The Magnificent September Auction 2015

September 12,2015 | 02:00 PM
G/F Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City, Philippines



18 |

***  (2nd Half of the 19th Century)

H:39 1/2” (100 cm)

PHP 300,000

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Taal, Batangas

It was difficult to find flowers to decorate altars with during the Spanish Colonial Period, because there were no flower farms like we have today. If color was wanted, paper flowers had to be painstakingly made by hand, using expensive papel de hapon, which came all the way from Japan. Thus, in order to have decorations whenever needed, ramilletes, or bunches of leaves and flowers, were carved out of wood. They usually came in a set of six, and were made to portray a vase of flowers that were gilded and painted in polychrome for a rich and colorful effect. Richer parishes had them done in silver, the stylized vase of flowers embossed and chased in fanciful designs that were designed to reflect as much of the light as possible. In the 1850s, leaves and flowers were made in the feligrana style with each piece realistically made leaf and blossom attached to the main branch with thin wires or springs. The coiled springs made the flowers tremble with each movement, reflecting the light from their different planes.
This pair of ramilletes must have had embossed and chased silver sheets that resembled stylized vases which were appliqued to a wooden back with a brace and a wide base to give it stability. The vase is no longer extant and was replaced in the late 1900s by one carved in Betis and painted with silver paint.
The bunch of leaves and flowers are arranged with a central stem from which large realistic flowers with diminishing diameters are placed one above the other. Symmetrically arranged on either side to form a bouquet are sprays of leaves, with smaller blooms and buds, surrounding a flower.

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