[TWO PRINTS]. AUCAS.
[TWO PRINTS]
Lottery and Memory Games
24 Female and 24 Male Dwarfs,
Representing Catalan Trades & Archetypes
[Valencia: Ildefonso Mompié, ca. 1830s].

[TWO PRINTS].

Two separately printed wood-engraved broadsides (31.5 x 43 cm & 31 x 43.5 cm), on one side only. Each sheet contains 24 numbered woodcut images within individual frames. One of the aucas bears an imprint on the bottom: Se hallará en Valencia en la Imprenta de Ildefonso Mompié, calle nueva de San Fernando, núm. 64, junto al Mercado. Some light foxing, most edges untrimmed. Overall, very good.

Two satirical auca broadsides, each with 24 images of dwarfs, illustrating Catalan trades and archetypes, from the Valencia-based printing shop of Ildefonso Mompié (ca. 1785-1855). Both prints feature characters that would have been instantaneously recognizable to their audiences. The first print, depicting female archetypes and professions, includes illustrations of a spinner (no. 3), a woman holding a book (no. 5), a lute player (no. 10), a woman collecting herbs (no. 13), and a wet nurse (no.  23). The second broadside illustrates male occupations, showcased by a nobleman (no. 3), a jester (no. 5), a drunkard (no. 8), a fiddler (no. 15), a doctor examining urine (no. 16), as well as a man carrying a monkey on his back (no. 1), a knight riding a pig (no. 4) and many other satirical subjects.

The auca, or the aleluya as it became known in the rest of Spain, is a specific print design, most popular in Catalonia. The auca "is so ingrained in popular culture that it has become the best example and most representative form of Catalan popular engraving" (Montserrat Gali Boadella, p. 87). Composed of individually framed images of the same size, the number of which can be evenly divided by 4, auca prints resemble comics in their structure. The earliest recorded auca was printed by Pere Abadal de Moià in 1676. Aucas were used in a variety of ways, including to play lottery, memory and patacó games, as well as in didactic and educational exercises, storytelling, etc.

The publisher of these aucas, Ildefonso Mompié (ca. 1785-1855) was a successful printer and bookseller, based in Valencia. His printing press, specializing in literary classics, children's literature, comedies, prints, etc., was one of the most prolific in the country in the 1830s.

We have located copies of the broadsides only at Fundación Joaquín Díaz (Urueña, Spain).

*References: Montserrat Gali Boadella, Imatges de la memòria (Barcelona, 1999), esp. pp. 87-95; http://tionia1.pangea.org/Auques/Estampers/Mompi%E9/Mompie4.htm; VIAF 304049693; Felipe Rodríguez Morín, "Ildefonso Mompié de Monteagudo (Lorca, 1785 o 1786 - Valencia, 1855)" (Alicante: Biblioteca Virtual Miguel de Cervantes, 2015).

Price: $1,250.00

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