A Katipunan warrior’s belt and a powder horn with rare KKK sun to be auctioned by Leon Gallery 2
In commemoration of Andres Bonifacio's birth, up for bids in the upcoming León Gallery Kingly Treasures Auction are the Katipunan Powder Horn and Katipunan Horsehair Officer’s Belt. 
Culture

A Katipunan warrior’s belt and a powder horn with rare KKK sun to be auctioned by Leon Gallery

The yearly Kingly Treasures Auction has gathered all sorts of intriguing riches and talismans previously owned by formidable men   
E.A. BAUTISTA | Nov 11 2020

Marking the month of Andres Bonifacio’s birth, a pair of talisman-like objects from the warriors of the Katipunan will be up for bids in the upcoming León Gallery Kingly Treasures Auction. 

The first is a powder horn meant to be worn like a gorget (a knight’s throat-covering piece of armor) fashioned out of a wild boar’s hollowed-out tusk. Its curve is outlined in silver and is embellished with a KKK mythical sun, also in silver, in the middle. Tipped with a silver cone with a single silver bead on one end; the other end is trimmed with silver and a chased cap in silver. It hangs on two silver chains, joined together with a silver circular loop.

A Katipunan warrior’s belt and a powder horn with rare KKK sun to be auctioned by Leon Gallery 3
Don Bibiano Meer with his wife, Crispina Malvar Meer, daughter of General Miguel Malvar

Next is a finely woven belt made of twine and horsehair, embellished with a KKK star and a pair of silver buttons. Both pieces are from the estate of Don Francisco Zaragoza of Singalong, Manila.

Along with these two, several more larger-than-life treasures are in store at the auction happening Saturday, 28th November 2020 at its Eurovilla I sale rooms in Legazpi Village, Makati.

There is the magnificent Buencamino Aparador (Wardrobe) that is the pinnacle of Baliuag artistry and dating from the second quarter of the 19th century (1825 - 1850.) It is made from red narra wood, delicately decorated with bone and kamagong inlay. The elegant masterpiece once belonged to the ancestress of this hacendero clan, Doña Petrona Siojo de Buencamino. She was also the mother of the colorful Don Felipe Buencamino, a trusted advisor to General Emilio Aguinaldo.

A Katipunan warrior’s belt and a powder horn with rare KKK sun to be auctioned by Leon Gallery 4
From left: President Ramon Magsaysay, Charlie Palanca, the Papal Nuncio, Tony Meer and Rupert Villonco

Social historian Augusto M. R. Gonzalez III, a.k.a Toto Gonzalez, witnessed the praise “lavished on this supremely beautiful cabinet by legendary antique dealers Ramon Nazareth Villegas (“Boy”) and Osmundo Esguerra (“Omeng”) on separate visits” when they viewed first the masterpiece several years ago.

Both agreed that while one can have all the money these days, it is very difficult to acquire a great piece like this cabinet. Esguerra, the country’s premiere expert on rare woods and antique furniture construction, rhapsodized over the mature red narra wood (“comparable to the best Chinese woods --- huang–huali, zitan, jichimu,” he claimed), the accuracy of the Chinese–style construction, the impressive execution of the circular guilloche (“Olympic”) panels, and the flawlessness of the bone inlay. “All very hard to do!” he declared.

A Katipunan warrior’s belt and a powder horn with rare KKK sun to be auctioned by Leon Gallery 5
Tony Meer (leftmost) at the Polo Club

“Villegas, the country’s top authority on Filipino material culture, coolly admired the integrity of the cabinet, its elegant proportions, painstaking construction, the neoclassical restraint of the bone inlay, and its remarkable state of conservation. He was impressed by the remarkable suitability of all its elements.”

Another rare treasure, says Gonzalez, “is a set of six identical solid silver ‘ramilletes’ which features a chased design of a profusely flowering plant bearing a cartouche and emerging from a reeded urn. The comparatively simple design is Late Neoclassical and dates from around the 1840s. The six “ramilletes” come from the famous inventory of a certain Distinguished Lady Collector.

(Incidentally, “ramilletes” are artificial bouquets that first appeared as early as the 1600s, usually made of silver, meant as a lavish substitute for fresh flowers for the altars should they not be readily available. Ramilletes were placed on the “gradillas” or various levels of the altar, alternating with candelabra as well as vases with paper or cloth flowers.) 

