León Gallery’s lineup of jewelry, fine art, and furniture explores the essence of elegance and culture
Every year, October is nationally celebrated as “Museum and Galleries Month,” a time that stirs up many events for national consciousness and cultural pride. Among these is the 29th iteration of the León Exchange Online Auction.
In this edition, Dr. Joel Malixi, a design consultant and a close friend of National Artist Jose Joya, is collaborating with Auctioneer and owner Jaime Ponce de Leon. The auction will take place over two days, with The Collector’s Vault on October 21, 2023, and Heiresses’ Homes and Tables on October 22, 23, starting at 11 a.m. on both days.
With expert appraisals and evaluations, there is something in the auction for every discerning taste and budget. Bearing witness to an incredibly strong art market at present, the pieces going up for auction mark the legacies of design geniuses and artistic masters. Among a staggering 1142 lots, we take a look at just some of the rich tapestry that will be unveiled over the weekend.
The Collector’s Vault
To start off The Collector’s Vault, there is a multitude of rare pieces from iconic watchmakers, from vintage to limited edition watches that celebrate horological craftsmanship.
Meanwhile, there are many valuable pieces of jewelry, embedded with gemstones of various high-quality cuts and rarities. Most of the pieces have vintage or antique appeal—ranging from peinetas and tamborins from the Spanish Colonial era, rings, and bracelets with diamante cuts from the turn-of-the-century, to multicolored gemstones from the post-war period.
Numismatists will find treasures from lots 115 to 122 with the collection of Philippine barillas. The tiny coins, while valued low during the Spanish time, are now extremely coveted by coinage collectors for their limited circulation.
Also available are 19th to 21st-century prints in well-preserved condition. Produced in limited editions with attractive aesthetics, the subjects range from botanical studies and architectural etchings, with origins in Asia and Europe.
There are a range of sketches in various mediums from pencil to pastel. Apart from artists prominent in the Philippine landscape, this 29th online auction features the work of American visual artist Leroy Neiman, with his poignant black-and-white illustrations.
For many, the highlight of an auction is the paintings—whether figurative or abstraction.
Many of the masterworks on the block are by Modernist painters, including Hernando R. Ocampo, Vicente Manansala, Juvenal Sansó, Jose Joya, Norma Belleza, and Angelito Antonio,
There will also be work by cutting-edge contemporary artists Danilo Dalena, Antipas Delotavo, Alfredo Aquilizan, Marcel Antonio, and Ronald Ventura.
There will also be a diverse selection of sculptures. Keep an eye out for elegant pieces by Michael Cacnio.
Heriresses’ Homes and Tables
Apart from decorative pieces, there will be a trove of functional pieces gracing the auction.
Some stand-out antique furniture includes carroza dining tables and a pair of colossal 19th-century church doors.
For some buyers, religious sculptures hold deep personal or emotional value. All the santos or relieves are well-preserved, carrying more than art historical value but deep spiritual significance. Many hold fascinating provenance.
The selection features a range of other collectibles, from silverware (watch out for the Tiffany and Co. flatware) to candelabras. For the discerning ceramics collector, there are porcelain vases of Qing dynasty blue-and-whites, as well as hand-pated plates, bowls, and jars. There are also many crystal trinkets and other decorative ephemera.
Besides sales, auction houses are also known for their role in education, and there will be a variety of collectible books to choose from, mainly about Philippine art.
While estimates may leap and records will be set, a day at the auction often leads to reasonable deals for excellent pieces. In the 29th edition of León Gallery’s online auction, you can experience the auction’s thrilling points, all from the comfort of your home.