A rare painting from Lorenzo Guerrero, mentor of Luna and Hidalgo. Documents from Emilio Aguinaldo and Major Lazaro Makapagal on the killing of Supremo Andres Bonifacio. Precious antiques including a dresser by Isabelo Tampinco.
These are among the treasures to be found among the 150 art objects and historical documents in the auction to be held by León Gallery for the benefit of the Asian Cultural Council (ACC) Manila fellowship program.
This was announced at a recent press conference at the Milky Way Café in Makati City.
The Guerrero painting is dated 1868 and titled “Vendors”; it depicts a Manila colonial village scene showing a group of people huddled around what appears a female water vendor. The figures include a man in a salakot (native hat) and a fine barong and a woman who is drinking while holding on to a child.
It was Guerrero who first taught Luna the rudiments of painting and urged him to study in Europe to further the craft.
Incidentally Luna drawings and paraphernalia will be auctioned off likewise.
Included in the “Luna lot” are watercolor sketches on paper of landscapes and portraits, architectural plans, his leather pencil case, architectural plans, and newspaper clippings documenting the prizes and acclaim he earned in Europe.
And “there is a handwritten letter from Aguinaldo stating that he had Bonfacio killed,” said Lisa G. Nakpil, León Gallery consultant. She added, “There is the testimony of the executioner (Makapagal). Plus documents from Emilio Jacinto; all are handwritten.”
Source is researcher Jose P. Santos, Nakpil said. In fact, Lazaro’s “confession” was a five-page letter he wrote to Santos in 1929.
The documents on Bonifacio’s killing are part of the collection of historian Epifanio de los Santos (1871-1928), after whom Edsa highway is named.
The hero Jacinto (1875-1899) “is underrated,” she opined. “They called him the Brains of the Revolution but we don’t know much about him. There should be a film about him.”
On sale will be Jacinto’s handwritten “Ang Tawo’y Magkakapantay (All Men are Equal).”
Paging “Heneral Luna” and “Goyong” director Jerrold Tarog, who’s doing a film about Manuel L. Quezon vs Aguinaldo.
Other interesting lots from the Spanish era are the beautiful watercolor paintings of Filipino natives colonial costumes by Damian Domingo (1796-1834): “Un Indio Noble de Manila” and “Un India de Manila.”
Among the antique furniture, particularly interesting is the exquisite “Umbrella Stand cum Hat Rack,” designed and made in 1916 by Dr. Maximo Viola, the physician famous for having loaned Jose Rizal the money to publish “Noli Me Tangere.”
According to social historian Martin Tinio, Viola in his later years indulged in his hobby of making furniture, particularly of kamagong wood. The auction lot, sometimes called a “hallway stand,” is in fact made of kamagong, mirrored glass and tin.
“The entire piece, of kamagong carved to resemble bamboo,” writes Tinio in the auction catalogue, “must have been a conversation piece then as it is now. It looks like a frame of bamboo poles standing on massive bamboo roots with a rectangular tin pan between them … to prevent water from the dripping umbrellas placed on the stand from leaking onto the wooden floor.
“Waist-high above it is a curvilinear bamboo frame carved with leaves and branches enclosing a grid of plain wooden slats with eight openings for umbrellas. Behind the grid are upright bamboo poles, the outer, more massive ones carved with thorns cut off at the nodes for the placement of hats.
“Finer, rattan-like leafy poles in the middle form a whiplash frame for a rectangular mirror with edges beveled like half-moons. The top of the stand is surmounted by a crest carved with Art Nouveau bamboo poles with leaves forming the date ‘1916.’”–CONTRIBUTED
Special preview of the antiques, historical documents and art works will start on Feb. 16 at Leon Gallery, G/F, Eurovilla 1, Rufino and Legazpi Streets, Legazpi Village, Makati City; auction will be held on Feb. 23 at 2 p.m. Visit www.leon-gallery.com, www.asianculturalcouncil.org.