Johann Elias Ridinger (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). An Old Horse’s Upper Jaw-Bone as seen from Below. Fully executed study in grey and brown watercolor over graphite. Inscribed by old hand in brown ink below left: Obrer Pferdekiefer (Upper Jaw-Bone). C. 1765. 10⅛ × 5¾ in (257 × 145 mm).
Provenance: Boguslav Jolles, Dresden and Vienna, his ligated monogram stamp in blue (Lugt 381a) below right, presumably on his sale of “the Famous Collection of Drawings and Watercolors of Old and Modern Masters” Munich October 28-31, 1895; Hugo Helbing, Munich. Catalogue XXXIV (1900), Arbeiten von J. E. und M. E. Ridinger, no. 1554.
Illustration: WELTKUNST vol. LXIV, p. 2688 (editorial contribution).
Fully accomplished study on fine slightly toned laid paper with large watermark Rope-waving Acrobat on a Globe balancing on a Platform, similar to Heawood 1364 + 1365, but a bit larger and much finer and more detailed. The paper itself corresponding to those Dutch quality papers Ridinger used only “for the fine illumination” for the colored works since “it is the most decent and best for such a task” as he states in the preface of his Principal Colors of Horses and in such a way suggesting a dating at about 1765.
Unparalleled within the drawing portfolios described by Thienemann and also not among the about 1849 works comprehended in the 829-lot Ridinger-section in Weigel’s Catalogue of left drawings of 1869, and in the collection of 234 drawings sold at auction in 146 lots by Wawra in Vienna on May 19 ff, 1890 resp.
Only the legendary album of the Counts of Faber-Castell containing 95 drawings – for the most part purchased about 1830 directly from the Ridinger heirs and thus not gone through Weigel’s hands – contained an “Animal Jaw Drawing” dated 1718 as together the earliest one of the album. Thus thematically in the Ridinger œuvre almost matchless, completely executed anatomical study of extraordinarily artistic and collectable fascination.
The various parts and sections of the jaw bone numbered up to 37 analogously to preparatory drawings to the – recte, so Th., Appendix 1, pp. 11 ff. – opening plates to the Principal Colors of Horses with possible omission of the numbers 1, 3, 6, 8 & 29.
Optically of quite a different delicacy than Franz Krüger’s drawn top & lateral view of a horse skull from 1815, the former of which offhandedly reminding by its structure of Ridinger’s present drawing fifty years earlier (cf. Max Osborn, Franz Krüger, new edition ed. by Kerstin Englert, Berlin 1997, ills. 2 & 3).
Left of the inscription traces of erased date or year (…9?). – Inscribed by old hand in pencil below right: Joh. Elias Riedinger (sic!) f. as with regard to the “ie” quite common in the 1st half of the 19th century and still beyond (cf. Th. p. X, footnote 1), but occasionally inscribed by Ridinger himself, too (here documented for 1724/40).
Verso traces of previous mounting at the corners and narrow stripes at the middle of side margins. A needle-pin-small puncture restored and almost invisible from the front. Otherwise absolutely fresh. – Set into an acid-free passepartout with 23.5-carat gilt stamped artist’s name and dates.
Boguslav Jolles embarked on collecting drawings soon after 1870 and expanded the collection through about twenty years on many travels at home and abroad. October 1895 his collection was sold in Munich at auction in 1567 lots, among which 692 old masters of various schools. Not least to the delight of the still young collector A. J. Domela Nieuwenhuis (Lugt 356b), acquiring here the greater part of his drawings of German masters of the 19th century.
Offer no. 28,861 / price on application