GONE TOO SOON. A trio of very fine quality antique ivories, a Crucifix, a San Antonio de Padua and a Sto. Nino de la Pasion were snapped up immediately after failing to sell as a lot.
In my long collecting years, I have seen many antiquities that have been my objects of desire, but alas, the price tags have always been the biggest obstacle towards acquiring them. Hen I see that an antique is beyond my reach, I just quietly turn away, filing the beautiful, but lost objects in my mind under the category of “the ones that got away’’.
But a trio of old ivories shown to me by a dealer caused me to rethink this position, for I have never seen so many pieces of exquisite quality, all offered in one swoop.
They must all have come from one talyer, as they seemed to have been crafted from the same ivory, with vestments cut from the same fabric, sporting same styles of embroidery. This was further bolstered by the dealer who informed me that the items all came from one house.
There was a magnificent crucifix, which, despite some missing brass rays, held much promise with its classically carved crucified Christ figure in flawless ivory.
Another piece was a tabletop San Antonio, with ivory head and hands and clothed in its brown habit, profusely decorated with thick gold embroidery, miraculously intact after so many years.
Though missing the Child Jesus, it was still a spectacular piece.
But the third ivory left me breathless—it was a large, standing ivory Child Jesus—Sto. Nino de La Pasion—with ivory head, hands and feet,vested in a robe sumptuously embroidered with gold thread.
It was clutching three pieces of nails—symbols of his Passion; one hand may have held a crown of thorns, now missing. The face was child-like and expressive, with a hint sorrow in His eyes.
Originally, the 3 pieces were being sold as a lot, but weeks had passed without any buyer. Now, they were being sold individually. I made a feeble attempt to throw in my offer on the Sto. Niño, which I judged to be the best piece, only to be rebuffed. I made a second offer, which the dealer considered, but when I made a follow-up, the dealer told me the Sto. Niño has been sold.
The object of my desire, gone forever.
I spent some time thinking of what could have been. What if I had not dilly-dallied? Or what if I had made a firmer offer? Or had followed up earlier? I wallowed in my sad thought for days until, from out of the blue, a long-forgotten dealer from Pampanga called. Would I be interested in an antique 10 inch standing Sto. Niño with a solid ivory head?
Would I? Me? Interested? Of course!! See how easy it is for me to move on?