On eBay this week.
Christies Auction Catalogue The Virata Collection Of Asian Art March 2017
The Virata Collection of Chinese-Asian Art
An exceptional auction of extremely fine primarily Chinese works of art. Collected over a lifetime from the world's greatest dealers and collectors by Marie Theresa L. Virata.
A lifelong resident of the Philippines Mrs. Virata was an inveterate collector and possessed with impeccable taste and intellectual curiosity. The catalog for the auction itself is sure to be an important reference going forward for collectors and fans of Chinese furniture in particular.
From the catalog introduction of the collection
With great connoisseurship, Marie Theresa Virata acquired exquisite works from across the canon of Chinese art. An afinity for knowledge informed Mrs. Virata’s journey in collecting:
encouraged by scholars such as Robert Bradford Fox and Avelino Legaspi of the National
Museum of the Philippines, she fnanced excavations of archaeological sites and heritage
projects, leading to the uncovering of porcelains,
precious metals, and pottery from the Tang, Song, and
Ming dynasties. Through her passion for scholarship
and support of archaeological research, Mrs. Virata
came to develop close bonds with some of the world’s
leading minds in Asian art, including Sir John Addis,
Margaret Medley, Cheng Te-k’un, and Sir John Pope-
Working alongside auction house specialists such
as Anthony Derham of Christie’s, dealer Alice Boney,
and the famed Robert Hatfeld Ellsworth—a man
who became a dear friend to the Viratas and their
children—Mrs. Virata amassed a signifcant collection
of fne art and historically signifcant artifacts. At
the Viratas’ elegant residence in the Manila, period Chinese furniture and porcelains were displayed alongside
other works of art of both Asian and Western origin. From the
1960s, Mrs. Virata began to acquire a signifcant collection of
religious ephemera and sacred art, in addition to gold of the
Philippines’ pre-Hispanic period. Never one to simply follow
trends, Mrs. Virata’s collecting was inherently connected to her
diverse scholarly interests and a passion for history, exploration,
Luis and Giovanna Virata were raised surrounded by their mother’s exceptional collection
of fne art. It was a love she sought to pass on through family visits to museums, galleries,
and auction houses around the world. In addition to funding archaeological projects and
academic initiatives, Mrs. Virata was a supporter of institutions such as the Museo de la
Salle in Dasmariñas, which faithfully recreates the lifestyle of nineteenth-century Ilustrados.
Committed to both culture and community, the collector strove to improve the lives of
individuals from all walks of life, and gave generously to charitable organizations and
outreach programs in the Philippines and beyond.
In the years prior to her death in 2015, Marie Theresa Virata
continued the tradition of collecting and philanthropy that
had brought so much joy to her life. For the collector, works of
art stood as true markers of learning— the keys to unlocking
aesthetic puzzles, historical enigmas, and the mysteries of
the human spirit. Lauded in the Philippines for her graciousness
and generosity, Marie Theresa Virata’s achievements in
collecting—and the beauty she
inspired in the world—remain
worthy of celebration.