Salcedo Stories

A Remarkable Year of Record Highs

A Remarkable Year of Record Highs

  • 4 January 2023

Salcedo Auctions has established itself as a space that draws together a community passionate about art – its longevity stemming from being the preferred venue for the seamless exchange of ownership of art and other valuable collectibles, reinforced by a sense of tradition and a deep appreciation of art and culture. For more than a decade, it has built upon a legacy of connecting people by bringing Philippine and international art to the forefront, creating real impact as the pioneer of the country’s art auction industry.

Real history. Real results. Real influence.

As we anticipate 2023’s promising bids, Salcedo Auctions looks back on 2022’s outstanding achievements that continue to underline its reputation of upholding Filipino identity while being mindful of discerning standards at an international level.

SAStories-2023-0104-A Remarkable Year of Record Highs-01

Anita Magsaysay-Ho, ‘Women Fishing,’ mixed media on board, 1971. Sold for PHP 26,864,000 at the ‘Finer Pursuits: Important Philippine Art & Rare Collectibles’ auction last June 2022.

At the forefront of last year’s sales was the astonishing record-breaking sale of Anita Magsaysay-Ho’s 1971 masterpiece, Women Fishing, selling for PHP 26,864,000 – the highest price for her work in her distinctive ‘ink blot’ style. This was followed by the crystalline pantheon of benchmark sales by six of Ramon Orlina’s Tower Club glass masterpieces that set one new record after the other in Salcedo Auctions’ back-to-back marquee events in March, June, September, and November.

Ramon Orlina’s Tower Club collection – all sold at benchmark prices at Salcedo Auctions.

2022 also saw new world records set overall and based on size for abstractionist Romulo Olazo. Two distinct works from his renowned Diaphanous series, the 48 x 48 inch Diaphanous 71719 and 42 x 84 inch Diaphanous B-CXIVIII, sold for PHP 11,680,000 and PHP 14,016,000 respectively.

As the premier resource of Juan Luna y Novicio’s works in the world, Salcedo Auctions also delivered a new record for his work on paper based on size, with the sale of his watercolor masterpiece Reclining Warrior dated circa 1887. This significant historical artwork, also the highest price for any Luna painting sold in the Philippines in 2022, sold for PHP 2,102,400.

Romulo Olazo, ‘Diaphanous B-CXIVIII,’ acrylic on canvas, 2010. Sold for the world record price of PHP 14,016,000 at ‘The Well Appointed Life’ auction.

Salcedo Auctions has always taken pride in being the trusted entrepôt of the Philippines’ tangible cultural heritage – important Philippine artworks; the finest and rarest furniture pieces; and extraordinary artifacts among others. The distinguished pieces that graced its Ayala Avenue galleries not only spoke of rich histories, but also of the confidence of their owners in Salcedo’s enduring integrity.

At The Well Appointed Life auction last September, the house had the honor of presenting two exceedingly rare early works of National Artist Ang Kiukok from the collection of the late Rufus Colefax Phillips III, a former USAID director, diplomat, and published author. These 1957 works from the Banana series were also exhibited at the eminent Philippine Art Gallery, and sold for a combined total of PHP 9,110,400.

A very famous British award winning actress also owned the rare and important 1969 mixed media oeuvre from National Artist BenCab’s Scavenger series derived from the artist’s significant London period. The exquisite piece, which was earlier acquired from the Greenwich art gallery that mounted the artist’s first solo exhibition, sold for PHP 4,088,000.

(Left) Ang Kiukok, ‘Bananas #3,’ oil on wood, 1957; (Right) ‘Bananas #4,’ oil on wood, 1957

Many early works of preeminent Filipino artists also found a home at Salcedo Auctions. Works created during the artists’ early years or transitional periods were showcased and well received. The most notable of these was the first cataloged painting by the postwar abstractionist Fernando Zóbel. This untitled 1948 bodegón charmed discerning collectors and sold for an impressive PHP 1,284,800 – more than 100% its published estimate. Meanwhile, pioneering abstract expressionist Lee Aguinaldo’s untitled 1963 piece fetched PHP 2,569,600 – the highest price achieved for the artist based on its size.

(Left), Fernando Zóbel, ‘Untitled (Bodegón), oil on canvas, 1948; (Right) Lee Aguinaldo, ‘Untitled,’ oil on canvas, 1963.

In an unprecedented feat, National Artist Napoleon Abueva achieved a world record at the November Under The Tree sale for his iconic sculptural bench dated 1977. The PHP 3,036,000 sale was the highest price achieved at auction for any work by the revered sculptor, setting the benchmark for future sales of his oeuvres.

As the barometer of the Philippine art market, the prices for the works of the late modernist Justin Nuyda will certainly be enjoying an ‘afterglow’ after the world record setting sale of Search Mindscape: ‘Break of Dawn’ for PHP 9,344,000 in the same auction. In the spirit of the Season, and epitomizing the truly well-appointed life of the artist, the Nuyda family generously donated the proceeds of the sale to the Search Mindscape Foundation and the Philippine Cancer Society.

