4to. [19 x 13], (2) ff., 132 pp., 112 (ie 214) (1) f., with one large [49.5 x 34.5] engraved plate of the catafalque signed Camacho after Bexerano 1759, and two woodcut plates of calligrams;
[Including:] TAGLE Y BRACHO, Juan Antonio de. Oracion Funebre. (12) ff., 136 (ie 138) pp. Bound in contemporary calf, joints cracked but sound. Some minor staining at extreme edge of title. Plate toned but very fresh, as is rest of copy. Excellent.
Rare first edition of the funeral-book of Maria Barbara of Portugal, Queen-consort of Spain and wife of Ferdinand VI, with a large folding plate of her catafalque. As with many books of exequies for European monarchs printed in America, the volume appeared over a year after the Queen’s death in Madrid in August 1758, subsequent to her funeral exequies held at the Cathedral of Lima on 4 September 1759.
The volume’s folding engraving depicts a four-tier catafalque with six pairs of Ionic columns and eight obelisks, of which the four largest are crowned by the arms of the Spanish monarchy: a castle tower and a lion with its paws resting on twin globes. The Queen’s casket is shown on a dias in the center of the monument, surrounded by elaborately wrought candelabra and scrollwork—a visible testament to French rococo influence in the court of Spain during the mid-18th C. Below the catafalque are the signatures of its engraver Camacho and its designer and builder, the architect Antonio Bejarano Loayza; a year after Ferdinand VI died in 1759, heartbroken and distraught, Loayza designed his catafalque as well.
Among the work’s gathering of dedicatory and elegiac verse—sonnets, decasyllables, octavas, décimas, romances, acrostics and other forms popular in Perú at the time—of special note are two unusual folded woodcuts presenting a large, diamond-shaped acrostic, and a self-described “eccentric labyrinth” of décimas in the shape of a spiraling horn. The volume is bound with a separately-titled copy of the funeral oration.
OCLC: Indiana, Duke, Yale.
* Lilly on-line record; Medina 1162; Vargas Ugarte 1818 Palau 143,659 (lacking first section); Watanabe 2452; Pouncey, “Túmulos of Colonial Perú,” The Art Bulletin, v. 67 #1 (March 1985), pp. 18-32.