, as remained unknown to Thienemann just as the corresponding short references with 978 (“2. D. S. IV.”), 982 (“Q. D. S. IV.”), 983 (“Q. D. S. IV.”), 1032 (“2. D. S. XIII.”), 1048 (“Q. D. S. XXII.”) + 1065 (“Q. D. S. XXVIII.”).

In addition there are variants to the rhinoceros 1027 & the elephant 1030, as so not in Thienemann, see following.

Yet before the seven plates 980 (“2. D. S. IV.”), 1007 (“Q. D. S. IX.”), 1027 (“Q. D. S. XI.”), 1029 (“2. D. S. XII.”), 1030 (“2. D. S. XIII.”), 1034 (“Q. D. S. XVI.”) & 1085 (“Q. D. S. XXXVIII.”) known to Thienemann in aforementioned form.

With regard to both the aforementioned variants with both 1027 and 1030 Familia is written in full, yet in Thienemann in both cases abbreviated after the m, as explicitly not with 1029 for instance. The Familie instead of Familia of the latter may be an erratum, as also the abbreviations shall not be reason for further checks in this regard. However, more important with 1030 additionally that present copy corresponds textually entirely with Thienemann indeed, yet deviates from him in the placement of the Familia line. For here this stands between the Klein reference and the signature line, yet in Thienemann below the latter. Considering his in this respect correct sequences with for instance 1027 & 1029 a printing variant should be assumed.

Ridinger, Colored Animal Kingdom / Contents pt. I
Plate index pt. I (French)

A research of further copies as well as torsos might add further ones to the 14 plates here. To be included here also the Great Black Bear (Schwarz 526a) with Klein reference & Familia line seen by Thienemann in several copies remained uncolored, which actually is the first state of Th. 1079 probably dismissed for the bear’s high position and revised for the suite of the Bears Th. 525-528. Further probably also the Noble Stag (Th. 1005), which is marked only with “Ridinger fecit.” – see below – indeed, yet shows in both the present and also the Benedict Wilhelm copy below the Familia line still traces of a with about 10 cm length at any rate evidently longer line as either remained unknown to Thienemann or missed by him.

The contemporarily bound Benedict Wilhelm copy throughout without such references, with the comparison showing that for a better optical impression the lines were not just erased, but the Familia lines moved up, hence likewise erased and engraved anew. – The left half arch of the “Q” repeatedly missing and therefore to be read as “2”.

It is to be observed that aforesaid sheets show

Johann Elias’ full signature including the excudit throughout .

Which is of particular interest insofar as it allows for a more exact dating of this suite similarly to the Wondrous Stags considered generally and wrongfully as posthumous.

Outward starting point here first the publication of Klein’s said Quadrupedum in 1751. Without expressly referring to this and even intending to “use the most common and well-known classification by following in this only the best and most skilled leaders, for once Professor Klein and Linnaeus”, although their systems – outwardly recognizable characteristics on the one hand, anatomical examination on the other hand – were diametrically opposed and excluded each other, especially for the foreign animals not seen by himself Ridinger falls back “in particular (upon) the exceedingly fine collection of Professor Klein from Ludolph’s bequest”.

Johann Elias Ridinger, Glutton (Wolverine). RaccoonJohann Elias Ridinger, ordinary Wolf. fully white Wolf.

Then of the 132 drawings to this suite including the first title known to Thienemann

most are dated 1754

(8th album, gg, pp. 279 f.), of the 119 drawings still figuring in the 1869 catalog of Weigel’s bequest (nos. 659-777) with 68 a good half of it, the few further dates start with 1748 and already end 1755. The latter then for instance also corresponding with the reference “ex Collectione L. B. de Zorn. 1755. Gedan.” of both the Lapland reindeers Th. 1011 f., which, though without the engraver’s inscription, by their local denomination are to be attributed likewise to Johann Elias; Martin Elias wrote “Danzig”.

Only four years later, however, with Klein’s death in February 1759 – irrespective of the 1760 posthumous publication of Natürliche Ordnung und vermehrte Historie der vierfüssigen Thiere – also the system of outer characteristics he had devised, beginning 1743 with Summa dubiorum circa classes quadrupedum et amphiorum in C. Linnei systemate naturæ, had had its day:

“ Despite the exact, although only external knowledge of a number of detached forms he never learned to realize a large class because he lacked the special knowledge for thorough studies. Nevertheless by the setting up of his system K. has served essential yield to science. Even though many of his contemporaries were blinded by it at first and happily welcomed it because of the lack of any sufficient arrangement which could serve for orientation among the animal forms, so in the long run one could not close one’s mind to the discernment that a system based just on the outward appearance and leaving the natural relationship out of account, as Klein’s system demonstrated distinctly, was untenable. By this it happened that Linné’s system founded in scientific examinations was adopted sooner than it would have been otherwise, and it is owing to K. to have paved, against his will, the way for this system so persistently fought by him ”

(W. Heß in Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie XVI, 93 f.).

