Looking to the past for your holiday presents

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By Nickky Faustine P. de Guzman
Reporter

Auction
“Holidays at the Casa”
Nov. 18, 2 p.m.
Casa de Memoria Gallery,
Jupiter cor. Comet St., Bel-Air, Makati City

HOW MUCH are you willing to pay for old binoculars, bowls, bags, and brooches?

At Casa de Memoria’s gallery, an auction house in Makati, all the trinkets and items for sale are not only vintage (and some with little defects), but they are vested with history and memory.

“With anything, our generation is used to saying that ‘Oh I’m not gonna buy it because it has a defect.’ But then again, what are you buying? A P5,000 something that would be in your trash can in two years. These are items that are old, some are a hundred years old. It’s the art of collecting and appreciating what it is, flaws and all,” said Camille Lhuillier, marketing manager of Casa de Memoria.

These collectors items will be available to the highest bidders on Nov. 18, 2 p.m. at Casa de Memoria gallery in Jupiter cor. Comet St., Bel-Air Makati.

Up for grabs are 137 consigned items, some are Oriental pieces including the porcelain and ceramic items, but the majority are from Europe. Each item has descriptions on things like their provenance and condition (“stable,” “with signs of use,” or “with little defects”).

“You have to remember that what separates us from retail is the pieces are not brand-new, they have rich history and background. So the defects, the patinas, the little cracks, add character to the pieces. Everything has endured, that alone adds story and value to the piece. There are some who even want to retain the patina when we do restorations because it signifies the age of the piece. The dents, the cracks, they are not downsides,” added Tiffany Mathay, operations manager of Casa de Memoria, of some items’ imperfections.

The theme of the auction, “Holidays at the Casa,” translates into items for personal collections or home decor.

Casa de Memoria is a young auction house, having started business just last year, but it has already been witness to how bidders fight over an item and how much they are willing to pay for fine and decorative art collectibles.

“It excites us to see an item scale its price up. The bidders — whom are mostly male — like the chase of getting an item, and owning it — ‘Hey it’s mine now.’,” said Ms. Lhuillier.

Last time, a Filipino and an American got into a bidding war over an ivory figure — the starting price was P35,000 and it was sold for more than P600,000 with the Filipino bidder winning the skirmish.

“Seeing [the price] jumped that much showed how many people were at it, trying to win the piece,” said Ms. Mathay.

The most expensive item on the list for this auction, with a bidding price starting at P795,000, is a 100-piece Sheffield Sterling silver flatware set. Ms. Mathay said it is the priciest item because silver is priced by the gram.

While every lot has a description, not every item has a black card attached, which signifies that it is unique. Here are some of the items that come with a black card:

To see more of the auction items, visit http://www.casadememoria.com/auction/auction-0009/

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