León Gallery Welcomes 2024 with Milestone León Exchange 30th Online Auction

11:30 AM January 17, 2024
León Gallery Welcomes 2024 with Milestone León Exchange 30th Online Auction

Photo from Leon Gallery/FACEBOOK

As we once again welcome a hopeful new year filled with promises of continuous success and wealth, León Gallery commences another exciting period for Philippine art with its opening salvo for 2024: The León Exchange Online Auction.

Now in its milestone 30th edition, León Exchange has always held steady to its commitment to delivering the best of Filipino art and introducing it to the succeeding generations of art collectors and connoisseurs who will become the next stewards of our shared heritage, ensuring the continued appreciation for Filipino art, culture, and history.


León Exchange Online Auction has been continuously growing in success in the past few years, thanks to the art-loving-public’s continuous support and unswerving pursuit of acquiring important pieces of our culture and heritage. As such, every iteration of the León Exchange Online Auction values the collectors’ pleasure in discovering one’s next find. Online.
In this auction, the spotlight is thrust into two distinguished women collectors who have thrived in their respective fields.

The first is Lorna Revilla Montilla, a beloved anthropologist, art and culture writer, and artist. “Montilla forged friendships with the most prolific artists of her time, now our most cherished ones: Vicente Manansala, Cesar Legaspi, Ang Kiukok, Malang, Eduardo Castrillo, and even the “living legends” of Philippine art, Benedicto Cabrera, Manuel Baldemor, and Ramon Orlina,” the León Exchange catalog writes. “She mounted a five-man exhibition consisting of Legaspi, Kiukok, Malang, Bencab, and Gaston Damag at London’s Wraxall Art Gallery in 1982.”


“A mother to many artists, Montilla hosted lunches and parties at her house and lovingly cooked comfort food (a favorite was omelet rice) at Ermita’s legendary pub, Cafe Los Indios Bravos, served during the midnight hours amid drunkenness, thrilling chaos, and agitating sleeplessness.”

Lorna’s Garage

“Lorna’s Garage” in Mandaluyong, where Lorna Montilla gathered her artist friends and showcased their works to the public

“Montilla converted her home garage into an art gallery (aptly named “Lorna’s Garage”) that showcased and sold the works of these artists, along with pieces from the Filipino masters of yore. Some of their works formed part of Montilla’s collection and are now offered in León Gallery’s opening salvo for 2024, immortalizing her benevolence and genuine bond with these celebrated artists.”

The second is Tere Orendain, one of the country’s most esteemed lifestyle and culture writers and editors. As the catalog puts it, “Orendain’s creative strength primarily lies in writing about the arts, traveling, food, and hospitality. She had rubbed elbows and shared stories, gossips, and laughter over sumptuous feasts and meals with many of society’s best: Maurice Arcache, Deedee Siytangco, Ernie Evora Sioco, Thelma Sioson, Jorge Arago, Marita Manuel, and even National Artist Jose Joya.”

National Artist Jose Joya (4th from left), dinner at Philippine Plaza, Maurice Arcache with newshens Deedee Siytangco (left, foreground), Tere Orendain (beside Joya), Ernie Evora Sioco (second from right) and the author (right, foreground) (Photo from Thelma Sioson)

National Artist Jose Joya (4th from left), dinner at Philippine Plaza, Maurice Arcache with newshens Deedee Siytangco (left, foreground), Tere Orendain (beside Joya), Ernie Evora Sioco (second from right) and the author (right, foreground) (Photo from Thelma Sioson)

In Orendain’s cherished trove can be found works by Ramon Orlina, Manuel Baldemor, Norma Belleza, and Norberto Carating, among others.

Fresh from the wildly successful “Bibliophiles and Explorers Auction” in November of last year, León Exchange 30 presents another curated selection from the legendary collection of erudite Don Benito J. Legarda, Jr., as rare engravings, ephemera, prints by eminent Filipino artists Fernando Zobel and Anita Magsaysay-Ho, and hard-to-find photographs and prints of Old Manila in both peacetime and wartime, among others take center stage.

Philippine gold coins dating from the Spanish colonial period: an 1862 4-Peso Philippine gold coin, a 1788 ½ Escudo Spanish gold coin, and a pair of 1-Peso Isabel Gold Jetons dating from 1861 and 1864 are sure to entice both new and long-time numismatists.



Not to be missed are two luxury watches for the dashing gentlemen: a Patek Philippe Nautilus and a Patek Philippe Nautilus Perpetual Calendar in 18-karat White Gold.


Fine jewelry collection, exquisite silver pieces, well-preserved santos and relieves, well-crafted furniture, and elegant tableware are also on offer.

Here’s an overview of what to expect in two days’ worth of virtual treasure hunting!

Day 1 (January 20): “The Collector’s Vault” features watches, jewelry, drawings, paintings,
prints, sculptures, and art collectibles

Day 2 (January 21): “Heiresses’ Homes and Tables” highlights heirloom furniture, religious art,
silver, tableware, chinoiserie, ephemera, and various decors.

León Exchange 30th Online Auction will happen on January 20 and 21, Saturday and Sunday. Bidding will commence on the León Exchange platform at exactly 11 AM.

Catch a preview of these lots from January 13 to 19, Saturday to Friday, from 9 AM to 7 PM, at Warehouse 14, La Fuerza Compound, Don Chino Roces Avenue, Barangay San Lorenzo, Makati City.

To browse the León Exchange 30th Online Auction catalog, visit For further inquiries, email [email protected] or contact 8856 2781. All bidding will be online at For timely updates and relevant posts, follow León Exchange on Instagram @leonexchangeauctions.

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