Owning a unique piece (or two) of history has never been more accessible and, some might say, fun when it comes to auctions by gavel & block, a subsidiary of Salcedo Auctions. As director Richie Lerma puts it, it’s here where one can go to experience the anticipation, excitement and exhilaration of a real auction.
Gavel & block’s upcoming back-to-back auctions this Saturday, June 2, at Three Salcedo Place in Makati is no different as 12 important pieces from Rolex and Patek Philippe are up for bidding alongside a collection of over 200 pieces showcasing Philippine paintings and sculptures spanning a century.
From classic and historical to prestigious and important, vintage pieces as well as modern watches that would take years on a waiting list to acquire come together in this tightly curated collection, whose main highlight is the famed Patek Philippe ref. 5496 Perpetual Calendar in platinum in mint condition.
A Rolex Explorer I with gilt tropical dial and a Sea Dweller 2000 open ‘6’ also make the grade, together with a sought-after Tudor Monte Carlo. Collectors can skip the very long queue by outbidding the competition for the Rolex Oyster Perpetual Cosmograph Daytona Cerachrom ref. 116500LN with the coveted white dial.
Celebrating the rich diversity and intrinsic allure of the country’s heritage are unique pieces, such as an exceptional late-19th-century letras y figuras painting, displaying the witty charms of this unique Filipino visual art form that condenses the life story of a wealthy woman with whimsical vignette details and finely wrought stylized type; an oil-on-canvas boceto by National Artist Fernando Amorsolo whose impressionistic brushstrokes stray away from his classical repertoire to create a lambent vision of modern beauty adorned in a chic mestiza attire; to a verdant landscape that captures the lush vitality of tropical Philippines by the academic master Vicente Rivera y Mir.
The sale also features tribal and ethnographic art from Northern Luzon and Mindanao as well as collectible furniture from across the archipelago, such as an elegantly crafted Thonet marble top console that displays the delicate yet lustrous wooden curlicues of fin-de-siecle Viennese furniture; a 19th-century marble top rococo lansena, its original porcelain drawer pulls besting the passage of time in both function and appeal; and an ornate narra comoda designed by the master craftsman Nuguid that will make an imposing statement in any room with its dark patina and heavy baroque moldings.
Also in the collection are a superlative polychromed comoda furniture from Bohol that draws the eye to its vivid colors, imposing size and the intricate ornaments carved on its facade; a bastonero whose detailed relief carvings denote the status and wealth of its original owner; and “Comoda Laguna,” a light wooden piece with distinct inlay designs.
‘New form of theater’
“Auctions are the new form of theater,” Lerma says. “It’s entertainment, education and economics rolled into one. It’s open to the public and free of charge—just register to bid and you’ll have a paddle in hand.”
“Five years ago, a print was purchased from a museum shop for P10,000,” he continues. “Last year, art collectors bid for it at a gavel & block auction all the way to P330,000! There are still many pieces in the P5,000-P10,000 range, even P20,000 to P30,000 to P50,000 that can reach the six- or even seven-digit price levels in years to come. Now that’s what gavel & block is all about—being art smart and bidding for the future.”
Auction on June 2 starts at 2 p.m. at Three Salcedo Place, 121 Tordesillas St., Salcedo Village, Makati.