While “Laughter,” her 1957 oil-on-canvas work and one of her first in the said medium, did not set a new record, it still sold at a mind-boggling price of P53 million. Adding buyer’s premium and VAT, this translates to P63.6 million.
That’s roughly P132.676.67 per square inch.
Léon Gallery got even more jampacked and abuzz as the auction approached closer to Lot 26, which started at P22 million. Applause roared as Magsaysay Ho’s work was flashed on the screen.
In just three minutes, “Laughter” rose quickly to P30 million, skipping to P35, P36 million, then a back-and-forth battle in the 40-million mark, breaching P50 million until silence ensued when the P53-million bid was set (net price).