RIDINGER, Johann Elias (1698-1767) and Georg Philipp RUGENDAS (1666-1742). Five volumes containing 693 engravings of hunting and sporting scenes. Augsburg: Jeremias Wolff and J.E. Ridinger, c.1699-1761. 26 suites in 5 volumes, comprising (using Thienemann's numbering for collation):
Volume I (300 x 220mm): 11 suites or part suites, comprising 127 plates. These are: Neues Zeichnungsbuch Darin Wilde und Zahme Theire auch Deder Wild Vorgestellet, Augsburg, 1742, 5 plates only, 737 - 741, the rest of the suite continued in volume 2; suite, not in Thienemann, but bearing very obvious parallels with the suite Reitschulen in Thienemann p. 125 and following, 21 plates; 6 suites not in Thienemann, by Georg Philipp Rugendas I & published by Ridinger, probably some of the suites mentioned in Thieme/Becker 29 p. 179, comprising 43 plates depicting various military scenes ranging from encampment, foraging, movement of artillery pieces as well as battle scenes, some of which showing Turks; Diversi Pensieri, 8 plates by Rugendas and published by Jeremias Wolff, 1699, Thieme/Becker 29 p. 179; Vorstellung und Beschreibung derer Schul und Campagne Pferden nach ihren Lectionen, 49 plates, nos. 646-707, lacking 686 and 700 both having been removed, double column text in German and French, 1760; single plate at end showing the layout of a riding school, not traced in Thienemann.
Volume II (300 x 220mm): 5 suites or part suites, comprising 153 plates. These are: Entwurf einiger Thiere, Wie solche nach ihren unterschiedenen Arten, Actionen und Leidenschaften nach dem Leben gezeichnet samt beigefügten Anmerkungen, 5 parts, 90 plates, nos. 391-480, titles to parts in red and black, 1738; Neues Zeichnungsbuch Darin Wilde und Zahme Theire auch Deder Wild Vorgestellet, 7 plates, 742-748, continued from vol. 1; Entwurf Einiger Pferde nach ihrem unterschiedlichen Alter und Gebrauch nach dem Leben gezeichnet, 2 parts, 36 plates, 481 - 576, titles to parts in red and black, Augsburg, 1755; Neues Thier Reis Büchl Erster Theil, allerlei Art Hunde vorstellend, 12 plates, 725-736, Augsburg, 1728; suite of 4 plates not in Thienemann, by Georg Philipp Rugendas I & published by Ridinger, probably one of the suites mentioned in Thieme/Becker 29 p.179, depicting scenes from Virgil's Aeneid, the captions of the first three plates slightly trimmed; a suite of four plates by Ridinger, not in Thienemann, illustrating a lady falconer and three shooters with dogs.
Volume III (440 x 350mm): contemporary stencilled title 'Recueiul de divers piece graves par M. Redinger, Augsbourg'; portrait, 4 suites comprising of 138 plates. The portrait of Ridinger is as described by Thienemann, p.xix; suite of 92 plates only, 243 - 334, lacking the final 8 plates; Die von verschidenen Arthen der Hunden behaetzte, 22 plates including engraved title, 139-160, Augsburg, 1761; suite of 8 lion plates, 517-524; Lehrreiche Fabeln aus dem Reiche der Thiere, 16 plates, 765-780, title in red and black, Augsburg, 1744.
