Salcedo Stories

The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection at Auction

The Relentless Pursuit of Perfection at Auction

  • 23 June 2021

For some, it’s a concept, an idea of how certain things simply go together. For others, it’s the story of a painting and its creator, the inspiration behind a sculpture, or the thought of elegant furniture that used to grace a bygone ilustrado salon that keeps them sleepless at night, pining to take these objects home and gaze upon them, enraptured. Each piece on offer at Salcedo Auctions’ forthcoming sale ‘Finer Pursuits,’ which takes place in-person and online this Saturday, 26 June at 2pm, can generally be described in broad, easy terms like ‘antique,’ ‘modern,’ ‘contemporary,’ and ‘emerging.’ Yet to the discerning, critical eye of confident collectors, aided by the advice of the auction house’s specialists, these pieces, when juxtaposed together, take on new meanings and significance that enliven minds and provide food for the soul.

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A glimpse at the ‘Finer Pursuits’ auction set-up at the Salcedo Auctions showroom

Case in point, the auction preview at Salcedo’s NEX Tower flagship is set up in a way that visitors will find together stunning 19th century ivory religious pieces placed on top of contemporary designer furniture; stellar examples of tribal & ethnographic art side by side with sculptural pieces, and powerful, bold contemporary art by artists such as Manuel Ocampo hanging above stately 19th century tables.

Flanked by Pow Martinez’s 2016 oil on canvas ‘Show Me Your Breast,’ and Yeo Kaa’s 2017 ‘I can’t stop banging my head’ is Manuel Ocampo’s rare excursion into the still life genre. Beneath it, an even equally rare 18th c. balayong Batangas refectory table, and a pair of wooden painted tops.

“We’ve received a very positive response to the theme for this sale,” says Salcedo Auctions Managing Director, Victor M. Silvino. “Guests who visit the preview are often surprised by the way we paired seemingly contrasting pieces together. We could see how the collection speaks to that side of people that enjoys stepping outside the lines and being very exploratory with the way they build their collections and display their pieces in their homes. At the end of the day, it’s a very self-expressive process and we want to empower people to enjoy it with fine and rare collectible pieces”

Portraitures by (left to right) Winner Jumalon, Emong Borlongan and Olan Centura line the wall; before them, a pair of bululs, Ling Quisimbing’s untitled pencil sculpture atop a black Hocker Stool, and the enduring silhouette of Verner Panton’s limited edition lacquered chair.

True enough, the lineup features pieces by leading names in Philippine art. There’s a 1991 oil on canvas ‘Mother and Child’ by National Artist Ang Kiukok, which was commissioned by a young collector friend and created during an important transitional moment in Ang’s career; a 1973 ‘Green Circulation’ piece from artworld ‘bad boy’ Lee Aguinaldo’s iconic series of the same name; a 1991 ‘Tondo Girl’ by National Artist BenCab, and a luminous 2008 oil on canvas ‘Diaphanous’ by Romulo Olazo. Furniture lovers will also find sterling examples in the finest Philippine hardwoods, like a flamboyant 19th century mariposa sofa from Pampanga, an 18th centurybalayong Batangas refectory table, a 1920s Art Nouveau Manila lansena, and a massive 20th century Renaissance Revival style round table with clawed feet carved from balayong.

Filipino modern art heavyweights, Ang KiuKok (‘Mother and Child,’ 1991 oil on canvas), Lee Aguinaldo (‘Green Circulation,’ 1973 acrylic) and BenCab (‘Tondo Girl,’ 1991 acrylic and ink on paper) are accompanied by a design world superstar, the LCW chair by Ray and Charles Eames.

Behind an elegant flamboyant 19th c. Mariposa sofa from Pampanga hang a 19th c. ‘Nuestra Señora del Rosario’ alto relieve from Cebu, a radiant ‘Nuestra Señora de la Paloma’ oil on canvas painting with gold leaf in a kamagong frame, and a 19th c. ‘Via Crucis’ icon

These covetable pieces are currently on view daily from 9am-5pm at NEX Tower, 6786 Ayala Avenue. Register to bid for the auction and view catalogue by clicking here.