Carlos “Botong” Francisco’s “Nose Flute” recently reaped P63 million, including buyer’s premium, at the León Gallery Magnificent September Auction.
Botong Francisco joins ‘Million-Dollar Club’ at León Gallery Auction
Lisa Guerrero Nakpil (The Philippine Star) - September 17, 2018 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Carlos “Botong” Francisco’s romantic “Nose Flute” finally catapulted this National Artist to the exclusive circle called the “Million-Dollar Club,” composed of artists who command a cool seven-figure at auction. The “Nose Flute” reaped P63 million, including buyer’s premium, at the León Gallery Magnificent September Auction 2018 last week.

Once the property of the family of the Lovina-Palileo since the 1950s, it changed hands for the first time in half a century at a One East Larasati Hong Kong auction in 2012 at P28 million. The work went to an important Asian collection, a testament to the genius of the Angono poet of the paintbrush and his appeal across the region. That collector, who remained anonymous, noted, “Glad to see Filipinos pay the respect to Botong Francisco he richly deserves.”

Ang Kiukok’s “Second Station: Jesus Carries His Cross” was auctioned off for P11.7 million.

Botong finally ascended to the heights, alongside Dean José Jose, for “Space Transfiguration” and Ang Kiukok, for “Fishermen.” Daniel Komala of One East Larasati added, the “Nose Flute” “received a proper hero’s welcome.” The masterpiece is now officially the third most expensive painting to be sold in the Philippines.

Jaime Ponce de Leon said that “fierce bidding for the work made it the most hotly contested painting” at the Magnificent September Auction, “primarily because it is widely regarded as the last of its kind, in massive size, with undeniable Botong theme, and impeccable provenance.”

“Dalaga” by Fernando Amorsolo — which once hung in the home of his namesake Fernando Zóbel — went for a whisper below P10 million.

Another Joya, the superb “Carnival” —which was a vista of the master’s favorite luscious colors — took in P25.7 million. The work was acquired directly from the artist, as was another splendid work, “Saeta 52” by Fernando Zóbel, which has been described as one of only 10 of this large scale. “Saeta 52” was last seen at the legendary Philippine Art Gallery in 1958.

Billionaire-artist Alfonso Ossorio’s memento to his fallen comrade, the mercurial Jackson Pollock, fetched P23.4 million. It was finished after Pollock met his death while on the way to Ossorio’s Eden-like mansion: The Creeks, in East Hampton. Adding to its allure is that two similar works are now part of the permanent collection of the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City.

Maura Malang’s works “White Sun” fetched just over P9.3 million.

Several Manansala works, starting with the highly evocative “Pila sa Bigas,” achieved P15.2 million; while an emerald-hued depiction of a pair of “Sabungeros” took home P14 million. Cesar Legaspi’s “Workers” from 1953 did P3.5 million; while a couple of “Stations of the Cross” by Ang Kiukok were sold at P11.7 million and P9.3 million, respectively, for the second and 10th devotions.

An adorably charming “Dalaga” by Fernando Amorsolo — that had once hung in the home of his namesake Fernando Zóbel — went for a whisper below P10 million.

Andres Bonifacio’s personal flag, given as a gift by his grateful widow to Don Antonio Santos Bautista of Malolos, Bulacan, fetched P9.3 million

Andres Bonifacio’s personal flag, given as a gift by his grateful widow to Don Antonio Santos Bautista of Malolos, Bulacan, achieved P9.3 million. Military insignia designed by Juan Luna for his brother Hen. Antonio Luna scooped up P5.1 million along with other memorabilia that belonged to the general and the revolutionary army. The guiding principles or “Ten Commandments of the KKK” written by Andres Bonifacio, which one historian described as written in his own blood, came in at just under P3 million.

Lee Aguinaldo’s “White City,” from the collection of distinguished gallerist Sylvana Diaz, went for P4.2 million. Maura Malang’s works “White Sun” accomplished just over P9 million; with P5.8 million for “Candle Vendors.” BenCab’s “Family” came in at just under P5 million.

“Ang Plastik Mo!” by Ronald Ventura (P5,840,000)

Jose John Santos III’s “Queen of the House” went for P2.3 Million and Ronald Ventura’s “Shield” and “Ang Plastik Mo,” brought in P5.4 million and P5.8 million, respectively. Mark Justiniani continued his winning streak with P2.1million for “Mag-Aaral.”

“Mag-aaral” by Mark Justiniani (P2,102,400)

LEóN GALLERY AUCTION MILLION-DOLLAR CLUB
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