Reminders of hope: Salcedo Auctions and this year's The Well-Appointed Life

An immersive feast for the senses, a window to worlds that inspire

On Sept. 18, 2021, Salcedo Auctions will take you on a journey through worlds that inspire. This year’s The Well-Appointed Life annual sale, which takes place at NEX Tower sale room and online beginning at 2 p.m., carries the theme “The Worlds We Create,” as each of the wonderfully curated pieces featured is a window to the myriad worlds of the artists and artisans behind them. It is not, as Salcedo Auctions' chairman and chief specialist Richie Lerma would say, escapism. "It is hope," he tells Manila Bulletin Lifestyle. "Art should be seen as hope, and every artwork as a symbol of human creativity and artistry."

'Marina' (~1900), oil on canvas, by Félix Resurreción Hidalgo

Immerse yourself into the fascinating and sophisticated world of discerning curation. The country’s longest-running and biggest annual auction highlights “Important Philippine Art” and a “Connoisseur Collection” of rare and valuable collectibles that redefine our personal spaces.

The Well-Appointed Life has, over the past seven years, caught the imagination of the country’s most esteemed collectors, fostering curiosity and dialogue about society, the world, and indeed, among themselves. Providing aesthetic and intellectual solace and inspiration, this auction, which has become a date to mark on the country’s cultural calendar, is a ray of hope amidst today’s challenging realities.

Major highlights of the sale range from works done by some of the country’s old masters and master artisans to established and rising contemporary artists and international designers. All of these pieces were curated in a way that allows collectors and enthusiasts to imagine their own environments filled with and forever changed by the presence of these wondrous objects.

Art should be seen as hope, and every artwork as a symbol of human creativity and artistry

Richie Lerma, Salcedo Auctions

Much like portals into an elegant new dimension, with illustrations meticulously drawn by emerging artist Patrick Chato, viewers will be able to visualize paintings by artists such as Félix Resurrección Hidalgo and Romulo Galicano hanging above an exquisite solid ivory Niño Dormido placed atop a Pampanga master inlaid 4-post comoda. Other artists created worlds reimaging sculptures, furniture, paintings, and collectibles from various centuries with a wide array of genres displayed together.

A sneak peek into The Well-Appointed Life

The collection features some of the most significant names in Philippine art, the supreme highlight being a recently discovered 1900 oil on canvas by Félix Resurrección Hidalgo titled “Marina.” This fascinating piece, aptly the highlight for the auction, features an image that radiates hope as the sun breaks out from behind the clouds to illuminate what is, arguably, Hidalgo’s most beautiful seascape. Equally fascinating is its provenance, as “Marina” has only previously been seen in public only once, in 1926 when it was among the pieces put under the hammer at an auction in Paris. A lady from Barcelona bought it, presumably because she was familiar with Hidalgo, who spent the last years of his life in the Basque city.

There is also a 1975 oil on canvas by National Artist H.R. Ocampo titled “Excursion to Pinaglabanan,” a tribute to Andres Bonifacio, Emilio Jacinto, and the Katipunan militia’s successful capture of a Spanish military base. The mix of red and orange and yellow is, undoubtedly, very H.R. Ocampo. In addition, the auction features a startling 1966 oil on wood by National Artist Jose Joya entitled “Blue Harbor” whose rarity and striking abstract expressionist composition commands attention.

You can also view the National Museum certified 1962 oil on canvas by National Artist Carlos “Botong” Francisco entitled “Last Supper,” which makes its debut public appearance, and a much sought after 1962 Barcelona period oeuvre by National Artist Federico Aguilar Alcuaz. On the same note, an iconic 1955 oil on canvas by National Artist Fernando Amorsolo entitled “Lavanderas” and “Autumnal Flowers” will also be up for your consideration.

Furniture design aficionados will also be drawn to the collection of contemporary pieces such as the Eames Lounge Chair, not to mention the distinguished trove of antique Philippine hardwood furniture such as the Pampanga master inlaid four-post comoda made of narra and kamagong, a rare 20th century sacristy altar cabinet, a 19th century Crucifixion tableau in a virina and arch, as well as a serene 18th century ivory Crucified Christ.

"The idea is to give you control over this part of your life that you still have control over, what with the world as it is now," Richie explains. "Indeed, we live in crazy times, which most of us spend cooped up at home. We hope that the pieces featured in this year's auction will help turn the corners of your home into windows into these wonderful, artistic worlds."

This year's The Well-Appointed Life, with its over 130 pieces of important Philippine art and 250 items in its connoisseur collection, is co-presented by Exclusive Banking Partner HSBC Premier with the participation of Modern & Contemporary Design Partner, CWC interiors. The online catalogue, the bid registration, and venue of the online auction can be accessed through