₱28M-Worth Botong Francisco Painting, Up for Auction at Leon Gallery


Leon Gallery in partnership with the Museum of Contemporary Art and Design (MCAD), presents the Magnificent September Auction 2018! Leon Gallery is the Philippines' premier auction house for fine art, antiques, heirloom furniture, and historical memorabilia. This September they will feature breathtaking historical documents signed by Jose Rizal, Josephine Bracken, etc. Masterpieces by Amorsolo, Joya, Manansala, etc. and the Fabella-Pamintuan cabinet, the Pardo de Tavera bed by Ah Tay, and so much more!

Magnificent September Auction 2018 will be held live on September 8, 2018 at Leon Gallery, G/F Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City, Philippines. For more information log on to leon-gallery.com

Leon Gallery recently held a media lunch and preview of their Magnificent September Auction 2018 and one of the highlight is "The Nose Flute" (oil on double canvas 48”x 72”) by National Artist for Visual Arts Carlos “Botong” V. Francisco. Starting Bid: Php 28,000,000



Almost a mural-size work, the ‘Nose Flute’ measures an astounding 4 feet by 6 feet, making the painting most possibly, the last Botong Francisco of such epic proportions to go to auction. The work is painted on a double canvas, joined at the seams. He carefully selected the avatars in creating a unique iconography, preferring pre-Spanish Filipinos, or those that stayed true to their cultural identities unsubjugated, by colonial powers. He preferred both the proud Northern Tribes of the Ifugao and Ibaloy as well as the tribesmen of Muslim Mindanao.


Also featured is the Dalagang Bukid painting by Fernando Amorsolo, the first National Artist of the Philippines. Starting Bid: Php 4,000,000 In an interview published in the broadsheet Manila Nueva dated the 6th of March 1920, Fernando Amorsolo commented on the trend of the Luminists and his admiration of their works: “Of the moderns, I like first Zuloaga then Sorolla, who in each in his own style, are two figures of the first magnitude.” This was the main artistic style Amorsolo brought back into the colonial setting of the Philippines, by rendering light into his grandiose idyllic scenes of rural pastures as represented by this work of the Dalagang Bukid painted in 1927.

For Amorsolo, the Dalagang Bukid was his muse of ideal Filipina beauty foregoing the Maria Clara-typed wallflower who presents herself as a smiling and cheerful lady, in spite of the labor beckoned in the agricultural plain. She is depicted sporting in the national costume of the baro’t saya with her hair firmly held by flowing bandana to shield her, from the brightness of the afternoon sun.


Tour guide Carlos Celdran, a descendant of Dr. Fabella, explains the colorful history of 'The Fabella Kamagong Aparador.' Starting Bid: Php 2,200,000 The cabinet belonged to Jose Fernandez Fabella who was born in Pagsanjan, Laguna to one the town’s leading families. He was the first secretary of the Department of Health and Public Welfare in 1941.

This towering cabinet, made entirely of kamagong, is the tallest that has ever come into the market and is said to be one of a pair. It has a wide base supported at the corners by four turned, vase-shaped feet surmounted by three rings and narrow, straight aprons at the sides and an apron board in front in the shape of an inverted truncated pediment. The aprons are bordered with parallel lanite line-inlay and have a half-round molding at the bottom. A diamond-shaped star with rays composed of half lanite and half kamagong decorates the center of the apron board in front.


One of the highlights of The Magnificent September Auction is this fascinating Extremely Rare Ceremonial Medal of the Supreme Council of the Katipunan consisting of crossed bolos wrought in brass. The mythic "K" (for Kalayaan/Freedom) appears twice, one written in an ancient Tagalog script. Starting Bid: Php 100,000

This ceremonial medal, wrought of brass, features two crossed bolos (or long knives or machetes). The hilt is turned and curved, like the quillons. In the center is the letter “K”, which appears again in ancient Filipino script in the middle of the Katipunan’s mystic triangle. “K” would stand for both “Katipunan” as well as “Kalayaan” (or Freedom.) There were a few plateros (silversmiths or jewelers) in the ranks of the Katipunan high command : Doroteo Trinidad and Francisco Nakpil, elder brother of Julio. Because of the possibility of his relationship with Jose, it can perhaps be presumed that Doroteo was the maker of this splendid piece.

Also pictured above, is The Exceedingly Rare and Exceedingly Important “Decalogue” or Ten Commandments of the Katipunan, written by Andres Bonifacio. Starting Bid : Php 1,200,000 Formally titled “Katungkulang gagawin ng mga Z. Ll. B, or Anak ng Bayan,” or “The Duties that Must be Done by Sons of the People.” This document is simply one of a kind. Ink on paper; Two sheets, folded in half; Three Pages Accompanied by a very rare photograph of Andres Bonifacio. As the Supreme Leader of a secret society, all but one of Bonifacio’s photographs are known to exist. This is purportedly a photo taken on his wedding day.








Other important highlights include works gathered from an array of illustrious collections including “Cross-Section/Ascension” (c. 1956-57) by Alfonso Ossorio; “Carnival” (1961) by Jose Joya, rediscovered from the Mark and Naheed Houshmand Collection; the first known iteration of the “Pila sa Bigas” (1972) done by Vicente Manansala and the “Saeta 52” (1958) also known as “The Pared Madrileña” by the foremost modernist Fernando Zóbel are just among the staggering works offered in this historic sale.

León Gallery's The Magnificent September Auction 2018 is  partnered with Museum of Contemporary Art and Design in raising funds for the development of their programs. MCAD's 10th anniversary project (Funding the Future) will facilitate the future production of Filipino monographic books, situate residencies and exchanges, a mentoring program for students, empower conferences, and launch a research program.

Magnificent September Auction 2018 will be held live on September 8, 2018 at Leon Gallery, G/F Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City, Philippines. Auction preview on September 1 to 7, 9AM to 7PM. For more details go to leon-gallery.com

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