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[FETES / MALLORCA IMPRINTS] Anonymous. Breve noticia de las festivas domostraciones que con el plausible motivo de la real proclamacion del señor don Carlos IV. Hecha en la ciudad de Palma dia 11. de Julio de 1789. Palma de Mallorca, Imprenta Real, 1789.

4to., (10) ff., with two folding plates. Bound in contemporary patterned wrappers, in turn bound in modern quarter calf and marbled papers over boards. Ownership inscription of the Marquesa Axiany (?). Some bleeding of ownership inscription onto title but otherwise very good, with good strikes of the plates.


Extremely rare first and sole edition of this Mallorcan festival book commemorating the festivities held in Palma on the occasion of Charles IV’s accession to the throne. The description, with its careful lists of the noblemen involved, constitutes a snapshot of Mallorcan society at the end of the eighteenth century. The work is illustrated with two plates, one a plan of the central square with the arrangement of ephemeral architecture and decorations, the other a very large plate (49.5 x 33 cm overall, 42.5 x 32 cm to platemark) depicting the triumphal arc erected in honor of the new sovereign, with his arms above those of Palma de Mallorca.
The author estimates that between 34,000 and 38,000 citizens took part in the celebration, with gentlemen on horseback dressed à la española antigua and ladies in such splendid finery that it “filled the spirit with extasty.” (B2r) The central square was festively decorated with and portraits of the king and queen to which the assembled paid solemn respects.
Mallorca had seen a growth in trade and prosperity under Charles III thanks to his policies of liberalizing trade with America. Churches and monasteries were brought under the aegis of the Spanish crown, and the first postal service was created. The accession of his famously weak son at the very time of revolutionary unrest in France would have been a source of worry.
Although printing began on Mallorca in the late sixteenth century, work with the Palma imprint are rarely seen on the market.

OCLC lists a single copy, University of Connecticut

* Palau II.35,402;

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