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'Spoliarium' 'boceto' sells for record P73-million

Heading into the auction held recently at Rigodon Ballroom of The Peninsula Manila, the “boceto” or study of the "Spoliarium" by Juan Luna presented by Salcedo Auctions was surrounded by all sorts of intrigue. 
Despite strong evidence presented by Salcedo Auctions, which marketed the work as "the most significant Philippine art discovery in recent time", questions were still raised on its authenticity. In the end, the controversial artwork went for a record P73-million, the highest price for a Luna in a Philippine auction and the second highest in the world.

While the “boceto” was clearly the star of the night, nine other paintings sold for the most price including Jose Joya’s “Two Faces of Villafernandina”, a bird’s eye view of a golden tract of land in Vigan, which was second highest at P11.6M. Mauro Malang Santos’ religious themed “Carroza” sold for P9.3M.

Malang's "Carroza"

Another Joya work, the abstract “Fire Lake”, went for P8.7 million. A Jorge Pineda painting of rural Philippines featuring the iconic bahay kubo fetched for P8.7M. Bencab’s “La Familia”, an endearing and timeless imagery of strength and love, went for P8.1M.

Rounding up the rest of the ten highest pieces sold during Salcedo Auctions’ The Well Appointed Life are Joya’s “White Symbol” (P7.8M), Ang Kiukok’s “Untitled [Still Life]” (P5.2M), two paintings by Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo “Grove of Trees” (P5.2M), Ronald Ventura’s “Color Blinds” (P5M), and Bencab’s “Sampans” (5M).

Bulacan kamagong and narra aparador

Mughal style emerald and diamond necklace

Other notable pieces that sold for considerable amounts include an 18th century Gargoyle table (P4.4M), a Bulacan kamagong and narra tambol aparador (P3.8M), a fine and rare stainless steel Rolex cosmograph (P3.8M), a Mughal style emerald and diamond necklace set in 22k yellow gold (P2.5M), and a 1965 BMW R69S motorcycle (P1.9M).

Email the author dextermatilla@gmail.com

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