Rafael Osona Auctions

21 Washington St, Nantucket, Massachusetts 02554

About Auction House

Rafael Osona delivers consistent high-quality antiques and art to discriminating buyers in a selling arena built on decades of solid relationships, confidentiality and personalize service. Recognized since 1980 as a premier dealer in 18th – 21st century antiques and arts, Rafael Osona’s family-owned, full-service auction house conducts more than a dozen unique auctions annually, showcasing exceptional decorative and fine arts in every category.

Auction Previews & News

9 Results
  • Auction Preview
    Nantucket Oil Painting by Robert Stark Jr. & 4.10-Carat Emerald-Cut Diamond Ring Lead Rafael Osona Auctions’ Annual Christmas Stroll Sale

    A 4.10-carat emerald-cut diamond ring will lead the upcoming Annual Christmas Stroll Auction, offered by Rafael Osona Auctions. The diamond in focus has I color and VVS1 clarity, according to its GIA report. The emerald-cut diamond is flanked by two baguette diamonds. A Georg Jensen and Edvard Kindt-Larsen 18-karat yellow gold link bracelet, signed by Georg Jensen, is also a leading lot. Edvard Kindt-Larsen (1901 - 1982), an architect from Denmark, produced a wide range of work in cooperation with his wife, Tove Kindt-Larsen. The couple shared an astute sense of quality that coincided with the taste of the day. For this bracelet, they collaborated with renowned silversmith Georg Jensen. Another top lot is Robert Stark Jr.’s oil on Masonite painting titled Red-Sailed Catboat Rounding Brant Point, Nantucket. It is signed on the lower right corner and molded in a gilt frame with a carved rope border. Robert Stark Jr. (1933 - 2014) worked principally in oil on canvas or panel. Stark was best known for coastal scenes that feature an iconic red-sailed catboat. The aerial perspective and concealment of visible brushstrokes characterize his artworks. His red-sailed catboat paintings evoke tranquility and calm. Additional fine art offerings include works by Antonio Jacobsen, Harry J. Sunter, Isabelle Hollister Tuttle, Anne Ramsdell Congdon, and many others. View the complete catalog of the Annual Christmas Stroll Auction and find other online auctions by visiting Bidsquare.

  • Auction Preview
    Julian Taylor Painting, Arthur R. Martin Oval Open Nantucket Basket, and More at Rafael Osona Auctions

    The upcoming Late Summer Auction sale at Rafael Osona Auctions will feature an oil on canvas painting by Modernist artist Julian Taylor. The offered painting evokes a sense of nostalgia, allowing the viewer a sense of familiarity with the winter snow, the countryside, and the city and village roofs. A specialist in acrylics, the artist's favored theme of harbors, vintage rigging, towing, lighthouses, and piers is executed with precision and sharpness. Throughout his work, Taylor represents the tradition of figurative painting, creating a lyrical and poetic world of images in order to elevate people's real-life experiences. Titled The Lowest Tide, the offered painting depicts boats, figures, and a VW panel van by the beach, with the artist's signature on the lower right.  Another lot of interest in this sale is an oval open Nantucket basket by Arthur R. Martin. During his time in Massachusetts state prisons, A.R. Martin gained experience crafting Nantucket baskets. In order to make bases and handles, he collected wood from the grounds. It was during his time in prison that he began selling them, and it continued in Turner Falls, Massachusetts after he was released. Nantucket Lightship Basket Museum recognized Martin for his innovative oversize baskets. The available lot is inscribed ARM Arthur R. Martin on its base. Also available is a pair of curved benches, a ship’s wheel and bell table with antique inlay, and a Sarouk scatter rug. Find the complete catalog and register to bid in the Late Summer Auction event by visiting Rafael Osona Auctions.

  • Auction Preview
    Exceedingly Rare Scrimshaw and Polychrome Whalebone Walking Stick at Rafael Osona Auctions

    An exceptionally rare scrimshaw and polychrome whalebone walking stick will lead this upcoming auction, presented by Rafael Osona Auctions. Dating to the 1830s, the stick features two full portraits of women atop which is a wraparound flying fish. The available lot measures 30 inches in length and spears to be in fine condition. The auction also features a single, large scrimshaw sperm whale’s tooth from the first quarter of the 19th century. The tooth is carved with an image of a British ship engaged in a battle with another ship. The reverse portrays a ship sailing through the furious waves. Inscribed on the back are the initials ‘L.R’, and IIA’. An oil on canvas titled Fishing Boats Docked by Emile Albert Gruppe and a whaleman-made chess set and gameboard from 1850 are on offer as well. To view the complete catalog and register to bid in the upcoming The Marine Auction, visit Bidsquare and browse other online auctions.