Ridinger, Colored Animal Kingdom / Contents pt. II
Plate index pt. II (German)

A development Ridinger could hardly escape not least with respect to his repeated own claim also to instruct by his works and which therefore could only lead to the discontinuance of the venture. Only the sons – and here certainly foremost Martin Elias who made his mark primarily as engraver, yet hardly as draughtsman in his own right – would revive it in a completed posthumous edition. And thereby

not only fall back upon the existing plates ,

but also on remainders of then impressions still showing the references to Klein’s Quadrupedum or – see above first state of the musk-deer – other errata.

Present copy therefore with

16-17 plates to be classified

mostly as first , otherwise early states of the first edition ,

7 of which first & 1-2 further ones hitherto not described .

The in such a manner tight chronological frame of 1754/55-1759/60 finally corresponding with the father’s announcement in the undated introduction to “deliver 12 (plates) each year” and

“ There should be even the less doubt about the continuation as I have a son (here Martin Elias) who is strong and able enough to follow in my footsteps after my effected passing away ”.

Though on the basis of the plate inscriptions the latter was by no means needed yet in the present case. For no less than

63 plates clearly relate to Johann Elias himself

(two of which together with Martin Elias’ sculpsit) with the most varied variants of abbreviations and without such resp., but individual notation (2, see above: Gedan instead of Martin Elias’ Danzig) of his actual artistic and handicraft participation, 6 of which with explicit ad vivum , from life suffix ,

followed by strong 42-sheet block inscribed with Ridinger only

together with, except for one, following sculpsit (has engraved, 17) , fecit (has done, 23) , fec. et excudit (… and edited/published, 1), of which based on style recognized here as individual – see bibliography above – 25 have to be attributed with certainty to Martin Elias. Furthermore 22 secured for the latter per inscription, two of which with the father’s delineavit, has drawn. By which Martin Elias’ contribution makes for at least 47 sheet.

Four sheet finally only with reference to the source, of which already aforesaid two are to be attributed to the father.

The Augsburg Murderous Camel

Ridinger, Bactrian Camel

by Ridinger “ drawn from life …

when he was shown here at Augsburg ”

The Ridingers in the preamble to present sheet :

“ … I myself (supposedly Martin Elias) once saw a living dromedary, late in February, which was just the time of their rutting, who was very wicked, so that his own driver could not trust him and had to treat him quite gently, for he readily bites with his powerful teeth or

kneels with peculiar agility on the man ,

or attempts to press him to the wall. Our blessed father had occasion … For as he drew such one, the animal became that furious with his master for he tired him too much at once by frequent kneeling down, that, after he was about to bring such one to his proper place and to rest in the shed and rack him up,

he kneeled down on him and pressed him ,

that he, as the saying goes, turned black and blue and could not cry anymore. Upon this our blessed father, who was alone with him, took a pole just about there and poked the animal from behind at the privates, whereupon he released his driver at last

and he was still saved . ”

Present binding also with respect to subsequently supplied promised representations generally following the text, yet in case of multi-sheet groups not always taking over also its inner sequence. Compared with the text only See Hund and See=Kalb – the French designation Veau Marin (seal) identical anyway – confounded:

Th. 974 (title pt. I) – 975 – 977 – 976 – 984 – 983 – 981 – 982 – 979 – 978 – 980 – 1012 – 1011 – 1013 – 1014 – 1002 – 1005 – 1006 – 1007 – 1008 – 1010 – 1009 – 1017 – 1018 – 1016 – 1015 – 1019 – 1001 – 1003 – 1004 – 1020 – 1021 – 1022 – 999 – 1000 – 997 – 996 – 993 – 992 – 994 – 995 – 998 – 1024 – 1023 – 1026 – 1025 – 989 – 986 – 985 – 988 – 987 – 990 – 991 – 1036 – 1034 – 1035 – 1037 – 1038 – 1027 – 1028 – 1029 – 1031 – 1030 – 1032;

Ridinger, Colored Animal Kingdom (Title II)

1033 (title pt. 2) – 1039 – 1041 – 1040 – 1042 – 1043 – 1044 – 1045 – 1046 – 1049 – 1051 – 1048 – 1047 – 1053 – 1054 – 1052 – 1061 – 1059 – 1057 – 1058 – 1060 – 1055 – 1056 – 1062 – 1064 – 1063 – 1067 – 1050 – 1066 – 1065 – 1069 – 1068 – 1070 – 1073 – 1072 – 1075 – 1071 (without Familia line, so also with B. W.) – 1074 – 1078 – 1077 – 1076 – 1080 – 1079 – 1081 – 1082 – 1083 – 1085 – 1084 – 1089 – 1093 – 1090 – 1092 – 1088 – 1087 – 1086 – 1091 – 1095 – 1094 – 1096 – 1099 – 1097 – 1098 – 1100 (as 1071) – 1101 – 1102.

