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The Rugendas Letters:
Johann Moritz Rugendas’
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The Sections of Cap Trafalgar
The First Prussian Maritime Atlas
marine niemeyer - since 1992 -


Patroness of the Powder Cabinet

on Board of the Men-of-War

Ridinger, Johann Elias (Ulm 1698 – Augsburg 1767). S. Barbara. Half-length portrait sitting frontally to the left of the richly dressed Saint Barbara in the glory with crown + pearls, holding the chalice in the raised right above which the host floats in a glory. The left resting on the cross-grip of a sword as symbol of her dying. Mezzotint. Inscribed: Ioh. Elias Ridinger excud. Aug. Vind., otherwise, in large shell cartouche in the lower margin, as above. 22⅜ × 16¼ in (56.8 × 41.3 cm).

Johann Elias Ridinger, Saint Barbara

Schwarz 1538 with illustration. – Not in Thienemann (1856) + Stillfried (1876) and with exception of Baron Gutmann (Schwarz, 1910) here not proven else. – Variant to Th. 1287 with the sword instead of the palm leaf there. – Stillfried + Schwarz 1418 record without mentioning the crown here an otherwise obviously almost identical, also equal-sized version, but without any inscription (this also only and as already “extremely rare” at Coppenrath in 1889 + at Counts Faber-Castell in 1958, too; pre-state of 1538 here?), in which Stillfried possibly sees a pendent to St. Catherine 1419 (see its version 1554). – Per corner mounting by old hand laid on heavy hand-made paper slightly browned at three outer margins. – On almost all sides with tiny paper margin. – Small worm trace in the free outer field top right.

The wonderfully rich , wonderfully great plate

in an excellent copy in regard to printing and conservation

of a cultivated collection of perfectly bright chiaroscuro in all parts. And in such a manner of quite extraordinary rarity not only on the market as quoted above, but in general, too. Already in 1675 the expert von Sandrart numbered “clean prints” of the velvety mezzotint manner at only c. “50 or 60” (!). “Soon after (the picture) grinds off for it not goes deeply into the copper.” Correspondingly Thienemann in 1856 :

“ The mezzotints are almost not to be acquired on the market anymore …
and the by far largest part (of them) … (I have) only found (in the printroom) at Dresden. ”

Not even there then the one here which subsequently remained unknown to Count Stillfried 20 years later, too!

The also pictorially timelessly marvelous patronage plate

of the “Stranger” from, so the legend, Nikomedia in Asia Minor, who in the 3rd century was first locked up in a tower, then beheaded by her father for her Christianity. December 4th is dedicated to her churchly commemoration. But throughout the year she is

“ the patroness of the warriors, especially the artillerists, is invoked for protection against lightning, and by all those threatened by an impenitent death, especially of miners in the tunnel …

On French men-of-war

the powder cabinet charged to her protection was called

Sainte-Barbe ”

(Meyers Konvers.-Lex., 4th ed. II, 357).

Her representation here not only deviating from the usual in regard of the tower and gun barrels omitted here sovereignly, but also in view of the martyr’s palm leaf replaced here by the sword.

And generally finally she belongs to that “exclusive company of divine intervenients – or, stated Protestantly, divine representatives – ” which quite topically though “already since some time (the) historians (have) rediscovered … (and) scientifically reanimated” (Peter Burschel reviewing Brad Stephan Gregory’s Salvation at Stake — Christian Martyrdom in Early Modern Europe in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung of Aug. 2, 2000). – See the extended description on Barbara’s further importance.

Offer no. 28,400 | EUR 1230. | export price EUR 1169. (c. US$ 1413.) + shipping