Beautiful azure seats are the first to welcome guests to Makati’s little corner of European grandeur—Casa de Memoria. The detail and trimmings of the furnishings are a sight to behold coming through the simple doors of this relatively new auction house
With a quick glance at the periphery, it is easy to get a sense of the craftsmanship and technique on display; this is artistry carved for the aristocrats of Europe centuries ago, and today, these are treasures that can accentuate the Filipino home.
“We don’t want these pieces to end up in a museum. We want to be the place where people can find their dining table, chair, and favorite desks. For these items were not made just to be looked at,” says Camille Lhuillier, Casa de Memoria marketing manager.
Asked about her favorite, Lhuillier shares she has her eyes on the grand sofa piece and miniature pieces of ivory animals with bejeweled eyes. Further across the floor, varying tones of lacquered woodwork are present, collections of ceramics and porcelain that are generously spread, silver and bronze sculptures adorned tables, and magnificent paintings lined the walls.
Sourced from private collections of families and individual collectors, these pieces of nobility all underwent strict authentication and restoration measures and placed under the care of Casa de Memoria’s local curators and European advisers.
Art enthusiasts will be treated to masterpieces like the Adoration of the Magi, an oil painting depiction of the Holy Family on wooden canvas, sculptures by French contemporary artist Francis Bérille, Renaissance pieces designed with ivory and precious metal inlays, and a 152-piece Limoge porcelain dining set that is guaranteed to bring splendor to Filipino dining.
Lhuillier explains, “We’re the most cohesively European auction house in Asia right now. Collectors will find that Casa de Memoria offers a more extensive selection of pieces from that part of the world, even when compared to other auctions houses in Asia.”
Being the first to house antiquities from Europe’s most privileged to the Philippines, Casa de Memoria promises to bring over masterpieces from Portugal, Spain, and France. These intricately designed and functional art pieces date back to 15th century and are reminiscent of the period when furniture dictated the styling and ambience of homes.
Operations manager Tiffany Mathay explains the vision of the auction house, “Casa de Memoria is not just an art auction, we want it to be a lifestyle for Filipinos.” She adds that the auction house is there to help Filipinos see that art is not beyond reach. “It speaks to them, brings out a part of themselves, and fits perfectly in their homes.”
These two ladies, along with auction house director Angelique Miranda, supervise the transport, authentication, and sale of these historical and personal treasures and their re-appropriation to Philippine homes.
Lhuillier says in jest, “How often can you say that I have this piece from the 16th century? It’s in my home and it’s still beautiful.”
Casa de Memoria is at 156 Jupiter corner Comet Streets, Bel-Air, Makati City.
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