Olazo abstract fetches P1.9 million at benefit auction

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ANTIQUE FURNITURE, 18th century maps of Asia and the Philippines, wooden bu’lul (harvest god) figures, and paintings by renowned Filipino artists were among the pieces auctioned off for the benefit of scholars at the International School Manila (ISM).

The auction was held in partnership with Gavel & Block, a subsidiary of Salcedo Auctions, on May 5 at The Peninsula Manila.

Each year ISM selects four scholars in each grade level from 8 to 12, and the Vicky SyCip Herrera (VSH) Filipino Scholarship underwrites a fifth scholar of exceptional ability in addition to the four in each grade level already funded directly by the school. The scholarship fund was established to honor the well-loved guidance counsellor and her 38 years of service to the school. The funds raised by the Gavel & Block: Benefit auction will go to the VHS scholarship.

“The partnership started four years ago when Salcedo Auctions was approached by the International School Manila to assist in a silent auction to help raise funds for the Vicky SyCip Herrera Foundation that funds Filipino scholarships. This year, we started talks with the advancement office of ISM and proposed to do a live auction instead of a silent auction, to be able to, hopefully, generate more bids and higher prices for the different pieces that are offered. There’s nothing like competitive bidding to drive prices up and generate more funds for the scholarship,” Richie Lerma, Salcedo Auctions director, told BusinessWorld in an e-mail.

Of the 209 lots up for auction, 81% were sold. Abstract painter Romulo Olazo’s 1986 untitled mixed media on canvas work garnered the highest bid at P1.985 million from its opening price of P380,000. Meanwhile, Ang Kuikok’s Still Life Table with Fruits, a 1973 oil on wood painting, went for P1.1 million, and Ramon Orlina’s glass sculpture Madonna and Child was sold for P1 million.

An untitled 1965 oil painting of a couple by Simeon Saulog, a contemporary of Fernando Amorsolo, was sold for P876,000 from its opening price at P40,000, while an untitled and undated wooden sculpture by National Artist for Visual Arts Arturo Luz was sold for P400,000 from a starting price at P220,000. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman