This lot includes the following :
1.) A Rare Letter, consisting of an envelope and six pages of closely written text, from a certain Paquita (believed to be one of the Sabas del Rosario sisters) to Antonio Luna, dated November 1, 1897; 2.) A Very Rare Photograph of Juan Luna (seen on the right) fencing with his brother Antonio; 3.) Seventeen (17) Photographs of Juan Luna’s sketches based on José Rizal’s epic novel “Noli Me Tangere”
Provenance: From the Collection of Don José P. Santos, son of the eminent scholar, Don Epifanio de los Santos
In this sale, two sets of brothers are once again in the thick of the action a century later — the gla-morous pair of Juan and Heneral Antonio Luna — and the deadly serious brothers Rizal — Jose and the General Paciano, alias Maitim.
Juan would write Antonio from Paris at the June 1898. (Scholar Jim Richardson would point out that Antonio is returning to the Philippines from Spain and Juan is on his way to London.)
He would write him to ask what do with his love letters. Antonio seemed to have more than his fair share. A kilometric letter is from a certain ‘Paquita’. Paquita could very well be one of the beautiful Sabas del Rosario sisters. The Luna brothers were known to have paid court to both sisters.
Paquita was at one time suspected as being the model for the famous “La Bulakena” that once hung in Malacanan Palace. Her letter is is both accusatory as well as passionate.
A very rare photograph of Juan Luna, fencing with good friend and fellow ex-patriate Marcelo H. del Pilar is also included in this lot. Del Pilar was one of the pillars of the Philippine Propaganda Movement and an inspiration to Andres Bonifacio in the establishment of the Katipunan and its newspaper, Kalayaan.
Paciano Rizal, like Jose, would take his soldiering seriously and would write letters to both Emilio Jacinto in need of guns and ammunitions and to Baldomero Aguinaldo to report the confiscation of large stores of rice.
All four men would cast long shadows on our history and our future.
-Lisa Guerrero Nakpil