“ The  Stag  with  the  Lob-Ears ”

as  “Rare  Shot”

documented  in  the  Hunting  Diary  of  Louis  VIII

Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). This Stag with Lob-Ears His Highness the Ruling Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt (Louis VIII) has shot in the Environs of Darmstadt (“in the  Arheilger  Forest in the direction of  Mörsbach  near the Shepherd’s House”) Aug. 20, 1754. Etching with engraving. Ca. 1754/55. Inscribed: Joh. El. Ridinger del. fec. et exc. Aug. Vind., otherwise in German as before. 13⅜ × 10⅛ in (34 × 25.6 cm).

Sheet 63 (Thienemann + Schwarz 305; Ridinger Catalogue Darmstadt, 1999, VI.5 with ills.; Siebert-Weitz, Ridinger, 1999, pp. 32 f. – “Belongs together with no. 64” – with ills.; Siebert, Kranichstein, 1969, ills. p. 43) of the Representation of the Wondrous Stags and other Animals as one of the most sympathetic motifs of this so singular, in its zoological value (see, too, the similar, but without antlers, stag shot in Silesia as frontispiece in Wildungen’s “Taschenbuch für Forst und Jagdfreunde”, vol. 1809/12, Lindner 11.2257.01) not repeated set.

Worked after one of the “Darmstadt Tin Paintings”, here of an unknown painter (Cat. Darmstadt VI.5a with ills.), with caption there:

“ One has preserved me quite well though because I have the ears like a hound
But once the prince has shot me as he could not see me quite well.
My early death had been regretted though: but because I had shied myself a lot
And concealed behind a bush, I am blamed myself
Still in death one pays tribute to me and paints me what shall I want more. ”

As Stag “with the lob-ears” it is also found in the hunting diary of Louis VIII recording the “rare shots”. Its antlers by the way with 3 + 2 poor.

Siebert-Weitz continuing:

“ Remarkable at this red deer is not the poor odd-numbered antlers with three points on the right and two points on the left side. Eye-catching rather that the ears of the stag do not stand upwards as with all Cervides, but hang downwards as with most hounds. Therefore he is inscribed as ‘Stag with Lob Ears’. ”

And moreover pointing on it, that the work forms a pair together with the “Hare with Indicated Rare Teeth” shot in the Leeheim Forest in the vicinity of Darmstadt October 25, 1753, (sheet 64; Th. 306; Cat. Darmstadt VI.6 + Siebert-Weitz pp. 34 f., both with ills.

“ Assumedly the engraving has been published (so J. H. Niemeyer, Ridinger’s Wundersamste Hirsche, 1994/98, p. 2) shortly after 1754. Except for the tin plate no further document on the stag with the lob-ears has been preserved in the inventory of the hunting seat Kranichstein. In his engraving Ridinger in so far refers to the somewhat simple representation of the stag on the tin plate (describing the Darmstadt locality more closely) and the humorous poem there as he, too, shows the animal partly covered by shrubbery ”


The respective drawing in black chalk figured as lot 1913 of the 2nd part of the Coppenrath Collection in Regensburg dissolved in 1889.

Ref. no. 14,996 / in stock – not catalogued / request description & offer

also see
Johann Laifle’s early photograph from 1865
in an albumen print
“of high gloss … (which) renders the most minute details”