Volume IV (490 x 355mm): 19 suites comprising 161 plates. These are: Türkischer Pferdeaufputz, 4 plates, 594-597, Augsburg, 1752; suite of 28 plates, 562-593, lacking 4 plates, 566, 571, 592 & 593; Jaeger un Falkoniers mit ihren Verrichtungen, 25 plates, 114-138, lacking title (no. 113); suite of 16 plates depicting various European monarchs, 819-834, described by Thienemann as 'Eine sehr interessante, daher sehr gesuchte, und vollstdndig sehr seltene Arbeit, welche Vater Ridinger mit besonderer Liebe ganz allein gefertigt hat.'; Abbildung Der Jagtbaren Thiere, 23 plates, 162-185, title in red and black, Augsburg, 1740; four elephant plates, 537 - 540, Augsburg, 1744; four plates depicting each of the hunting seasons, 109-112; four plates of birds, 759-762; another suite similar, 755-758; 2 plates, 344-345; 4 of wild deer, 238-241; a suite of four plates, 716 - 723, lacking plates 720-723, depicting various predators struggling with their prey; suite of 4 plates showing hunting dogs, 101-104; 2 plates, 65-66; 2 plates, 99-100; 6 plates showing farmyard or smithy scenes, 599-604; 2 plates, 236-237; 19 shooting plates of 30, 69-78, lacking 74, 75, 83, 84, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 96 & 97; Gruendliche Beschreibung und Vorstellung der wilden Thiere nach ihrer Natur, Geschlect, Alter und Spur, 8 magnificent double page plates, 187-194. (Some slight marginal waterstaining.)
Volume V (600 x 155mm): contemporary stenciled title 'Recueiul de divers piece graves par M. Redinger, Augsbourg'; 7 suites comprising 114 plates. 12 plates depicting the Garden of Eden, 807-818; 2 plates, 714-715; Die par force Jagd des Hirschen, 16 plates, 49 - 64; Neue Reit Schul, 18 plates, 625 - 645, 'Diese Sammlung ist selten und sehr gesucht' Thienemann, p.129; suite of 36 plates, 13-48, depicting deerparks and royal hunts on an impressive and massive scale; Betrachtung der wilden Thiere, 40 plates plus engraved title, 195-235, Augsburg, 1736; the four seasons, plates no. 105-108; 2 double-page plates, 67-68, of the final throes of deer and boar hunts, described by Thienemann as 'die grössten und wohl auch die schönsten, welche Ridinger geliefert hat' (p.21).
The 5 volumes uniformly bound in English red morocco gilt of c.1770 (though in appearance looking somewhat earlier), roll-tooled border to covers with emblems of British arms, notably Scottish thistles, English roses, French fleurs-de-lys, & Irish harps, the spines gilt in compartments with raised bands, each decorated with a foliate design with acorns, green morocco labels gilt in second compartment (covers lightly scuffed, corners slightly bumped). Provenance: The Earls of Pembroke (distinctive shelfmark in red ink on front pastedowns) -- Francis Ferrand Foljambe (stamp on first leaf in each volume).
ONE OF THE MOST COMPLETE COLLECTIONS OF RIDINGER'S WORK, IN A LAVISH CONTEMPORARY BINDING, TO BE OFFERED AT AUCTION IN THE PAST 50 YEARS. The only vaguely comparable set to appear at auction in the last 25 years was the von Gutmann collection, Sotheby's 2nd April 1993, lot 80, when a group of 4 volumes containing 315 plates (mostly cut close and mounted and the bindings a remboitage) made £40,000 hammer. Sets of Ridinger collected and bound in the 18th century have always been of the greatest rarity, the last one nearing the completeness of the present work being a set bound in contemporary russia, apparently bought by Lord Ribblesdale in 1744, with c.900 plates, sold at Sotheby's 13th February 1951. The other recorded collections are in later bindings, and almost all have fewer plates.
This copy was probably bought by and bound for Henry Herbert, tenth Earl of Pembroke and seventh of Montgomery (1734-1794), The library at Wilton has long been celebrated, and de Ricci remarks: '... important though rather by its quality than by its size' though the contributions of different family members have not (as far as we know) been researched. A man of more military leaning and hearty living than his more refined forebears (though he did write a standard book on horses), it would seem most appropriate that the tenth Earl should add such a magnificent set of hunting prints to the Wilton House library. He was in Germany for the part of the Seven Years War, in 1760-63, and went on a second grand tour to Italy in 1768-69; he was in Paris in 1768 when he may have purchased the set. The tiny stamp of Francis Ferrand Foljambe on the first leaf of each volume is early 19th century, so this set left the house before the great Wilton sales of 1914-20. Thienemann Leben und Wirken des unvergleichlichen Thiermalers und Kupferstichers Johann Elias Ridinger, Amsterdam, 1962. (5)