Funeral Rites & Emblems for The Queen Consort of Spain

CERMONIES. EMBLEMS. Fojá (Foixà), Ramón (1729-1796)

Reales Exequias, que a Su Augusta Soberana Da. Maria Amalia de Saxonia Reina de España. consagró el rendido amor y gratitud de la mui ilustre ciudad de Barcelona : en los dias 23 y 24 de abril de 1761

Barcelona: Maria Teresa Vendréll y Texidó, 1761


Quarto: 19.5 x 14.5 cm. [4], 110, [6], 33, [3], [2] p. Collation: π2 (π1 blank), A-O4, A-E4 (E4 blank), π1 (imprimatur). With 5 added plates. Complete.


Bound in contemporary vellum, lightly soiled. With 5 added engraved folding plates by Francisco Boix and Ignacio Valls after Francisco and Manuel Tramullas, showing the catafalque and other décor created for the funeral ceremonies. The text is illustrated with 27 fine woodcut emblems, painted versions of which adorned the church interior. Each emblem represents a different part of Maria Amalia's realm: Sicily, Naples, Burgundy, Saxony, the various Spanish provinces; the last four symbolize Asia, Africa, Europe, and America. A fine, crisp copy with fine impressions of the emblems. Verses in Spanish Latin, Greek, and Hebrew. There is a single tear entering the large plate but mended without loss. Provenance: Paul and Marianne Gourary (bookplate on front paste-down). Extremely rare. I have located only 1 copy in North America (Kentucky).

A marvelous, illustrated account of the memorial services held in Barcelona for Maria Amalia of Saxony (1724-1760), Queen consort of Naples and Sicily (1738-1759) and subsequently Queen consort of Spain until her death in 1760. Maria Amalia was the daughter of Augustus III of Poland, Elector of Saxony, and Maria Josepha of Austria. In 1738 Maria Amalia married Charles, King of Naples of Sicily, the future King Charles III of Spain. As Queen consort of Naples and Sicily, Maria Amalia oversaw the construction of the palaces at Caserta, Portici, and Capodimonte, and the San Carlo Theater in Naples. She left Naples for Madrid in 1759, when Charles was made King of Spain. For an assessment of Maria Amalia's influence in international affairs, see Helen Watanabe-O'Kelly, "Queens Consort, Cultural Transfer and European Politics, c.1500-1800" (an excerpt of which will be found at the end of this description.)

Maria Amalia died less than a year after arriving in Spain, as a result of tuberculosis and constant smoking. She is entombed in El Escorial. Memorial ceremonies for Maria Amalia were held in Naples and Sicily and throughout the Spanish Empire, including the Philippines, Mexico, and Guatemala. The obsequies held in these far-flung territories reflected regional adaptations and interpretations of the traditional, European memorial services. In Barcelona, the rites were held in the gothic Catedral de la Santa Creu i Santa Eulàlia on April 23rd and 24th, 1761.

The volume concludes with the funeral oration delivered by the Jesuit Ramón Fojá (Foixà) (1729-1796).

Heredia 4985; Palau 251.917 ("raro"); Salvá 340; Simón Palmer 2238; Vinet 572 ("fort rare")