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Friday, October 21, 2022

Ifugao Bulul statue sold for 630 Euros (P36 million) in Paris auction house

Photo Courtesy || Emil Maranon

Cordillera - An Ifugao Bulul statue was sold for 630,000 Euros or equivalent to P36,000,000 at a French auction house in Paris, France on October 21, 2022 Manila time.

The statue was earlier estimated to be auctioned between 200,000 Euros to 300,000 Euros (P11.4 million to P17.2million), however it was sold at 630,000 Euros at the end of the live action.

The bulul that measures 31 inches is from the collection of Beatrice and Patrick Caput. The statue was among the 34 statues from around the world that were up for the auction hosted by Christie's, the world-renowned art and luxury business founded in 1766.

How did this Ifugao sacred wooden figure got it's record-breaking price tag?

The provenance, or the history of its ownership or origin, is one of the criteria that determines an item's worth in auctions; this accounts for the bulul's high price.

The bulul was taken from William Gambuk Beyer's collection. William is the son of American anthropologist Otley Beyer who is frequently cited as the founding father of Philippine Anthropology. 

Alain Schoffel later purchased the bulul from Beyer in 1970. In 1989, the Caput couple bought the bulul from Schoffel.

Christie's described the statue:

"A masterpiece of Ifugao art, this sculpture dazzles by the universality of its form. Thanks to its purified aspect, we can see as many possible links with the great statuary of the past as with that of the present. Notably, thanks to its intrinsic geometry, it is possible to evoke a kinship with some of the oldest anthropomorphic representations, such as certain plastic creations of the Neolithic or Cycladic art. At the same time, by reducing and simplifying the anthropomorphic representation as much as possible, the artist has created an abstract interpretation of the human figure, giving it a powerful serenity. In the case of this formidable sculpture, it is its great plastic quality and in particular its formal ambiguity - its archaism and its modernity - that convey an indisputable timelessness."



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