Item #2972 Album regio. Vicente Diaz de Comas, Víctor Patricio Landaluce, Augusto Ferrán y. Andrés.
Album regio.
Album regio.
Lithographed Musical/Heraldic Album Published in Colonial Cuba

Album regio.

La Habana [Havana]: Litografía del Progreso, 1855. First edition. In later half leather binding. Bookplate on inner front panel (“De la Biblioteca de Joaquín Abaurre”). [78] lithographed plates (1 portrait, 1 title, 75 hand-colored musical/heraldic, 1 hand-colored genealogical tree), [1] blank plate; 35, VIII letterpress page. A few plates are restored (portrait, title page, Castilia, Sicilia mounted on paper; Aragon, Austria, Cuba reinforced with paper band; Cadiz restored with Japanese paper), and some are slightly overtrimmed touching the borders at the side (Burgos, Lerida, Puerto Rico, Filipinas). The letterpress dedication to Isabella II, Queen of Spain not presented. Binding somewhat rubbed at the extremities. Overall in very good condition.

An extremely scarce and exceptional lithographic musical and heraldic publication of colonial Cuba.

The album consists of a lithograph portrait of the author Vicente Diaz de Comas by Augusto Ferrán y Andrés, a title page which, besides the three main allegorical women figures, shows a series of males dressed in typical costumes of the Spanish provinces of the 19th century, including the colonial ones, for instance, the figure representing Cuba carries a sword, has spurs on his heels, and a guitar next to him.

The main part of the album, the 75 lithographed musical plates illustrating the Spanish provinces and capitals also of the Indies (Cuba, Puerto Rico, Philippines), framed with an allegoric, figural border alluding to the realm of Queen Isabella II of Spain, contains scores for piano and voice written in different styles like waltz, polka, hymn or march, and also in the characteristic Cuban genres such as the contradanza, habanera, and the zapateado. Except for the Marcha Real all were composed by Diaz de Comas. Each plate is adorned with a vivid, hand-colored coat of arms of the corresponding territory.

The last lithograph, by Victor Patricio Landaluce, is the genealogical tree of the House of Bourbon, held by two allegorical women representing Spain and Cuba.

This is followed with two letterpress appendices, a brief history, and chronology of provinces and capitals of Spain and her overseas possessions, and a list of subscribers who made the publication possible.

The work was published in installments, and according to the note on the last page, the editor could not complete the delivery to all the subscribers, thus the surviving copies in the Bibliothèque nationale de France, Biblioteca Nacional José Martí, Víctor Espinós Musical Library, Biblioteca Pública del Estado en Palma de Mallorca and the Biblioteca Musical Víctor Espinós differ in the number of plates (BMVE, 2021). Our copy lacks the dedication to Queen Isabella II, just as the BnF copy (which also wants the genealogical tree).

Album regio was created and the songs were composed by Vicente Diaz de Comas (? – ca. 1855), a Spanish lawyer by profession, who settled in Havana, where he developed a musical career as a composer and the director of the Guanabacoa Philharmonic Society (Sociedad Filarmónica de Guanabacoa). He composed an opera, La Esmeralda, and several popular songs, however, the present Album regio was his main work. Diaz de Comas died tragically while on his way to present the album to the dedicatee Queen Isabella II in Spain, and his ship sank.

Literature: Biblioteca Musical Víctor Espinós [BMVE] (2021, October). Pieza del mes octubre 2021. Album Regio. Retreived from:; Vega García, O. (2020, October 9). Un regio álbum musical producido en la Cuba colonial. Biblioteca Nacional José Martí. Retreived from:

Price: €10,000.00