Going once, going twice: Asian, religious artworks big hit at Casa de Memoria


Casa de Memoria’s first live auction this year saw a great interest in Asian-inspired ivory sculptures as well as oil-based paintings depicting Christian art. 

A Chinese Immortal Carved in Ivory, a sculpture dating back to the Kangxi period showcasing a Chinese male immortal being, and Doctor’s Lady, an ivory carving depicting a reclining pregnant woman, both fetched a total of over half a million pesos (P280,000 and P260,000, respectively) at the online sale dubbed Primero.  

SCULPTURES SOLD. Chinese Immortal Carved in Ivory (left) and Doctor’s Lady fetched a total of over P500,000 at Casa de Memoria’s first live auction this year.

Oil paintings featuring famous religious iconographies also attracted numerous bids from art collectors during the live virtual auction. An 18th-century oil on copper painting of the Holy Trinity originating from Mexico (P280,000) and a 16th-century Spanish oil on wood painting depicting the Assumption of Mary (P240,000) were among the masterpieces that caught the eye of auction participants.

European antique furniture were also popular at the auction, with a mahogany veneer cabinet from late 19th-century Spain (P300,000) and a round glass-top table with bronze satyr cast (P120,000) bagging the most bids. A French mahogany sideboard from the Napoleon III era (P120,000) was a scene stealer at the virtual auction as well.    

18th-century oil on copper painting of the Holy Trinity
16th-century Spanish oil on wood painting depicting the Assumption of Mary

The Primero auction also showcased a myriad of mementos and decorative pieces from Casa de Memoria’s massive collection. Auction participants were treated to 200 vintage items, ranging from antiques to art pieces as well as heirlooms and curiosities curated from around the world, with a focus on Filipino-European masterpieces.

Other top sellers were the 1970s bronze egg sculpture by Chilean artist Alfredo Portales (P350,000) and the 16th-century hand-written letter of King Philip II of Spain to Governor Lazaro Moreno de Leon of Tenerife and La Palma (P340,000).

The hand-written letter of King Philip II of Spain to Governor Lazaro Moreno de Leon of Tenerife and La Palma
Mahogany veneer cabinet from late 19th century Spain

“We made this event a celebration of Western and Asian-inspired art to capture the distinctive tastes of our diverse collectors,” said Camille Lhuillier-Albani, Casa de Memoria general manager.

Part of the proceeds from the virtual event will go to the ABS-CBN Foundation.

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