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JOURNEY TO THE PAST

By KERRY TINGA

Along Roxas Boulevard, the restored mansion Palacio de Memoria is a breath of fresh air, physically and mentally. The large expanse of green space with an accutely designed heritage home in this dense urban corner of Metro Manila struck me as odd at first.

“It is a misnomer that it is strange for us to be here [on Roxas Boulevard],” says Camille Lhuillier, the general manager of Palacio. “In the past there was a whole string of heritage houses Think the original Manila Polo Club, the Army Navy House, all those old buildings were all on this street. But they were destroyed in the war. We are so lucky with this house, and now we get to share it with people.”

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TIME CAPSULE A neo-Gothic ivory tryptych portable altar

Palacio does not seem to try to reproduce the interiors of old Manila houses in every detail. Instead, the space takes the essence of what made those houses beautiful and brings it to the 21st century. There is the sophistication and class of the old era, with an updated and modern touch in the way antiques from different eras and different places around the world are put together. It allows the space to be an all-in-one art and design center, and events venue.

Within Palacio is Casa de Memoria, the only auction house in the country that specializes in European antiques, paintings, and objets d’arts. Taking the ethos of the Palacio compoud, the Casa auctions offer a curated selection of the finest Euro-Filipino pieces from the past centuries, attracting bidders and collectors from different parts of the world with every sale.

For its first auction of the year, Primero, on March 21 at 2 p.m., Casa boasts 120 unique lots of fine European antiquities, which are all currently on view until March 20. If you step into Palacio to view the lots on display, do not forget to call about a tour so you can truly appreciate the entire compoud.

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A Murano clear crystal goblet

The lots include beautiful fin de siécle lamps and vases attributed to the famed art nouveau pioneer Emile Gallé, elegant 20th century goblet glassworks from the Murano Venetian commune, and the rare “Islas Filipina” by mapmakers Francisco Coello and Antonio Morata. Casa de Memoria also prides itself in its collection of ecclestial art on offer. There is a broad range of pieces to match various interior styles, whether it be a more modern or classical look.

The antiques have character that can add gravitas into a home, something much more than just a furniture piece or home accessory. It often seems, nowadays, that everything is about a trend that comes and goes. Instead of what is trending, go for something timeless. When everything seems ephemeral, journey to the past and find something eternal. The Casa de Memoria curated antiquities allows one to bring a thing of beauty into their home that will stand the test of trends and time.



Source: Manila Bulletin

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