The Casa Auctions: Primero

April 18, 2020 / 2:10 PM

Casa de Memoria Showroom, Clear Tent

The Lhuillier-managed auction house Casa de Memoria offers European artwork, objets d’art, and antiquities at its first sale this year. European treasures in Casa de Memoria’s Primero auction. An early 20th-century French impressionist art sculpture by Louis Barthelemy features a female dancer made of ivory and bronze and mounted on an onyx base. An Italian inlaid console table, done in certosina—a Renaissance Italian style of elaborate inlay of bone, ivory, light-colored wood, metal, or other material in stylized designs against a dark background—represents a unique 19th-century table. Of the 120 unique lots to go under the hammer on March 19 at Palacio de Memoria in Parañaque City, the curatorial team highlights 14 items offered at Primero.


Also part of the auction is an art nouveau lamp, etched in floral motifs and amber tones attributed to Émile Gallé (1846-1904), a French artist and designer who worked in glass, and is hailed as one of the major innovators in the French Art Nouveau movement. The early 20th-century lamp of crystal and glass represents his style on naturalism. Another work by Gallé is a glass vase whose details include layers of crimson flowers on blue. As ivory is one of the key collectibles in every Casa de Memoria auction, Primero offers a 19th-century triptych French sculpture embellished with colored stones. Another sought-after piece is a Spanish silver hammered server with repousse motifs from the early part of the 20th century, duly marked as primera ley or Hispanic silver guarantee. Two 20th-century distinct Murano goblets, one in amber with a swan stem and a clear with a swan base, make a unique find in the Primero selection. “Islas Filipinas” by mapmaker Francisco Coello (1822-1898) and Antonio Morata (1806-1870) is one of historical significance. Printed and hand colored in Madrid in 1852, this map is part of a compendium of cartography “Posesiones de Oceania” of the Diccionario Geografico-Estadistico-Historico. The map is part of an edition of one of the 34 maps of Asia and the Philippines used to support the sovereignty claim against China.
With a devotion to the Infant Jesus comes a Goanese-carved Niño in 17th-century ivory. The sleeping infant, depicted in an almost classical resting style, is gilded and has traces of polychrome. A silver salt cellar, presented in a base of floral elements and clawed feet, shows the importance of salt as a condiment and part of what was traded in the Age of Exploration. A Blackamoor completes this piece. Another table setting piece is an early 1900 silver-plated toothpick holder, attributed to 19th century German tableware manufacturer Württembergische Metallwarenfabrik. With a touch of whimsy, a rabbit carries the barrel as its holder. European treasures in Casa de Memoria’s Primero auction Casa de Memoria auctions off (from left) a Neo-Gothic ivory triptych altar, a Gallé Cameo Lamp, and a Murano clear crystal goblet, among others on March 19. Casa de Memoria prides itself on offering a collection of ecclesiastical art. An oil, done in the Flemish style, is a rare miniature of Saint Joseph with the infant Jesus on tortuga shell. Call (02) 8253-3994 or e-mail for inquiries.

Guest Speakers

Samuel Powell