The Spectacular Mid-year Auction 2019

June 22,2019 | 02:00 PM
G/F Eurovilla 1, Rufino corner Legazpi Street, Legazpi Village, Makati City, Philippines

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The Villegas – Nazareth Dining Table  


Third Quarter of the 19th century (1850 – 75)
Top of Golden Narra wood, base of Molave Hardwood Bohol island
H: 31 1/2” x L: 105” x W: 38” (80 cm x 267 cm x 96 cm)


PHP 400,000

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Provenance: The dining table used by the great Filipiniana scholar Ramon Nazareth; Villegas [1954-2017] and his family

This elegant dining table of "golden narra" wood and "molave" hardwood is an example of sophisticated Bohol artistry. The "golden narra" top is in the "binandeja" style consisting of a single floating panel, unusually bordered by beadwork, secured by narrow panels with the distinction of a carved border of floral and foliate forms. The trestle base of "molave" hardwood features a pair of 2 rope – twist columns set on a robust base of combined C – scrolls and floral and foliate forms, terminating in stylized acanthus leaves, connected at the bases by a long, horizontal rope – twist column. It is a table that must have originally belonged to a landowning, "hacendero" Bohol family.
Beautiful Bohol furniture of this type, along with intricately – carved "urnas" (home altars) and "comodas" were the first to sell to the Manila antique dealers and collectors in the 1970s. By the early 2000s, nothing of this exquisite type was coming out of Bohol island anymore.
Atty Rosendo Angeles Villegas and his wife Iluminada Malabanan Nazareth had 5 children: "Nitos" (died young), "Eden," Ramon ("Boy"), Imelda ("Addie"), and Rosendo Jr ("Jun").
According to Ramon Villegas himself, it was a no – nonsense upbringing that they had with an emphasis on education and work, and it was a very good, efficient template which bore good results. The children were encouraged to study well, help run the family store, and eventually do business on their own. Their mother Iluminada Malabanan Nazareth – Villegas known as "Lumen" to her friends operated a store on the first floor of their Buendia avenue residence which sold modern and antique jewelry and other luxury goods like Spanish fans, perfumes, and textiles; it was not the usual variety store.
The children had to "earn" their allowances everyday by cleaning the store premises, arranging and rearranging the goods, and attending to the well – heeled customers. Thus, the flourishing jewelry and antiques business of Ramon N. Villegas was already established in practice even before he set himself up at the Manila Garden Hotel in the late 1970s and to the La O' Center in the early 1990s as "Katutubo Arts & Crafts, Yamang Katutubo" where he spent his final years. The same fortunate circumstances also applied to his siblings.
This beautiful dining table from Bohol was initially the property of Senedela Malabanan – Nazareth, a successful businesswoman/jeweler from Tanauan, Batangas. She probably came into possession of this sturdy and elegant table through her incessant trading activities. She gave it to her daughter Iluminada Malabanan Nazareth – Villegas (Mrs Rosendo A Villegas), who in turn gave it to her intellectual, unconventional, and somewhat rebellious son Ramon Nazareth Villegas known as "Boy." Upon Ramon's untimely passing in August 2017, the Villegas – Nazareth siblings gave it to his business partner Ver Gonzales Bailon in acknowledgment of his longstanding partnership with their brother.
-Augusto M R Gonzalez III

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