P9 million the going rate at auction for Lunas, Hidalgo

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PAINTINGS by Juan Luna and Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo fetched P9 million at Salcedo Auctions’ Important Philippine Art sale on March 9.

Luna’s boceto (a preliminary sketch) for The Death of Cleopatra and Hidalgo’s Draped Nude — both unsigned works — were both hammered in for the same price, P9,344,000 (inclusive of tax and buyer’s premium), to a floor and phone bidder, respectively; while Luna’s The Hunting Party went to a floor bid for P9,928,000 (inclusive of tax and buyer’s premium).

According to Salcedo Auctions, the Cleopatra boceto sold at the highest price for a Luna in history, based on its size of 10 x 15 inches. “It comes in at P62,293 per square inch vs. España y Filipinas which only sold at P51,171.20 per square inch,” said a post on the auction house’s Facebook page.

Among the lots that fetched the highest prices during the auction were National Artist for Visual Arts Benedicto “Bencab” Cabrera’s Sabel (2008) which went for P16,352,000 and a Ronald Ventura oil painting titled Recover (2017) which was hammered at P9,344,000.

A 19th century bishop’s chair from the Tambunting family collection which sold at P700,800 and a 19th century kamagong and narra tambol aparador which went for P1,752,000 were among the highlights from the Important Philippine Furniture sale.

During the March 10 jewelry and timepieces auction, the lots which drew the highest prices were a 1970s Piaget wrist watch which went for P420,480; a set of dangling diamond earrings and matching necklace for P350,400; a Rene Boivin yellow gold ring and bracelet set for P327,040 and a 2 carat diamond ring for P303,680. — Michelle Anne P. Soliman