Asian-inspired sculptures, religious paintings a hit among collectors at Casa de Memoria’s Primero auction

A momentary escape is what art sparks in all of us, may it be a much-needed respite from current events or a necessary breather to appreciate the good things in life. This art interlude was what collectors experienced when they participated at the recently concluded Primero auction of Casa de Memoria, Palacio de Memoria’s auction house.

16th century Spanish oil on wood painting depicting the Assumption of Mary

Religious art, sculptures, and old-world furniture and mementos gave collectors the sojourn they needed to momentarily leave the present world and transport back to a period where art and beauty became a true depiction of what makes this life a joy to live despite its trials and tribulations.

Asian-inspired ivory sculptures and oil-based paintings depicting Christian art were a hit among art aficionados who attended the auction house’s first sale for 2021. Part of the proceeds from the virtual event, which was also held live, will go to the ABS-CBN Foundation.

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 at the online sale.

Mahogany veneer cabinet from late 19th century Spain Cua

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.

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.

Also included at the auction were top sellers like 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), appreciating the latter’s efforts in pursuing and arresting the monks who robbed civilians in the mountains.

18th century oil on copper painting of the Holy Trinity originating from Mexico

“We made this event a celebration of Western and Asian-inspired art to capture the distinctive tastes of our diverse collectors. With this and future collections, we aim to continuously promote art appreciation by highlighting the beauty, attention to detail, and cultural importance of old-world artistic pieces,” said Camille Lhuillier-Albani, Casa de Memoria general manager.

For more information on Casa de Memoria’s next auction event, visit or follow @thecasadememoria on Facebook and @casadememoria on Instagram.