Auction house Salcedo Auctions stages “Paradise Found,” a housewarming of sorts and the inaugural exhibit in its new address, a 500-square-meter gallery at the NEX Tower along Ayala Avenue.
“Paradise Found” plays on nostalgia and the desire to return to an idyllic past, taking its cue from objects of beauty that were once “lost” and have now returned to the spotlight.
Bringing this paradise to life are fine art, headlined by an extensive collection of contemporary Philippine art from an important Asian collection that includes Rodel Tapaya’s monumental canvas painting “Baston ni Kabunian, Bilang pero di Mabilang,” which won the Grand Prize at the 2011 APB Foundation Signature Art Prize held at the Singapore Art Museum.
The collection also includes pieces by Jose John Santos III, Buen Calubayan, Jigger Cruz, Geraldine Javier, Leslie de Chavez, Alfredo Esquillo, and Winner Jumalon.
Other major highlights of the sale include Félix Resurrección Hidalgo’s “Rooftop in Paris” (undated ca. 1890s, oil on canvas) and Jorge Pineda’s depiction of a rice field before the harvest (1929, oil on canvas). Meanwhile, Lao Lianben’s “Man of Few Words” (2008, acrylic on canvas) is a more meditative take on paradise executed in gold and silver.
Also featured are Juvenal Sansó’s “Blooms in Poetry,” a rare acrylic with a solid yellow background; National Artist Vicente Manansala’s early watercolors from 1951 and 1953; and pieces by Fabian dela Rosa and Danilo Dalena, Solomon Saprid, and National Artists Napoleon Abueva and Arturo Luz.
Rare antique furniture part of the auction includes a 19th-century, full-size, all kamagong wardrobe closet. It is widely believed that only a handful of them exist today, mostly in museums or in private collections.
There is also an escritorio with a chest of drawers, made of highly prized dark kamagong wood and narra wood, and with lanite and carabao bone inlays, and brass mounts. The large dummy drawer conceals a fall-front writing desk equipped with ample compartments for paper, documents, and other supplies. Its design elements are of the Neoclassical style that was revived in Europe in the early 19th century.
Other exquisite works included in the auction are pieces formerly from the renowned collection of Romy and Nini Jorge including a 19th-century Hepplewhite-style Baliuag altar table in kamagong with narra and lanite inlays, and silver mounts, a solid ivory “Mother & Child,” and a pair of magnificent late 18th-century molave altar pillars from Bohol.
Rounding out the sale are precious heirloom diamond jewelry and collectible timepieces by Patek Philippe, Breguet, IWC, and Jaeger-LeCoultre.
As the inaugural exhibit in its new address, “Paradise Found” is, in many ways, a metaphor for coming home. The NEX Tower is a modern landmark in itself, with its crystalline structure encasing the country’s largest indoor vertical garden.
The Paradise Found auction event is happening on June 1 at the new Salcedo Auctions Showroom ground and podium levels, NEX Tower, 6786 Ayala Avenue, Makati City. The online catalogue is available at www.salcedoauctions.com.
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