A Katipunan warrior’s belt and a powder horn with rare KKK sun to be auctioned by Leon Gallery 6
From left: Gretchen Barretto, Tony Meer and Tonyboy Cojuangco

This set of six solid silver “ramilletes” represents an exceptional survival, considering the rapidity with which ruthless secondhand dealers immediately melt old, unappreciated pieces.)

Another part of this November’s trove is a Felix Resurreccion Hidalgo painting that once belonged to Don Bibiano Meer, a Commonwealth minister under President Manuel Quezon and father to the man-about-town and famous lawyer Antonio “Tony” Meer. Meer was legal counsel for many members of Manila’s ruling class, including “the Cojuangcos, Aranetas, Osmeñas, Madrigals, Palancas and other key figures of the country’s social, political and economic elite in the last half of the 20th century,” according to one newspaper account. He was also a direct descendant of the Philippine-American War’s “Last Man Standing”, the ferocious General Miguel Malvar.

Tony Meer would also have the added cachet of being one of the founders of what would become the multi-million behemoth, Philippine Long Distance Telephone Co., “along with his Ateneo de Manila University buddies Ramon Cojuangco and Tirso Rivilla.”

Entitled “A Farmhouse in Normandy”, the work is a vista of a charming sloped-roof cottage in the French countryside — just the sort of idyllic retreat the well-heeled ilustrado such as Hidalgo would prefer.

product image
LEON GALLERY

34 A Set of Six Silver Ramilletes

Three of the rare set of six solid silver “ramilletes” or floral bouquets. Starting bid rate below.

Php 300,000 Register now to bid!
product image
LEONN GALLERY

35 The Buencamino Aparador

Pinnacle of Baliuag artistry, once belonged to Don Felipe Buencamino. Starting bid rate below.

Php 2,000,000 Register now to bid!
product image
LEON GALLERY

74 Dalagang Filipina in Native Dress by Fabian de la Rosa

Signed and dated 1922 (lower right), watercolor 14 1/2” x 10” (105 cm x 25 cm). Starting bid rate below.

Php 1,200,000 Register now to bid!
product image
LEON GALLERY

75 Dalagang Filipina in Native Dress by Fabian de la Rosa

Signed and dated 1922 (lower right), watercolor 14 1/2” x 9 7/8” (37 cm x 25 cm). Starting bid rate below.

Php 1,200,000 Register now to bid!
product image
LEON GALLERY

82 Katipunan Powder Horn

Fashioned from a wild boar’s tusk and silver. (Inset is the symbol of the mythical sun, also in silver.) Starting bid rate below.

Php 250,000 Register now to bid!
product image
LEON GALLERY

83 Katipunan Horsehair Officer’s Belt

A Katipunan warrior’s horsehair belt embellished with a KKK star. Starting bid rate beow.

Php 250,000 Register now to bid!
product image
LEON GALLERY

84 A Letter to the ‘Defender of the Country of ‘Katagalugan’

Written on graph-paper single sheet, both sides 10 1/2” x 8 1/4” (27 cm x 21 cm). Starting bid rate below.

Php 250,000 Register now to bid!
product image
LEON GALLERY

86 Andres Bonifacio by Hugo Yonzon Jr.

Signed dated 1982 (lower right)oil on canvas, 48 1/2” x 84” (123 cm x 213 cm). Starting bid rate below.

Php 500,000 Register now to bid!
product image
LEON GALLERY

95 A Farmhouse in Normandy by Félix Resurrección Hidalgo

From the collection of Antonio Meer, lawyer to Manila’s who’s who. Starting bid rate below.

Php 1,000,000 Register now to bid!
img
img
img
img
img
img
img
img
img

The LEÓN GALLERY KINGLY TREASURES AUCTION 2020 is the third major alliance between León Gallery, the country’s most trusted auction house, and ANCX.ph, the urban man’s guide to style and culture, the online lifestyle site of ANC, the ABS-CBN News Channel.

View the LEON GALLERY KINGLY TREASURES AUCTION 2020 online catalog as well as register to bid now at www.leon-gallery.com. For inquiries, call (02) 8856-2781 or send an email at info@leon-gallery.com.

 

Images courtesy of Leon Gallery 

Photo of Andres Bonifacio from Wikimedia Commons