Three of Manila’s lifestyle leaders—fashion impresario Pepito Albert, interior designer Jonathan Matti and jeweler Mark Wilson—curate León Gallery’s The Summer Auction on March 28.
The auction will be carried out by Leónexhange, León’s online platform. Telephone and absentee biddings will also be accepted.
To be bid out are 350 lots— from paintings and sculptures to midcentury modern furniture and outstanding antiques, silver objects and ancient gold jewelry, ivory, blue and white porcelain, and centuries-old antiques.
There is an enchanting Filipiniana portrait by Romulo Galicano; stately Amorsolos of distinguished gentlemen; and a rare self-portrait by Brian Uhing.
There are matchless works from Arturo Luz: a work titled “Cityscape” and others, of the artist’s memories of his travels to Japan which are immortalized in “Kyoto I” and “Kyoto II.”
From the contemporary generation of Filipino artists, there is a Geraldine Javier mixed-media mirror covered in handmade paper crowned with an embroidered scarab. Mark Justiniani’s “Pause” is a personal solution to Sisyphus’ frustrations (something we can all relate to in these Covid-19 times.)
For furniture, collectibles include an Ah-Tay four poster and a Manila Cabinet from the second quarter of the 19th century, plus five-door valences, festooned with anahaw carvings, possibly from the Tampingco workshop.
Then there is the Tingting Cojuangco trove which includes a magnificent set of Maranao armor and a Solomon Saprid of a woman on horseback. Most tantalizing is her collection of pre-Hispanic gold and silver.
She writes in the catalog, “In 2008 as research for the completion of my degree, Doctor of Philosophy, Major in History at the University of Santo Tomas, I motored to Lu’uk, Sulu, with Mayor Acmad Omar. Samal and Taosug recognized me while I strolled around their tiny boulevard watching the temporary calm waters of the Capual Sea. The residents told me that at night the American visiting forces would open their floodlights and dive to steal our Filipino gold treasures. A police officer likewise related his own anecdote to Mayor Omar. I wrote to the American ambassador but never received her reply. “I spent the night in Jolo at the Loong residence where I was given a tiny celadon plate and a white spotted porcelain jar from the Samal Balanghai wreckage. When I arrived in Zamboanga City, a solid gold, the widest bracelet I had ever seen—decorated with rosettes, waves and dots—was awaiting me. It was breathtaking.”
Preview will be on March 21 to 27. An all-day preview with the curators, will be held on March 26, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.—CONTRIBUTED INQ