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  • News Release: 7/28/2021

    Contact: Gail Osona
    Direct phone: +1 508 228 3942

    Rafael Osona Auctions
    Americana, Fine Art, Pacific Trade & Décor ~ August 7
    The Marine Auction ~ August 8
    Open for Bidding
    692 Lots

    July 18, 2021 - Rafael Osona’s signature August sale is well regarded for its exceptional offerings from far-reaching corners. The two-day event presents choice properties that range from Rembrandt etchings to Abraham Lincoln and Civil War US Treasury ‘redbacks’, from leading ‘Nantucket Renaissance’ painter Anne Ramsdell Congdon and modernist Vladimir Kagan to furnishings and décor from the Starbuck East Brick mansion and a from two single-owner collections of Canton and Chinese Export porcelains. 

    Day 1
    Pacific Trade collectors - and regulars at the annual Nantucket Antiques Show - will recognize Gail and Rich Mellin’s meticulously curated Canton Collection - the couple are distinguished experts and authors in the field. Properties offered on August 7th preview the excitement to be expected among Osona’s future Mellin sales, and share the spotlight with furnishings from Nantucket’s iconic Starbuck East Brick mansion, completed in 1839 during the Island’s ‘whaling capital of the world’ heyday. The East Brick collection was assembled by Marie & Rick Wackenhut, during their residence in the splendid mansion.

    A Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn self-portrait, the etching signed and dated on the print (image 1) and Rembrandt’s windmill, this etching signed and dated in the plate (image 2) (lots 389, 390) are offered among 23 properties directly descended in the family of former Congressman, the Hon. Major General Francis Elias Spinner, Treasurer of the United States, appointed by President Abraham Lincoln. (lots 389-412)

    Spinner served as US Treasurer during the Civil War and thereafter, under three Presidents and six Secretaries of the Treasury. Aside from Lincoln himself, Spinner was among the most respected and recognized government officials of his day. Properties descended in his family include documents and commendation awards, including a President Abraham Lincoln signed proclamation for Spinner’s appointment to U. S. Treasurer (lot 411) (image 3) as well as a framed lithographed Federal shield bearing 39 fractional currency notes, including fifty cent “redbacks” of the third issue, dignified by Spinner’s portrait and his famously flamboyant signature. (lot 406) (Image 4) (In the day, one could enjoy a fancy dinner, a good cigar and a newspaper for fifty cents, and still get change back.)

    There’s rare opportunity in an important group of 6 paintings by Anne Ramsdell Congdon; 4 of the 6 gifted to a relative by the artist, those 4 descended in the family to the present time. (lots 176-179, 183, 185) (image 5) The paintings being offered coincide with a recently opened feature exhibition, “Anne Ramsdell Congdon’s Nantucket Renaissance” presented by the Nantucket Historical Association. Congdon was active on Nantucket from 1926 through the late forties. “She was included in 1946 in a Kenneth Taylor Gallery retrospective of five artists ‘of national importance’ (including Henry S. Eddy, Edgar Jenney, Emerson Tuttle, and Eastman Johnson)” ~ (source) Nantucket Historical Association 2007 exhibit, “Anne Ramsdell Congdon”

    Significant among the Mellin Collection is an extremely rare Canton covered game/beefsteak platter with hot water reservoir, circa 1810-1820; only three known to exist (lot 71) and a similarly rare Canton fish basin. (lot 2) (image 6) The two are offered among various Canton forms – those made for bathing and personal care, dining room service, lighting, kitchen storage, trays and tiles, umbrella stands, even spittoons. The Mellin properties also include notable Nanking, as well as clobbered Mandarin, famille rose and famille verte. 

    Two impressive Chinese fans (Mellin) are meticulously painted and detailed - their “one thousand faces” wearing robes of silk - the fans are each framed to expose both sides. (lots 59, 60) (image 7) There’s an Archibald Coates of Wigan George III grandmother clock with relatively rare man-o-war rocking ship automation and eight-day weight movement, 18th c., (lot 45) plus fine paintings - including 18th-19th century ship portraits, and a Robert Stark “Red Sail” (lot 46 ) - finely carved American eagle mirrors, American and Continental furniture, botanical copper-plate engravings, mother of pearl and silver mounted tea caddies, (lots 55, 57)  and some especially fine English and Spanish brass. (lots 7,8,9,10) (all Mellin)

    From the Starbuck East Brick, look for fine antique Serapi, Heriz, Ferahan Sarouk and Mahal carpets, (lots 293, 295, 367, 368) (image 8) and China trade paintings on canvas. A pair of oval views of the nine-stage pagoda at Whompoa are notable in their skillful renderings. (lot 235) (image 9) Among several properties painted in reverse on glass, a finely wrought painting of William and Mary, circa 1800, after Pollard, deserves attention, (lot 237) (image 10) alongside fine Pacific Trade porcelains, including rose mandarin, rose Canton and famille rose.

