European elegance in the Filipino home

While contemporary Filipino art seems to be all the rage these days—local galleries and auction houses all seem to have them on display—one particular auction house had just proven that fine European art still maintains its prized status among the country’s most discerning collectors.

At the recently concluded opening auction of Casa de Memoria, an impressive catalogue of European pieces found their way into new collections as the hammer went down for the first time this year. Dubbed as Auction .0005, the event featured mostly European fine and decorative art from various periods, some dating as far back as the 17th century.

From left: Angelique Lhuillier-Miranda, Tiffany Mathay, and Ferdi Salvador
Fine European antique furniture were among the most sought-after, with pieces like the 19th Century Ebony Cabinet commanding a final bid of P400,000. The sophisticated Italian cabinet with engraved pewter and ivory line inlays on ebony wood features a Renaissance Revival stylization, featuring medallions, foliage, vases, flora and fauna, and other mythological motifs.

The sale of this 17th century Flemish oil on wood painting depicting the Adoration of the Magi proved that religion is still a popular motif among collectors. Fetching P180,000 on the block, the sale of this piece demonstrates the prominence of Christianity as one of Europe’s biggest legacies to the Filipino culture

Gian Mathay and Polly Mathay
Titled Bailando, this 20th century mixed media on canvas painting by Portuguese artist Peter Charters d’Azevedo (b. 1946) proves that contemporary European art has as much of a following as pieces from earlier periods. The warm palette gives weight to the subject, making it appear more inviting as it appears to leap beyond the canvas and onto its observer. The piece sold for P220,000.

Fine home accessories such as the 20th century Limoges Dinner Service Set also reflected the place of European aesthetic sensibilities in the life of modern collectors. Sold for P320,000, the 153-piece set proudly features gilt and Bordeaux embellishments at the friezes, depicting swirling foliage with its primarily Neoclassical revival appeal.

These and all other pieces sold during the auction were professionally authenticated and restored by a team of European advisers and art conservation experts. Remaining lots will be on display at the Casa De Memoria showroom on Jupiter street in Makati.

According to Casa De Memoria Director Angelique Miranda, her ultimate goal is to spread the beauty of European art beyond the confines of museums and straight into the Filipino home. “These pieces have a place in the Filipino home,” she says. “Nowadays, we see an upward trend in decorating the home by mixing contemporary art with vintage pieces, and combining Asian aesthetics with European ones. It makes for a very unique and interesting setting. We want people to come into the Casa to be inspired and experience the pieces for themselves – not just see the furniture, but really feel it.” 

Following the success of the all-encompassing Auction .0005, she shares that The Casa’s next step would be to demonstrate the versatility of European art through a series of auctions that focus on specific lifestyles. The next one will be on May 6.

Casa de Memoria is located at the corner of Jupiter and Comet streets in Bel-Air, Makati. 

This 20th century Limoges Dinner Service Set, which sold for P320,000, is one of the European pieces auctioned off at Casa de Memoria
For more information, visit, follow @CasaDeMemoria on Instagram, and Like @TheCasaDeMemoria on Facebook.

Topics: Casa de Memoria , European pieces
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