Saturday, December 20, 2014


ANGELS OF LIGHT, MY GUARDIANS DEAR. Two midcentury angels holding pole lamps, now restored. ca. mid-50s, early 60s.

 Another great find from the antique strip near the Sta. Rita NLEX exit is this pair of small wooden angels, offered by a Japan-surplus shop owner. On occasions, vintage and antique religious pieces would surface in his store, and these—along with several santos acquired from a Manila family---and these light-bearing angels were part of his loot, now up for sale.

 The early bird catches the worm—so they say—and I proved that when I arrived first at his shop when he called to tell me of his just-arrived inventory of santos; I had the first and best picks of the day, and I went home with a hoard of stuff—including these circa 1950s angels.

 Though not really old, and scruffy, the 16" carved angels show a lot of potential. For one, it’s hard to find a pair—most are sold separately. The angels are naked, saved for a draping of cloth to cover them, and painted with regular house paint.

 The wings, saved for one, has broken off, and the squarish bases have lost some of their moldings. The necks and hands are threatening to fall off. All other parts remained intact, including the glass eyes.

 This pair may have been used in home altars, perhaps a chapel—the pole lamps that they hold are electrified, and there are no holes to indicate they were ever put on carrozas.

 The pole lamps were customized from regular metal tubes and small thistle-shaped, frosted virinas. Unfortunately, one glass virina has broken, the broken parts badly glued back together

 In this state of disrepair, the angels went straight to my santero, who recommended a full restoration—which included reglueing and securing broken wooden parts, repainting, outfitting of new wings and replacing missing pieces.

 It took less than a month to finish the project. When the angels were returned to me, they sported a new, rosy pink complexion, and looked fresh as the day they were made.

 The only minor kink was that, I could not put back the lamp poles through their grasping hands, as in the process of stabilizing and restoring them, they have been slightly repositioned and no longer aligned. A thinner pole would be needed—and that would be a future project for these angels…my new Angels of Light!