Provenance: Provenance: A Franciscan church in Laguna province, Distinguished Lady Collector


This set of six identical solid silver “ramilletes” features a chased design of a profusely flowering plant bearing a cartouche emerging from a reeded urn. The comparatively simple design is late neoclassical and dates from around the 1840s. The six “ramilletes” come from the famous inventory of a Distinguished Lady Collector. “Ramilletes” are artificial bouquets, usually of silver, meant to substitute for fresh flowers for the altars, which were not readily available during those times (1600s–1900s). Ramilletes were placed on the “gradillas”/ various levels of the altar, alternating with candelabra as well as vases with paper or cloth flowers. This set of six solid silver “ramilletes” is an extraordinary survival, considering the rapidity with which ruthless secondhand dealers immediately melt old, unappreciated pieces. Thankfully, despite the continuous meltdowns in Meycauayan town, Bulacan there are still many excellent examples of both ecclesiastical and domestic Filipino colonial silver in existence. Vigan cathedral still has the entire rococo–style, solid silver “Monumento” consisting of several panels, candelabra, reliquaries, and “ramilletes” assembled every Maundy Thursday for the public veneration of the “Santisimo”/ Holy Sacrament. The nearby Museum of the Archdiocese of Nueva Segovia contains a staggering collection of church silver. In Pampanga, an old “de buena familia” conserves its heirloom Filipino colonial silver from 170 years ago and the Exceedingly Rare Set of Ramilletes by Augusto Marcelino Reyes Gonzalez III (Toto Gonzalez) elegant collection is used to serve the family’s famous dishes during important family occasions. The San Agustin church museum and the nearby Museo de Intramuros have beautiful examples of ecclesiastical silver. The Archdiocese of Manila has conserved an exquisite solid silver altar from the late 1700s. At a great collector’s residence in Makati, there is enough high–quality church and domestic Filipino colonial silver for the large household staff to polish year–round, and beyond. All over the country, church museums show some pieces of ecclesiastical Filipino colonial silver. In Greenhills, a real estate heiress conserves her heirloom European and Filipino domestic silver from the 1880s glory days of the coffee boom in Lipa, Batangas. All over the country, art and antique collectors have a few pieces of church and domestic Filipino silver here and there. At the splendid Museo De La Salle in Dasmariñas, Cavite one can see the magnificent and breathtaking solid silver “andas” circa 1870 of the Panlilio–Leon Santos–Joven family of Bacolor, Pampanga. At the Tayabas Cathedral, one can still appreciate its great rococo silver frontal permanently affixed to the altar table which Manuel Imperial Tinio Jr (known as “Sonny”) remembered vividly and simply adored. Many pieces have survived, and they should be carefully conserved for the enlightenment and enjoyment of generations to come.