The Asian Cultural Council Auction 2020

February 22,2020 | 02:00 PM
G/F Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City, Philippines



27 |


Tortoiseshell and Silver Cofre
Ca. 1700s
tortoise shell and solid silver
7” x 10” x 7” (18 cm x 25 cm x 18 cm)

PHP 300,000

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A magnificent 1700s tortoiseshell and silver box of exquisite workmanship and emblazoned with a crowned double-headed eagle (Austrian) Habsburg, Spain (1516-1700) from a fabled Franciscan church in Laguna (first built with stone in 1616) from an important private collection, it is certainly one of the most important lots included in the ACC Art Auction 2020.

This exceedingly rare and important treasure chest (Spanish cofre) from the 1700s is crafted of fruitwood veneered with tortoiseshell and engraved solid silver. It is emblazoned with the crowned double-headed eagle (Austrian) of Habsburg Spain (1516-1700), the ruling dynasty of that time. These small treasure chests were church properties and used for safeguarding small ecclesiastical treasures like donated jewelry for holy images, bishops’ rings and pectoral crosses, holy reliquaries, religious offerings, gold coins, loose gemstones, and personal jewelry. This “cofre” treasure chest is definitely one of the most important lots in this auction.

This magnificent cofre treasure chest is from a fabled Franciscan church in Laguna (first built with stone in 1616). It was part of a gerat altar ensemble which included a frontal, tabernacle gradillas, six candeleros, twelve ramilletes, two vigil lamps, two blandones, guidon banner, all of
solid silver (80%). Many pieces were ordered sold by the bishop in the late 1980s for better use in humanitarian projects.

-Augusto M. R. Gonzalez III

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