Books & Art

Priceless Artifacts from Our National Heroes May Have a Price After All

These important historical artifacts and works of art are up for auction at Leon Gallery.
IMAGE Jansen Romero
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Movies like Heneral Luna and Goyo: Ang Batang Heneral have sparked pop culture imagination and reignited a passion for learning national history. While some of us go to the movies or visit museums, others are able to go for a more tangible, direct approachby owning pieces of history.

On June 9, Leon Gallery is auctioning off items that have been created by heroes of the Philippine-Spanish revolution. Front and center is a sculpture by the National Hero himself, Jose Rizal (who, as an intellectual and a polymath, was also an artist). This particular piece of art was created during his exilea bas relief that reflected his belief in equality among men. 

Another item up for auction are the letters and narration of Gregoria de Jesus, Andres Bonifacio’s wife and Lakambini of the Katipunan. In the handwritten, 15-page story, she tells her painful journey to find Bonifacio’s body in the mountains of Cavite. 

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Rizal was a man of wide-ranging knowledge and of many talents, and this bas relief testifies to his little-known talent for sculpture. Even this small sculpture speaks greatly of his fight to establish equality for Filipinos.  IMAGE: Jansen Romero

Another Katipunan artifact, a dagger, joins the list of items up for auction. This would be the first time that a Katipunan dagger is to be brought for auction, which makes it an extremely rare event. The double-edged dagger, measuring 36 centimeters in length and 8 centimeters in width, is decorated with fine, curved incisions. 

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Rizal’s life is brought once again into the spotlight with his family papers. This lot includes ten letters, a recipe, and court documents of Teodora Alonso Rizal. The court documents and some of the letters are written in Spanish, the rest, including those from Narcisa Lopez and her husband Antonio, are in Tagalog.

One out of a sheaf of 15 handwritten pages from Gregoria de Jesus, Andres Bonifacio's wife. This letter tells of her heartbreaking journey to retrieve her husband's body. IMAGE: Jansen Romero
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Another Rizal-related item—though tangentially so this time—joining the auction is the armchair of Maximo Viola, the man who lent money to Jose Rizal. 

These artifacts and works of art are just some of the historically significant items which up for auction at Leon Gallery on June 9, 2018, at 2:00 p.m. 

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About The Author
Nicai de Guzman
Nicai de Guzman is the Head of Marketing of Rising Tide, one of the fastest-growing mobile and digital advertising technology companies in the Philippines. She also writes for SPOT.ph and Entrepreneur.com.ph.
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