    A commanding American shadowbox measuring over 5 ½ ft. in length depicts the Nantucket whaleship, “Two Brothers” under full sail. Captained by George Pollard, the ship was sunk in a gale. Tragically, Pollard had earlier captained - and survived - the sinking of the Essex, stove by a whale and of Melville fame. The shadowbox is housed in its original lemon gilt and vinegar frame, the “Two Brothers” is rendered virtuous and paid its due homage. (lot 256) (image 11)  

    A significant collection of shell work, (17 lots) including pristine 18th & 19th c. coquillage dolls from Brittany, (lots 90, 94, 95) decorative and contemporary sailor’s valentines, (lots 87, 93, 96, 103, 105) shell-encrusted grotto style furnishings (lots 88, 89, 91, 100) and Victorian floral arrangements under glass domes (lots 98, 99) exemplify society’s longstanding interest in the exotic. (image 12)

    Three Ralph Cahoon paintings will not disappoint collectors of this iconic artist’s work. (lots 312, 313, 314) (image 13) 

    Nantucketers will appreciate the work of two of their kin in an East Brick mural, “Boston Harbor in the 18th Century” by Kevin Paulsen (lot 444) and Vladimir Kagan’s modernist “Capricorn” garden furniture. (lot 369, 370) 

    There are two period ship portraits by Antonio Jacobsen of the “Republic” and “Adelaide Barbour” among Day-1’s 489 lots. (lots 359, 360) (image 14) 

    Day 2
    THE MARINE AUCTION - Important is a Joseph Clapp (1825-1909) Nantucket whalebone, cherry wood and whale ivory birdcage. (lot 504) (image 15) A strikingly similar birdcage, also made by Clapp is in the collection of the Nantucket Historical Association; Accession number 1992.0132.001

    Don’t miss a fine Dutch painting of two frigates by a follower of Abraham Storck, early 18th c., provenanced by Christie’s, Amsterdam, 1983 and by Sotheby’s, Olympia, 2003 (lot 640) (image 16) nor should be missed a one-of-a-kind whaler-made nursing rocker of naïve construction, a small baleen whale skull serves as back splat with whale ivory diamond inlays, circa 1850. (lot 639) (image 17) 

    Leading the scrimshaw category, an historically relevant pair of sperm whale teeth, circa 1846: one depicts a 28-star America flag above a portrait of George Washington - presumably commemorating the annexation of Texas to the Republic. The companion tooth is engraved with a courting couple, the reverses showing American and French Barks, circa 1846. (lot 556) (Image 18) There are 3 large scrimshaw sperm whale teeth attributed to the Britannia Engraver, 1st quarter of the 19th century – one depicts a British ship engaged in battle, with an enemy ship billowing smoke. The reverse depicts a ship coming over a large swell, sails furled, and initialed “LR” and “HA”. (lot 539) (image 19)  

    Of note is a French Prisoner-of-War finely detailed, fully outfitted 60-gun ship-of-the-line bone and baleen model in straw marquetry and parquetry box. (lot 692) (image 20)

    Leading the walking sticks being offered are two especially fine properties. The first with whale ivory clenched fist and snake – a thread-thin snake’s tongue, jet stone eyes and an anatomically perfect fist is mounted with pointed abalone on a whalebone shaft. (lot 595) (image 21) A fist stick carved by the same hand sold by Osona for $45,000. Another fine fist stick carved in ivory and tortoiseshell, with a diamond inlaid wristband and 207 ivory and tortoise disks mounted down the tapered shaft is provenanced John F. Rinaldi to the present owner (lot 594) (image 22)
    A spinning Jenny, intricately carved crimpers, multiple busks, tools and fids, a number of scrimshawed walrus tusks - including two Northwest walrus ivory totems, (lots 582, 584) -
    swifts, watch hutches, beckets, sailor’s macramé and harpoons offer a broad selection of whaler’s and other maritime folk arts.

    A 72” round glass-topped inlaid ship’s wheel table on a custom base will turn heads in the dining room, (lot 641) (image 23) as well as the sought after 5 ft. long wall-mount whale sculpture by carver Sunny Wood. (lot 688)

    A Day 1 (Aug 7) Tiffany Studios stained glass daffodil lampshade on a two part bronze base brings a bright note to the two-day event (lot 336B) - and there’s only 257 days to Nantucket’s 44th annual Daffodil Festival!

    Rafael Osona Auctions is highly regarded for consistent and exceptional offerings in quality Fine Art, Nantucket Baskets, Americana, Maritime, Scrimshaw & Decorative Arts, Estate Jewelry, Carpets and more. He is a third-generation antiquarian, a respected expert in the fields of Maritime and Nantucket collections. He is a 41-year master in the discrete sale of privately-owned antiques, fine art and custom décor to global patrons. 

    Browse catalog 
    August 7th  https://www.rafaelosonaauction.com/auctions/americana-pacific-trade-porcelains-fine-art-marine-2021/ 
    August 8th https://www.rafaelosonaauction.com/auctions/scrimshaw-marine-gail-rich-mellin-canton-collection-2021/

    Bidding will be in real time:  online, by telephone or by absentee bid.
    LIVE, IN PERSON PREVIEW: August 3, 4, 5, and 6 from 10am to 5pm at the American Legion Hall, 21 Washington Street, Nantucket Island, Massachusetts. 

    Online auction begins promptly at 9:30am EST August 7 and 8, hosted by these platforms




    Register to Bid at least 48 hours in advance 
    Absentee or Phone Bids: (508) 228-3942 or info@RafaelOsonaAuctions.com
    Cash, Check, ACH or Wire Transfer 
    Pickup: August 9, 10, 11 from 9:30 - 4:00pm; Shipping and Delivery Available



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