Lot #026
Kapiya
1st Half of the 19th Century
Balayong
H:34” x L:141” x W:24” (86 cm x 358 cm x 61 cm)
Starting Bid : Php 300,000
HP + BP : Php 584,000
Provenance Batangas
This unusually long kapiya or bench was made without using a single nail and, instead, relied on mortise-and-tenon joints and wooden pegs in its construction. As a result, the whole bench can be dismantled for ease in handling, if desired. Because of its size, it must have been made for the caida of a large bahay-na-bato, since those made for convents generally tended to be heavy, massive and stiffly upright. Made entirely of balayong or tindalo, the bench stands on eight square legs, four in front and four behind, with the rear ones slightly splayed and tapering towards the bottom. The legs are edged with molding, as are the three narrow planks that join each front leg together near the bottom and act as a foot rest. A plain slat joins each front leg to the rear one, while thicker pieces above it, not visible to the beholder, act as supports for the seat and ensure the stability of the bench. The tenon joint of the latter juts out and is held in place by a large peg.

The seat is composed of a wide wooden plank joined to a narrow one at the back which connects the back stiles that are comfortably inclined backwards. Appliqued to the front of the seat my means of wooden pegs is an apron consisting of awide slat worked with parallel moldings of various widths and decorated at the bottom by a lambrequin with a jigsaw outline.

The back of the bench is composed of three horizontal lower back rails that connect each stile to the other and are joined at the top by a long top rail. The rails are carved with alternating convex and concave moldings with the upper rail wider than the lower one. Each section of the back encloses a series of twenty-two vertical slats with reed borders.

On either end of the kapiya are straight arms, made of thin, wide planks that curl inwards at their front to end like a delicate scroll and are edged with flat moldings on the outer and inner sides. The arms are supported by the extended portion of the front corner legs and are joined to the corner back stiles by mortise-and-tenon joints, with the latter jutting out and held in place by flat pegs. A flange underneath each arm is jigsaw — outlined with cusps and ogive curves. It not only gives additional support to the arms but renders a decorative touch to the bench as well.

-Martin I. Tinio, Jr.