Salcedo Stories

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Treat!

Oh Christmas Tree, Oh Christmas Treat!

  • 7 November 2020

It’s a well-known fact that the Christmas season is a four-month-long celebration in the Philippines. We might just be the only country in the world that starts counting down to Christmas in September! Filipinos resonate deeply with this cheerful holiday as it commemorates the two things that we hold most dear– faith and family. The holiday spirit is palpable as the feeling of joy and excitement hangs in the air. This is further amplified by all the (Zoom) Christmas parties, reunions, and general merriment that accompanies the Season. One could easily argue that this is truly the most wonderful time of the year!

Another perk to a four-month-long celebration is that it provides us with ample time to curate our holiday wish lists. Apart from providing a moment of serenity and calm to look back on the year that’s passed, it also encourages us to really think about the people we love the most, as well as to treat ourselves after overcoming all of the year’s challenges.

Admittedly, it’s also exciting to write your own holiday wishlist! You’re likely to spend hours browsing through an online catalogue in search for that perfect gift.

A Brief History of Christmas Wishlists

The Christmas Wishlist first began with childhood letters to Santa Claus. In the West, Santa Claus used to be viewed as an authoritarian figure of-sorts. It’s hard to imagine a time when Jolly Old Saint Nick was a legend referenced by parents to discipline their child.

However, this all changed when the popular poem, now known to many as “Twas the night before Christmas,” by Clement Clarke Moore was published in 1823. This, along with other newspaper articles and cartoon sketches slowly changed the public perception of Santa Claus. Soon after, children began writing their letters to Santa Claus, hoping for a coveted spot on the “Nice” List.

Over time, this childhood tradition evolved into a practical approach to gift-giving. Though we may no longer write letters to Santa Claus as we grow older, the writing of holiday lists still brings back the same festive feelings of whimsy and nostalgia.

As you begin to write your holiday lists this year, you may want to take a peek at what we have in store at the Gavel&Block auction, Under the Tree! You might just spot a one-of-a-kind present that you can’t get anywhere else.

Paintings and sculptures for the art aficionado

Every lover of art would be thrilled to receive artwork by their favorite Philippine or international artist. Just picture the giddy smile you– or the lucky recipient of this gift– will have come Christmas morning after finding a work of art under the tree! This timeless gift is both sentimental and valuable– think of it as owning a tangible piece of art history.

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JUVENAL SANSÓ, ‘Floats into Air,’ c. 1990s, Acrylic on paper.

Juvenal Sanso uses dazzling colors in, “Floats into Air.” The artist has become widely recognized for this ethereal take on landscapes and flora.

NORMA BELLEZA, ‘Untitled (Woman with Umbrella),’ 2010, Acrylic on canvas.

This charming painting, ‘Untitled (Woman with Umbrella),’ displays Norma Belleza’s mastery of vibrant colors and hues as she depicts everyday realities with her signature rustic charm.

MAURO MALANG SANTOS, ‘Mother & Child,’ 1997, Gouache on paper.

Mauro “Malang” Santos takes a timeless motif– the mother and child– and incorporates his own stylized modernity into the painting.

LYDIA VELASCO, ‘The Bond Between Us,’ 2020, Oil on canvas.

Contemporary artist Lydia Velasco often paints alluring scenes that feature women. ‘The Bond Between Us’ depicts two women who appear to be sharing stories– or perhaps even titillating news with one another!

NENA SAGUIL, ‘Oscillating Cosmos,’ 1974, Oil on canvas.

Nena Saguil spent her career as an artist in the perfection of her craft. Eventually, she created her own style of abstraction. ‘Oscillation Cosmos,’ is a fine example of her signature style.

RAMON ORLINA, ‘Steady Progression,’ 2018, Carved spring green glass.

Glass sculptor, Ramon Orlina, once said that his fascination with glass began because he found himself challenged to explore its endless possibilities.

Prints for the budding collector

Prints are a good starting point for one’s debut into the world of art collecting, offering art enthusiasts the chance to own original works by established and upcoming artists at more affordable prices. If you’re wondering, what art prints are and why you should start looking into them, we’ve already got you covered.

BENCAB, ‘Ang Pamilya,’ 2001, Etching 22/100, unframed.

BENCAB, ‘Untitled,’ 2014, Digital print 7/15, unframed.

A bold print by National Artist BenCab is sure to make for a wonderful addition to anyone’s art collection!

JUSTIN NUYDA, ‘Almasor,’ 2019, Giclee print 16/20

This abstract landscape by Justin Nuyda is mesmerizing!

Conversation pieces for great hosts

We all have that friend who spends every minute of their free time looking through home decor catalogues, design magazines, and websites. If you can’t think of anyone– then the chances are that you are that friend! In any case, these works of art would make a lovely addition to your entertaining arsenal and liven up any room in the household.

Lots from Left to Right: (1) A Bohemia hand painted glass vase, (2) A pair of wood and metal ramilletes, (3) A Murano art glass aquarium egg

Statement handbags for those who love a good classic

Fashion trends are ever-changing but good style is forever. Exploring auction catalogues presents exciting opportunities to find collectible statement pieces for your wardrobe. Most of these classic pieces have long been taken off the shelves– which means you’ll be hard-pressed to find these anywhere else.

Lots from Left to Right: (1) CELINE ‘Nano’ luggage handbag in dune, (2) FENDI Black Vitello leather ‘2Jours Elite’ tote bag, (3) YVES SAINT LAURENT Pink calfskin leather small monogram ‘Cabas’ bag

Charming pieces of the past for the history buff

What if we told you that there are hidden histories behind your furniture? Believe it or not, this is absolutely true. In the past, a lot of furniture had to be custom made and were then passed down, from one generation to the next. This explains why vintage and antique furniture are not only coveted for their fine craftsmanship, but for the stories of the past that surround them as well.

Lots from Left to Right: (1) A rare kamagong Chippendale-style settee, 2nd quarter, 20th century, Bulacan, Kamagong, cane/solihiya (2) A magnificent tres lunas tocador or dresser (attributed to Ah Tay), 4th quarter, 19th century, Manila, Narra, mirror, marble, glass, hardware.

’Tis the season for cheer and holiday wishlists! You may now browse through the online catalogue of the Gavel&Block auction, Under the Tree by clicking here. The Under the Tree auction will be held live online at on Saturday 21 November, 11am.