Particle physics art

Rare equine art books hit the market


A plate of Abbildungen Königlich Württembergischer Gestütts Pferde von orientalischen Racen.

A first book on the Arabian horse from Germany and one which is described as the best 19th century Dutch work on horses are among those offered in the Asher Rare Books Winter Catalog in the Netherlands.

The book presenting the Royal Württemberg Stud, the first Arabian horse stud in Europe, Abbildungen Königlich Württembergischer Gestütts Pferde von orientalischen Racen (translated as “Images of the horses of the royal stud farm in Württemberg of oriental breeds”), at a price of 65,000 €.

Commissioned by the Württemberg Stud Board of Directors, this is the first and only edition and features what is described as an “almost unobtainable series of large format plaques,” showing the purebred Arabian horses of the stud farm with decorative oriental backgrounds. It is stored in a modern suede leather case.

The plates constitute 18 very old copies of chalk lithographs, by L. Ekeman-Allesson after R. Kuntz (1797-1848), known for his “excellent representations of horses”. Throughout his brief career he studied thoroughbreds in England, Hungary and Paris as well as in Germany. In 1832 he became court painter in Karlsruhe, Baden; he suffered a stroke in 1846 and died in the new psychiatric hospital in Allenau.

This series was published in three parts, from 1823 to 1824, each with 6 chalk lithographs. Wenceslaus Rzewusky wrote the descriptions of the horses.

“Extremely rare, no copy of the complete series with all three parts as shown here is traceable on auction records,” Ashers said.

Abbildungen Königlich Württembergischer Gestütts Pferde von orientalischen Racen specifications on page 25 of the catalog.

A plate from Abbildungen Königlich Württembergischer Gestütts Pferde von orientalischen Racen.
A plate of Abbildungen Königlich Württembergischer Gestütts Pferde von orientalischen Racen.

Another rare old book on the horse is Paardenrassen – Kunstalbum van een en veertig afbeeldingen naar schilderijen van Otto Eerelman (translated as “Horse Breeds – Art Album of 41 Images Based on Paintings by Otto Eerelman”), described as the finest 19th century Dutch work on horses. It’s on page 18 of the catalog.

The “Extremely Rare First Edition, Published in Very Limited Edition” is considered one of the most famous horse art books. The descriptions of the horses are given by the veterinarian EAL Quadekker, on 41 chromo-lithographs after paintings by the famous Dutch animal painter Otto Eerelman (1839-1926).

The chromo-lithographed plates were made under the artist’s supervision by JL Goffart, so that the plates resemble the original oil paintings as closely as possible. “The realistic plaques are indeed impressively beautiful, depicting the thoroughbreds of the world, such as Persian, Arabian, Turkish, Belgian, Andalusian and Lipizzaner horses,” says Ashers.

Each board is accompanied by a four-page story on the history, development, physics, breeding and training of the horse represented.

The complete catalog can be viewed here. (PDF)

A plate from Abbildungen Königlich Württembergischer Gestütts Pferde von orientalischen Racen.
A plate of Abbildungen Königlich Württembergischer Gestütts Pferde von orientalischen Racen.