  • Auction Preview
    Significant Oil on Masonite Paintings by 19th-20th Century Massachusetts Artists Highlight Rafael Osona Auctions’ Upcoming Sale

    Born in Chatham, Massachusetts, artist Ralph Eugene Cahoon, Jr. spent most of his time sailing, fishing and sketching coastal life. He would illustrate imaginative scenes of mermaids and sailors in whimsical settings. The lighthearted portrayals in his paintings appealed to wealthy and well-to-do patrons. One such oil on Masonite work by Ralph Cahoon is a key highlight of the upcoming sale from Rafael Osona Auctions. Titled American Seamen's Friend Society, it depicts two captains seated and relishing an exquisite dinner served by two mermaids. The captains are apparently discussing their forthcoming voyage on the ship Dashing Wave to Hong Kong, Canton, and Calcutta, departing Derby Wharf on May 4, 1841.  Two other oil on Masonite paintings also lead the catalog. An available work titled Hanging the Nets by Elizabeth Rebecca Coffin won the Norman W. Dodge Prize at the National Academy of Design in 1892. Ahead of her time, Coffin made choices considered unconventional for women back then. Middle Moors, Nantucket by Anne Ramsdell Congdon is a noteworthy landscape work in the sale. Anne was an important member of the Art Colony on the island of Nantucket, Massachusetts. To view the complete catalog and register to bid in the upcoming Americana, Fine Art & Decor auction, visit Bidsquare and browse other online auctions.

  • Auction Preview
    Stephen Swift Furniture and Robert Stark Jr.’s Painting Lead Upcoming July Sale by Rafael Osona Auctions

    Pedestal tables for dining first appeared at the end of the 18th century. These marked a departure from the traditional long tables to more intimately fashioned pieces standing on a single or twin pedestal bases. Since the pedestals were designed in the center of the table, they were quite comfortable, as the legs did not get in the way of chairs. A Stephen Swift figured double pedestal dining table with eight armchairs is a key highlight of the upcoming sale, presented by Rafael Osona Auctions. Crafted in mahogany, the oval-shaped table is designed with spider-leg double pedestals and two 24-inch leaves. Another notable Stephen Swift lot is a cherry rocker made circa 1987. It is signed underneath “Stephen Swift, Nantucket.”  Leading the fine art section of the catalog is Robert Stark Jr.’s oil on canvas titled Red Sail on Calm Waters. The artist is well known for his coastal scenes that usually portray an iconic red-hued catboat. His style of work is marked by concealment of brushstrokes and skillful depiction of light that evoke a sense of serenity. To view the complete catalog and register to bid in the upcoming July 1st Furnishings, Fine Art and Décor Auction, visit Bidsquare and browse other online auctions.

  • Auction Preview
    Depictions of Nantucket Docks, Penwith Peninsula by Paul Balmer and John Miller Are Highlights of Rafael Osona Auctions’ Upcoming Sale

    Australian artist Paul Balmer grew up in South Africa, and he cites traditional African and Aboriginal art as among his influences. Rafael Osona Auctions will offer an oil on canvas by Balmer titled Bird's Eye in the 2023 Designer Daffodil Weekend Auction. The painting shows a bird’s eye view of Nantucket. It depicts an overhead view of a steamship and numerous sailboats departing the Brant Point lighthouse, Coast Guard station, and docks in Nantucket Harbor.  Another notable lot is John Miller’s Yacht Passing the Bay. It is an oil on linen in molded gilt frame, titled and signed on the reverse. The painting depicts a bay with a pristine sandy beach and blue water on a bright day. Upon closer observation, viewers can see a yacht in a distance that is barely visible from the standpoint. Miller (British, 1931 - 2002) was an English artist born in London who became famous for his idyllic representation of beach scenes in his home county of Cornwall. Most of his paintings were of the West Penwith peninsula and Tresco in the Isles of Scilly. Rafael Osona Auctions will offer over 600 lots in this event, including partial contents of a Nantucket designer decorated estate and contents of several recently sold seaside homes. Visit Bidsquare for more information on the upcoming April 29, 2023, Designer Daffodil Weekend Auction and to browse other online auctions. 