With few rather marginal deviations this sequence corresponds with that of the Benedict Wilhelm copy and notwithstanding some visible further deviations also the Marjoribanks-Schwerdt copy.

Main group of the whole

with 17 plates the international deer (14)

as the master’s favorites & roes (3) ,

followed by the dogs (7) & monkeys/long-tailed monkeys/sloth (11) as that species which “fascinated artists at all times” (Wolfgang Stechow, Pieter Bruegel, Cologne 1977, page 76).

Ridinger, Colored Animal Kingdom / Contents pt. II
Plate index pt. II (French)


Drafted , started and pushed far ahead by the father – 41 of his clear-cut signatures with the explicit publisher’s/editor’s mark excudit stand opposite only 5 corresponding ones by the son and 1 indifferent , the larger half in this respect remaining without evidence –

“ to deliver a small contribution to natural history and a more exact insight and understanding of the same, at least with intent to the animal kingdom. For even though in this so much already has been done and researched, so there still is a lot to be made good … ”

and completed by the sons with the adequate proviso

“ since our intent here actually is just this , to furnish the connoisseur with

good illustrations of the animals ,

but not to write a natural history of these. Thus without more ado we pass on to the description of the plates themselves ”

(page 15 on occasion of the stag), so they still follow just in the latter their father, too, in his aforesaid intent to instruct also textually as briefly and precisely as pleasantly to read. With the result of a

Colored Animal Kingdom of ultimate beauty .

Presented in a copy having no equal itself , raised in addition by equal , with May von Weinberg even singularly ambience rich provenances . Its supposedly earliest, for the time being not decipherable here, documented by a catalog clipping mounted verso of the front fly-leaf :

“ … It is this the most wanted and rarest work of Ridinger’s in first edition with wide margins , besides of perfect freshness and best preservation ,

a complete copy in such preservation

supposedly has never ever been put on the market .

Thienemann , who  never  laid  eyes  upon  a  complete  copy , writes on this (pag. 199) : … ”

Ridinger, Colored Animal Kingdom (Weinberg Copy)

Whereas already above in particular also its highly interesting binding was discussed, yet the binding itself described only plainly. So on the latter it shall be noted here in addition that

the appearance

of the Animal Kingdom


contemporary full-leather binding


Crème de la crème

inside as outside

as here

is a trouvaille not to be appreciated highly enough .

Wherever we encounter a copy, in the old inventories, on the market of the last decades, the rule is contemporary half leather at most, mostly just 19th century and later leather. Not excluded Schwerdt’s Marjoribanks copy in its green morocco – of the 19th century. Thus not for nothing Dudley Coutts Marjoribanks, 1st Baron Tweedmouth, later Lord T. (1820-1894), united his rich Ridingeriana collection as far as possible in historical bindings, just those legendary Marjoribanks Folios in their red French morocco of the 18th century, as traded here, too, in the 1990s.

Quite obviously it was the overall impression of present copy which led to the aforesaid résumé of the catalog clipping from supposedly the first decades after Thienemann. An impression which happened again here on presentation and had the dealer say to himself out of his 60 years of encounters with precious objects —

what a copy !

Impressing . All around .

Quite as ,

beyond her life

May von Weinberg ,

15 December 1866

May von Weinberg / Tombstone

21 January 1937

Frankfort’s Grande Dame , as


in her pretensions , too .

ENCLOSED: Ernst Mack. The Frankfort Family von Weinberg. In the Sign of the Cornflower Blooms. In German. Revised new edition. Frankfort/Main 2000.

Offer no. 16,023 / price on application

Jan Hendrik Niemeyer

Ridinger, Apes/Gibbons

Johann Elias Ridinger
in the
Kingdom of the Colored Animals

Creation and Completion of a Suite

In German. 4to (11¾ × 8⅛ in [30 × 20.5 cm]), 36 pages, 14 partly color illustrations. Stitched.

Request under code no. 16,113
by bankwire of € 18 token fee incl. shipping per SEPA no.

IBAN: DE80 3601 0043 0115 8414 31

“ Pursuant to your last kind e-mail, I am placing my personal check in the amount of US$ … in the mail today. When it arrive, please send the print … It has been a pleasure dealing with you ”

(Mr. + Mrs. R. G. S., October 30, 2002)