An online bidding on July 29 by leading auction house León Gallery will feature fine furniture, exquisite antiques and objets d’art from the famous Ledda House of Singalong, Manila, to help raise funds for the Philippine General Hospital Foundation.
León Gallery director Jaime Ponce de León says that, aside from the usual auction of paintings, sculptures and art objects, the gallery will bid out the contents of the Ledda House (corner of Arellano and Ayala Streets), a great representation of furniture of a well-to-do family in the 1920s.
“The Ledda home is replete with the finest furniture from the early 20th century and has remained in good condition,” Ponce de León says. “Nothing can be as pure as this assembly of furniture. It was untouched by time.”
During World War II, the house, originally owned by Capt. José Calanog Badillo, was rented out to Japanese and Korean generals.
“This, in a way, was a blessing because only three houses in that area remained after the bombing of the district, one of which is this house on the corner, and two others which no longer exist,” Raphaella Ledda Howell writes in the catalogue.
Two of the Badillo siblings, Nemesia and Teodora, inherited the property.
“Teodora met Jaime Ledda in their Architecture course in University of Santo Tomas, where they were both mentored by Francisco Monti,” Howell writes. “Thereafter, Dora and Jimmy, graduates of the UST College of Architecture 1949, worked for Juan Arellano and together they made plans for the City of Manila. When they got married in 1952, Juan Arellano was the main sponsor of their wedding, and Monti, one of their guests.”
Among the pieces of furniture that will be auctioned off are the dressers, rectangular dining table with chairs, cabinets, dragon pedestals and a bed, Ponce de León says.
Also part of the sale are the chandeliers from the private collection of José Ricardo “Joey” Panlilio, former executive director of De La Salle Museum of Dasmariñas, Cavite.
In the visual arts section of the auction, a much sought-
after piece is a rare wood sculpture by National Artist Arturo Luz from a 1970 New York collection.
“I have not encountered anything of this design and probably this is a unique work of the artist,” Ponce de León says. “It has remained in a private American collection after it was acquired from the Luz Gallery in 1970.”
Ponce de León says collectors would surely enjoy browsing through over 400 lots on
Mauro Malang Santos, who recently passed away, has an impressive work on sale: his 1977 watercolor-on-paper “Red Palm,” featuring colorful geometric patterns.
Romeo Tabuena’s 1960 oil-on-board “Barrio Scene” is a depiction of bucolic life.
Fabian de la Rosa’s 1923 pastel-on-paper “Bosques de Villa Borghese” is a beautiful genre work of a European landscape.
Oscar T. Navarro’s 1966 oil-on-canvas “Sailboat” is a very dynamic seascape showing a boat driving across raging waves.
Olan Ventura’s 2011 acrylic-on-canvas “The Bald” is a haunting image of a skull glowing in red light.
National Artist Federico Aguilar Alcuaz’s 1974 oil-on-canvas “Nude” is a very striking work showing the reflection of a naked female body in the dresser’s mirror.
Juvenal Sansó’s untitled oil-on-canvas landscape shows an arid patch of land with dead tree barks, a very bleak but mysteriously vital scene along his trademark expressionist vein.
León Gallery’s online auction began in 2016 as an avenue for art and antique lovers to build on their collections, or for collectors to make their works available in the wider virtual market.
“We aim to be as prudent as possible in the acceptance of works for auction,” Ponce de León says. “Provenance has been key to the success of our auctions. We have likewise sought the confirmation of authenticity from respective experts.” —CONTRIBUTED
Catalog access at www.leonexchange.com. Preview of lots will begin on July 22 at Eurovilla 1, Rufino and Legaspi St., Legaspi Village, Makati City. Online auction on July 29 will start at 2 p.m.
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