(Left) Ayni Nuyda of the Search Mindscape Foundation and (right) Dr. Rachael Rosario of the Philippine Cancer Society, INC. before Justin Nuyda’s ‘Search Mindscape: ‘Break of Dawn’.’

Mauro Malang Santos’s ‘Yellow Vendor’ achieved a superlative record price for its size, selling at an astonishing PHP11,096,000 at September’s ‘The Well Appointed Life’ auction.

Among the host of solo exhibitions held at Salcedo Private View this year, Ronald Ventura’s Beastmaster undoubtedly reverberated the most, securing his pole position in Philippine contemporary art. His vernissage was the ‘talk of the town,’ drawing a sizable crowd of art enthusiasts and admirers alike on a Sunday afternoon, with a ‘bull run’ of Lamborghini cars parading down Ayala Avenue making a most unforgettable opening, and meriting unrivaled media coverage.

Salcedo Auctions 2022: A Year in Review

Salcedo Auctions’ first annual major auction, March’s Important Philippine Art and Furniture, Including Ethnographic Art, saw its highest sales of National Artist José Joya’s Festival *and BenCab’s untitled work dubbed as the *Woman with Bilao – both selling for PHP17,520,000. These were followed by exceptional sales of Orlina’s Power of Coalition for PHP 5,139,200; National Artist J. Elizalde Navarro’s Ubud, My Bali Series ‘94 for PHP 3,036,800; National Artist Federico Aguilar Alcuaz’s untitled green abstract artwork for PHP 4,788,800; Ferdie Montemayor’s untitled piece for PHP1,168,000; as well as colonial furniture pieces, such as the Ah Tay ilustrado matrimonial bed for PHP1,168,000 and the Bulacan tambol aparador for PHP1,401,000.

Jose Joya, ‘Festival,’ acrylic on canvas, 1985 sold for PHP17,520,000 at March’s ‘Important Philippine Art and Furniture, Including Ethnographic Art’ auction.

(Left) Ah Tay ilustrado matrimonial bed sold for PHP1,168,000; (Right) Bulacan tambol aparador from the 19th century, sold for PHP1,401,100

June’s Finer Pursuits: Important Philippine Art & Rare Collectibles auction achieved an impressive 90% clearance rate, headlined by Anita Magsaysay-Ho’s world record sale for Women Fishing and BenCab’s untitled piece from the Scavenger series. These were followed by Ang Kiukok’s Reclining Figure for PHP 9,928,000; Orlina’s Flight to the New Frontiers for PH P4,672,000; J. Elizalde Navarro’s Summer Storm for PHP 2,102,400; Roberto Chabet’s Objects VII for PHP 1,752,000; and Betsy Westendorp’s 207-1983 for PHP 1,168,000.

‘Finer Pursuits: Important Philippine Art & Rare Collectibles’ 2022 cocktail event.

BenCab’s untitled 1969 piece from the ‘Scavenger’ series belonged to a private collector from the United Kingdom. The piece sold for PHP4,088,000 at June’s ‘Finer Pursuits: Important Philippine Art & Rare Collectibles’ auction.

September’s The Well Appointed Life sale further reinforced Salcedo Auctions’ position as the country’s premier auction house with the sale of arguably the most beautiful painting by National Artist Vicente Manansala, an untitled piece depicting women vendors from the collection of one of the founders of the Friends of Manansala Foundation, and Ronald Ventura’s Beasty Eyes, both selling for PHP17,520,000; as well as the remarkable price achieved for Malang’s Yellow Vendor that sold for PHP 11,096,000.

(Left) Vicente Manansala, ‘Untitled (Vendors), oil on canvas, 1978; (Right) Ronald Ventura, ‘Beasty Eyes,’ oil on canvas with fiberglass and resin, 2021

Closing the auction year, Under the Tree: The Wish List saw Ramon Orlina’s Triumvirate equalled Salcedo’s own price benchmark for the artist in in a ‘three-peat’ achievement, while astonishing results were also achieved for National Artist Fernando Amorsolo’s Tinikling for PHP 2,102,400 and Ventura’s untitled hyperrealist piece depicting hands for PHP 1,752,000.

Salcedo Auctions Chairman and Chief Specialist Richie Lerma at November’s ‘Under the Tree: The Wish List’ auction.

Fernando Amorsolo, ‘Tinikling,’ oil on wood, 1940. Sold for PHP2,102,400 at the year end ‘Under the Tree: The Wish List’ auction.

Salcedo Auctions looks forward to a brilliant 2023, upholding its commitment of bringing only the best and the finest, guided by the unwavering dedication that can only come from the country’s premier auction house.