Auctioneer Press Release Rafael Osona Auctions

Rafael Osona 2-Day Online Auction | August 6th & 7th

Jul 15,2022 | 11:00 EDT By Rafael Osona Auctions

July 14, 2022 – Rafael Osona’s 2022 highly regarded annual August two-day auction is certain to please. Take your treasures home in this 1935 Ford “Woody” station wagon.

Lot 172A, 1935 Ford Model 48-790 "Woody" Station Wagon. Estimate $40,000-$60,000

Session One centers on Nantucket history, fine arts, furnishings, and décor sourced from Nantucket and New England collectors, materials that survey 17th to 21st century Continental and American tastes.

The Personal Collection of Gail & Rich Mellin

Of note is the meticulously curated personal collection of Gail & Rich Mellin, long distinguished in the field of Chinese export porcelains of “Canton” decoration. Assembled during 4-plus decades, the 156 lots embrace Canton’s finest artistry in forms crafted for bathing and personal care, dining room service, lighting, kitchen storage, trays and tiles, even spittoons.

“A first for the gallery! It’s been 43 years.” announced Rafael “Finally, we are bringing to auction Paul Pinkham’s Nantucket shoals chart.” The rare navigational chart was published circa 1812 as surveyed by Capt. Paul Pinkham while he was first keeper of the New Lighthouse at Nantucket’s Sandy Point. (Great Point) Pinkham’s precision in noting soundings, currents and rips indicates deep local knowledge of the treacherous waters.

Another first: A rare Nantucket Railroad bronze bell, 19th Century; the 13-inch bell was unearthed during a home renovation in Siasconset years ago. Among stellar fine art offerings, a pastoral view of Nantucket town from Monomoy is one of three paintings by Anne Ramsdell Congdon, and is among the artist’s most impressive works. The circa 1941 composition is a panoramic yet intimate view of an idyllic locale. 

Lot 196, Anne Ramsdell Congdon Oil on Canvas "View from Monomoy", circa 1941

Standouts from painter Wendall Macy – a descendent among Nantucket founding families – include an historic view of Brant Point Lighthouse, alongside a study of a young woman gazing out to sea; the two among five W. Macy paintings offered. Equally compelling is a 1929 Hayley Lever early-morning view of Nantucket’s Old South Wharf. 

Lot 174, Rare Benjamin Bunker Nantucket Coin Silver Porringer, circa 1797. Estimate $17,500-$22,500

There’s historic opportunity in Benjamin Bunker’s circa 1797 Nantucket coin silver porringer, crafted in tribute to the marriage of Nantucket founding family descendants George Swain and Hannah Coffin.

August on Nantucket is indeed summertime, and Osona’s August sale brings to auction a hot and sweet book: Gershwin and Heyward’s steamy “Porgy and Bess Libretto; the Opera in Three Acts.” The limited edition is signed by George Gershwin, Dubose Heyward, Ira Gershwin and Rouben Mamoulian.

Lot 140, Ralph Eugene Cahoon, Jr. Oil on Masonite "Mermaids with Flags." Estimate $20,000-$30,000

Early among the maritime interests of the sale, Session One showcases six works by Emile Albert Gruppe as well Ralph Cahoon’s whimsically spun portrayals of cavorting mermaids and lovesick sailors. Montague Dawson’s watercolor “Old Campaigner” holds center stage alongside a second Dawson oil that sets a pair of yachts sailing off the wind.

Not to be overlooked are three stellar paintings of red sail fame by Robert Stark Jr. and Emily Hoffmeier’s circa 1920s “Killen Wharf Nantucket.” Look for works by Maud Millicent Clapp, who was a Frank Swift Chase student, and by WPA artist Georgiana Klitgaard, as well as a scarce Nantucket cranberry harvest painting by Lowell Herro, who exhibited his work on Nantucket for decades.

Collectors with old world interests will note a gypsy genre scene by esteemed Scottish watercolorist, Sir William Russell Flint, and a forthright portrait of German religious reformer, Martin Luther; the latter inspired by the work of Lucas Cranach the Younger.

Lot 233, Set of Six George Nakashima "New" Chairs in Black Walnut and Hickory, circa 1962. Estimate $15,000-$20,000

Modernist designs by George Nakashima and Nantucket craftsman Stephen Swift lead the furniture lineup. There’s a strong showing of 19th century British Regency campaign pieces, an outstanding British Chippendale breakfront with incorporated desk, English bull’s eye mirrors, a late Gustavian painted credenza, and Art Nouveau bureau plat alongside Queen Anne and George III chairs, dining, and other tables.

American furniture includes a Connecticut Chippendale oxbow cherry secretary, two Nantucket Windsors and a porringer table, plus various chests, and a classic suite of Weatherend estate garden furniture (seven lots).

Antique Lightship baskets rival later Nantucket baskets by José Formoso Reyes, among other skilled Island artisans who have since carried the tradition to new heights (16 lots).

A Martelé water pitcher, circa 1904, of .950 fine silver repoussé leads precious metals/jewelry offerings, alongside flatware services by James Robinson and Cartier, plus a pair of Tiffany art deco tazzas are impressive.

Period fireplace equipment, Georgian tea caddies, jade and other decorative arts, oriental carpets, textiles, American Folk Art, quilts, and a pair of circa 1811 Boston samplers bring exceptional variety to Session One offerings.

Session Two - Maritime artifacts have always been an Osona mainstay. From a 19th century ship’s catwalk to an American homeward bound ship’s pennant, the auction house has once again assembled a veritable treasure chest of seafaring tradition.

Lot 686, Barry Mason Oil on Canvas "Morning Mists Off Boston U.S. Clipper Flying Fish." $4,000-$6,000

Among classics in ship portraiture, Barry Mason’s is an outstanding capture of both vessel and damp salt air. Despite their miniature size, two works by American artist, George Nemethy, are nothing less than riveting. A pair of William Anderson watercolors offered in two lots depict Dutch coastal traders and man-o-war in real-time.

Lot 670, Charles Delin Oil on Canvas "Portrait of Captain Obed Bunker of Nantucket." $4,000-$6,000

Five 19th century portraits include two or presumably three that portray Nantucket ship captains. One, a portrait of Captain Obed Bunker of Nantucket by Charles Delin with provenance from The Barbara Johnson Collection, Sotheby, 1981, to the present owner. A second, neither signed nor attributed, depicts Captain Richard Gibbs of the Ship Nantucket, as identified by the institution that consigned the artwork.  A third portrait, summarily attributed to Delin, presumably portrays Nantucket Captain John Brown.

Six whale carvings by Clark Voorhees Jr. are as impressive in singular as they are en masse. 

Leading the scrimshaw category, a rare Nantucket bodkin caddy, circa 1850, with provenance from the Barbara Johnson Collection is one of two known. There’s also a pierced panbone basket, circa 1850. Walking sticks and canes are offered in 32 lots.

Several whaleman made fancy document boxes shine among a miniature French prisoner-of-war ship model with scarce retractable guns. Offered are  several compelling yarn swifts, a spinning Jenny, numerous period half hulls, ship shadowboxes, figureheads, telescopes, and signal flags. Extensive offerings of whaling gear including harpoons, killing lances, whalemen knives, blubber spades, and there’s ship wheels, a 1920s Siebe Gorman & Co. diving helmet and more.

The two-day event presents 580 lots on Saturday, August 6th, including the Mellin Collection. The maritime auction follows Sunday August 7th with 270 lots. Both sessions begin promptly at 9:30am. Absentee and live auction bidding is available online on Bidsquare.

By Rafael Osona Auctions