A Gentleman Collector
This massive and impressive "mesa altar" of deep red "tindalo" / "balayong" wood is from the late 1700s – early 1800s and comes from an old church in Bohol island. It has a wide mitered top with a floating panel and 3 deep drawers. The drawer fronts have incised panel designs. An interesting apron with small rococo C – scrolls and incised crosshatch patterns traverses the 3 visible sides of the table. Four stylized cabriole legs connected by stretchers support the table. The legs themselves terminate in plinths below them with carved and stylized C – scrolls. The altar table shows the style shift from baroque and rococo to neoclassicism in the last quarter of the 1700s. No more "dinemonyo" grotesques, no more ball and claw feet. No more rococo cartouches with curls and twirls. The "mesa altar" is very heavy and requires 6 people to move it.
According to the senior antique dealers, Bohol island shed its most beautiful art & antique treasures from 1980 to 2000. During those years, beautiful polychrome "santos," "urnas," "mesa altar" (altar tables), and various antiques were sold off in Manila. Many were exported to the USA and Europe. After 2000, nothing extraordinarily beautiful was coming out of the island anymore. All that were left were bright nd cheery reproductions from the antique factories in Macabebe, Pampanga.
-Augusto Marcelino Reyes Gonzalez III