León Gallery’s “Spectacular Midyear Auction” held last June 21 attracted an impressively large crowd. The auction featured at least 153 pieces of artworks, antiques and objets d’art from prestigious provenances.
The biggest bid was obtained by National Artist Benedicto “BenCab” Cabrera’s oil on canvas “Sabel.” It was sold for P19.8 million. Its starting price was P2.2 million.
One of the highlights was a rare Fernando Amorsolo oil on canvas entitled “Manila Bay Sunset,” which was sold for P10.5 million. The painting was accompanied by a certificate issued by Sylvia Amorsolo-Lazo confirming its authenticity.
Meanwhile, Hernando R Ocampo’s untitled 1971 oil on canvas from the Wili and Doreen Fernandez Collection fetched a noteworthy P5.3 million.
Other best-selling pieces included Ronald Ventura’s “Heat” (2006), which was sold at the final price of P4.6 million. Its initial bid was P500,000.
Romulo Galicano’s “Springtime at Giverny” (2004) was sold for P3.7 million, while Lee Aguinaldo’s “Green Circulation No. 6” (1973) garnered a hefty P1.7 million.
Mauro Malang Santos’ oil on canvas “Vendor at Quiapo” (1975) was declared sold at P1.8 million.
Works by National Artists were fetched the highest bids during the auction.
Carlos “Botong” Francisco’s “First Mass at Limasawa” (1965), whose starting price was P200,000, was sold for P2.8 million.
From a starting bid of P650,000, Ang Kiukok’s “Mother and Child” (1991) was sold for P3.5 million.
An equally important piece by Jose Joya entitled “Reflections” (1972) was sold for P5.3 million.
The Tiongco Aparador that belonged to the Tiongcos, one of the most prominent families of Sta. Rosa, Laguna, was sold for P6.4 million. Its starting price was P2 million.
Meanwhile, the Gabaldon Sillon Fraile (Pair), which belonged to the prominent Tinio family from Nueva Ecija, was sold for P700,800.
According to social historian Martin Imperial Tinio, the sillon fraile was so-called in the Philippines because they were originally found in the voladas or balconies of church convents and were used by the priests who wanted to relax.
“Sillones usually stood on turned front legs with tapering curved legs at the back. Occasionally, but rarely, they were made with cabriole legs,” Tinio said. “This particular piece is extremely unusual, since the cabriole front legs support a squash-shaped piece on which the arm supports rest. The delicate carving of the crest is extremely fine and difficult to duplicate today.”
León Gallery is now accepting consignments for the Magnificent September Auction on Sept. 13. Call 8562781; e-mail [email protected]ón-gallery.com.