Encounters with family and friends, peppered with lovely conversations about everything and nothing, are some of the things we sorely miss in our isolation due to the pandemic. Now that restrictions are beginning to loosen up, and everyone is in the mood to catch up and be in the company of good friends, it would be nice to go back to the old rituals of casual get-togethers where engaging conversations can last up to the wee hours of the night.

conversation starters
Evocative paintings, rare furniture, and art pieces at Casa de Memoria’s Tercero auction make great conversation starters

There is no reason to run out of things to talk about, especially if your home is decorated with art pieces that are sure to catch the eye of raconteurs and amateur critics. At Casa de Memoria’s Tercero auction, ongoing until July 31, bidders can look forward to an amazing selection of paintings, iconic furniture, and art pieces that can serve as conversation starters to get everyone in a jovial mood.

The Lhuillier-managed auction house has once again outdone itself in putting together an exquisite showcase of decorative vintage items that can spark riveting stories and serve their purpose of elevating the overall décor and ambiance of one’s home.

Paintings

Lithography by the renowned artist Fernando Zobel
Untitled hyperrealist empty rocks glass oil painting by Portuguese artist Teresa Dias Coelho

For instance, the untitled hyperrealist oil painting on canvas depicting an empty rocks glass by Portuguese artist Teresa Dias Coelho (Lot 90, starting price ₱80,000) can trigger the discussion: what could have inspired this artist to spend hours recreating an empty glass against a monochrome yellow background? The piece simply screams emptiness and nostalgia – two interesting subjects guests can endlessly discuss.

Another interesting artwork that can spark a lively interaction is a similarly untitled artwork, this time lithography by the renowned artist Fernando Zobel (Lot 52, ₱40,000).

A 20th-century oil-on-canvas depiction of floating lemons by the sea titled “Bodegón Onírico Junto al Mar” by Spanish painter Martin Zerolo

A surrealist still life of lemons floating in mid-air by the sea is likewise an unlikely subject that’s depicted in “Bodegón Onírico Junto al Mar,” a 20th century oil-on-canvas piece by Spanish painter Martin Zerolo (1928-2003).

Furniture

A 19th-century Portuguese mahogany fauteuil in Louis XV style upholstered by stylist Monchet Olives
An early 20th-century Spanish barber’s armchair by Daniel Acha
A mid-20th century European pop “lips” style chair

From paintings, the conversation can easily move on to interesting furniture pieces. And what could be more interesting than a bloody-red lip-shaped chair? Tercero’s mid-20th century European pop “lips” style chair (Lot 61, ₱15,000) is most likely inspired by the inimitable Salvador Dali’s sensational 1938 “Mae West Lips Sofa” and will certainly make guests wonder whether one could/should actually sit on such a fascinating piece of furniture.

The stories can take a “kwentong barbero” turn with a fascinating pair of early 20th century Spanish barber’s armchairs by Daniel Acha (Lot 1, ₱160,000) which feature reclining seats made of cast iron, wood, and white porcelain, with soliya seats and backrests.

Meanwhile, a piece of furniture that guests can ‘critique’ while reposing, perhaps with a drink in hand, is the stylish pair of 19th-century Portuguese mahogany fauteuils in Louis XV style(Lot 63, ₱40,000) upholstered with toile settees by stylist Monchet Olives. This is surely an inviting space for you and your friends to settle in and catch up.

Ceramics

A 20th-century Italian gilt-ceramic lamp with Peony Motif refreshed by Michelle Lao of Solano
A 20th-century Italian gilt-ceramic lamp with Oriental Male Figure refreshed by Michelle Lao of Solano
A late 20th-century Portuguese porcelain octagonal armorial plates by Vista Alegre Royal Factory

One can literally light up the room with the enchanting 20th-century Italian gilt-ceramic lamps by Artepiu Ceramiche d’Este that have been refreshed by Michelle Lao of Solano, such as “Artepiu Este” Gilt Ceramic Lamps with Peony Motif (Lot 34, ₱25,000) and an Oriental Male Figure (Lot 36, ₱20,000). The magical glow cast by these pieces can make for mesmerizing late-night conversations.

Are your guests fans of antique Chinese porcelains, the reign of emperors, and courtly splendors? A pair of late 20th century Portuguese porcelain octagonal armorial plates (Lot 79, ₱40,000) by Vista Alegre Royal Factory will most probably spark their interest. The twin plates, market “Mottahedeh,” depict coats of arms from the Ch’ien Lung period.

There are more fascinating and splendid pieces aside from the above — from chandeliers and porcelains to artworks and antique colorful fabrics — that will be up for auction. The other good news is, if you take home an auction piece from Tercero, you will be supporting a worthwhile cause as Casa de Memoria will donate part of the auction proceeds to a local charitable institution to help those badly affected by the pandemic.

The auction preview is ongoing until July 30, 2021. You may set an appointment to view the items in person at hello@casadememoria.com. To explore the auction pieces online, visit bit.ly/CasaDeMemoriaOnline. For more information, visit www.casadememoria.com, call 8253-3994 or e-mail hello@casadememoria.com.

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By Penny Tan

Penny wears many hats. She is an educator, writer, editor, blogger, social media manager, web developer, and enthusiastic home baker and cook. As an educator, she teaches multimedia and web development at both the senior high and college level. On the side, she writes and edits textbooks, writes AVP scripts, manages clients’ social media accounts, designs websites for clients, and writes on her lifestyle blogs about family, health, pets, and cooking. At home she is the resident “chef” and enjoys trying out simple to complicated recipes every day for her family to enjoy from available ingredients – baked, fried, steamed, stewed, grilled, broiled – she likes to do them all. Making dishes from scratch is something she loves to do. She also likes experimenting and creating new dishes by building on ready-to-eat dishes that can be bought at supermarkets and groceries.

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