Historical Pieces, Art Worth Millions of Pesos in Leon Gallery’s “Blockbuster” Auction

There will be works of Fernando Amorsolo, Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, BenCab, and more, along with historical documents tied to the Filipino-American War and Emilio Aguinaldo.

A blockbuster. This is how Leon Gallery's Toto Gonzales describes their upcoming auction in partnership with The Asian Cultural Council Philippines (ACCP), and it's a reasonable choice of words, considering the significance of the pieces placed on the lineup.

From the works of Fernando Amorsolo to historical papers and furniture connected to the likes of Emilio Aguinaldo and Maximo Viola, the ACC Art Auction coming to the Leon Gallery this February 22 is seemingly the Avengers: Endgame to all local collectors out there. And before these pieces– some of which are worth millions of pesos– go out for auction, a special preview exhibit will be held on February 15.

Pieces of history.

In Berlin, year 1887, the soon-to-be National Hero Jose Rizal was fearing that his novel Noli Me Tangere would not reach its intended Filipino readers due to Rizal's lack of budget to back its publishing. This is until his good friend, Maximo Viola volunteered to fund the reproduction of the book, and what followed are the Filipinos' significant steps towards their independence.

The Roura-Viola Aparador (Photo: Leon Gallery)

Part of the upcoming auction is the Roura-Viola Aparador, a 1923 drawer from the couple Maximo Viola and Juana Roura. It is mainly made out of kamagong wood and contains carvings in the Filipino art nouveau style, also known as estilo tampico. On its crest are intertwined vines forming the letters RV for Roura and Viola, while the year 1923 carved on top of its doors is also the year of the couple's 25th wedding anniversary.

A Folio of The Philippine-American War: The Saga of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo and Pfc. Harry Huber, an American Prisoner of War (Photo: Leon Gallery)

Also part of the historical pieces that will be auctioned is  A Folio of The Philippine-American War: The Saga of Gen. Emilio Aguinaldo and Pfc. Harry Huber, an American Prisoner of War, which tells the tale of the American soldier Harry Huber, who was held captive by Emilio Aguinaldo's army. The album includes photos of Harry Huber during his time in service and as a prisoner of the Filipinos; photographs of Harry's son Gordon Huber with Emilio Aguinaldo, after the two met half a century later in Manila; and numerous letters signed by Gordon which narrated his visits with Aguinaldo.

Very Rare and Very Important Moro Insurrection Flag from the Sultanate of Sulu (Photo: Leon Gallery)

Another very interesting piece is the Moro Insurrection Flag from the Sultanate of Sulu during the Filipino-American war, that has been tagged as "very rare and very important." The flag was owned by Corporal Alois J. Steichen, who took down the notorious pirate Jikiri of the Sulu archipelago during the war. While the Sultanate of Sulu cooperated with Steichen's army, it was also suspected that Jikiri, having been part of the Sultanate's entourage before he became a pirate, also used the same flag during his time as an outlaw.

Petrus Plancius (Leon Gallery)

The lots above are only a few of the historical relics and documents that will be up for bidding at the Asian Cultural Center auction. There will also be a Very Rare Set of Moro swordsA Collection of Philippine-American War memorabiliaExtremely Important Revolutionary Bank Notes, The Legendary Spice Map Petrus Planciusand so much more.

Art from the masters.

Of course, the auction is also packed with a well-curated lineup of visual artworks, headlined by pieces from the likes of Fernando Amorsolo, Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo, Jose Joya, BenCab, Ramon Orlina, and more.

Check out some of these masterpieces below:

Dos Hermanas – Fabian dela Rosa
A Parisian Grandee – Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo
Mother and Children – Mauro Malang Santos
Mother and Child – Benedicto Cabrera
RYU – Arturo Luz
Torso – Ramon Orlina
Luksong Tinik – Fernando Amorsolo

These are but a fraction of the 150 pieces that are up for bidding at the ACC auction. You can see the full catalogue at the Leon Gallery website. The ACC Art Auction is happening on February 22, 2020, 2PM at the Leon Gallery, located at the ground level of Eurovilla 1, Rufino St. Corner Legaspi Sts., Legaspi Village, Makati City. A special preview week exhibit will also open on February 15.

ACC Fellowship Program

This year's ACC Art Auction is now the sixth collaboration between Leon Gallery and the ACCP, and part of its proceeds will be used to fund the Asian Cultural Council's Philippine Fellowship Program.

For years now, the ACCP has undergone a fulfilling journey of supporting the young creatives and talents of the country under its Fellowship Program, giving them opportunities to explore their chosen crafts and beyond through meaningful cultural exchange anywhere in the United States and Asia.

The key figures of the Asian Cultural Council Phiippines Foundation, Leon Gallery, and the ACC Philippine Fellowship Program grantees during the joint press conference for the ACC Art Auction 2020. (Photo: Leon Gallery Facebook page)

To date, over 300 names has made their list, including both professional and emerging artists in theater, music, dance, literature, architecture, and other allied arts. Some of the most notable grantees include National Artists Lucresia Kasilag, Jose Maceda, Francisco Feliciano and Ramon Santos for Music; Jose Joya for Visual Arts, Alice Reyes for dance and Kidlat Tahimik for Film. Organizations and institutions can also be recipients of the grant, and this part of the list presently includes the Asian Composers League, Ballet Philippines, Cultural Center of the Philippines, Museo Pambata, National Museum, and UP Ethnomusicology, to name a few.

From September 1 to November 1 this year, the ACCP will once again look for the next batch of promising artists who will join the prolific list. Online application for the fellowship program will become available through the Asian Cultural Council website.

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