  • Auction Preview
    Original Nantucket Style From Rafael Osona Auctions This August

    Though the traditional crafted baskets were always well-known and popular items in the Nantucket area, it took a relative outsider— José Formoso Reyes, from Luzon, Philippines— to invent and perfect the first covered Nantucket Friendship basket purse. The baskets were so recognizable that those carrying them could recognize each other while passing on the street, thus establishing both name and tradition. The style of these hand baskets is still popular in the area. Several original Friendship baskets can be found in the Late Summer Auction offered by Rafael Osana Auctions this August.  There are many Nantucket-related items in the sale, such as fine art, furniture, textiles, and collectibles. Among the featured art are several pieces by Robert Stark Jr. and Robert E. Nickerson, a street scene by Emile Albert Guppe, and more. There are also several lots of signed Stephen Swift furniture and a Baroque string of white pearls. Visit Bidsquare to find the complete catalog and browse other online auctions. 

  • Auction Preview
    Scrimshaw Artistry, Southampton Sunset by Copley Fielding at Rafael Osona Auctions

    In the late 18th and early 19th century, sailors on whaling ships practiced scrimshaw to pass time. It was the practice of creating artwork out of whalebone, as byproducts. Nothing went to waste. The sailors engraved folk art and embellished common tools and utensils. In the upcoming Marine Auction presented by Rafael Osona Auctions, a pierced panbone scrimshaw basket from circa 1850 is a leading lot. It is the work of Scarce Whaleman. Three tiers of carved openwork form the oval frame of the basket, and the edges are scalloped. It also has a rarely seen fixed handle and oval pine base. This Marine Auction will also offer fine art, Asian art, Native American and ethnographic finds, decorative art, and furniture. Southampton Sunset by Anthony Vandyke Copley Fielding is a top lot among fine art offerings. It is a watercolor, signed and dated 1828 in gilt gesso and a wood frame. Copley Fielding belonged to the Golden Age of British watercolorists. A pupil of John Varley, he later became a teacher and the president of the Royal Society of Watercolours in 1831. One of his favorite subjects to paint was marine life. Find the listed items and more online auctions on Bidsquare.

  • Auction Preview
    Nantucket Fine Art by Robert Stark Jr. and More From Rafael Osona Auctions

    Founder and director of Nantucket’s oldest gallery, the Stark Gallery on Old North Wharf, Robert Stark Jr. was also an American Luminist painter who approached his scenes with a modernist’s eye. Known primarily for coastal subjects, often with an iconic red sailed catboat in the middle to far distance, Stark painted with a technique that concealed visible brushstrokes and evoked a sense of calm. This is the case in the six works by Stark up for bid in the Independence Weekend auction from Rafael Osona Auctions, including one of his trademark catboat paintings, titled Red Sail on Calm Water.  Items in the catalog were sourced from Nantucket homes and seaside estates, as well as five estates from Pawleys Island, Palm Springs, Boston, Albany, and New York City. Anchored by over 300 lots of fine and decorative art works, the sale also features over 140 pieces of fine furniture, such as a set of six Stephen Swift cherry and ash pomfret dining chairs and a set of four cherry and ash bar stools. Other items include pearl necklaces and other jewelry, a hand-knotted Persian Heriz natural wool carpet, Bill and Judy Sayle nested Nantucket swing handle and friendship baskets, and more. Visit Bidsquare to browse the full catalog of this and other online auctions.

  • Auction Preview
    Whaling and Marine Memorabilia at Rafael Osona Auctions

    In 1659, English settlers arrived on the island of Nantucket. They hoped to earn a living through farming and shepherding. They soon noticed that every autumn, whales surrounded the island until spring. From 1690 until around 1840, Nantucket was known as the top whaling port in America. However, as Nantucket’s population dwindled in the 19th century, whaling also decreased. Rafael Osona Auctions will offer a nostalgic view of the Nantucket whaling community with its upcoming Whaling and Marine Memorabilia auction. Highlighted in the sale is a Nantucket whalebone, cherry wood, and whale ivory birdcage made by Joseph Clapp around 1870. The birdcage is constructed with a pegged, mortise, and tenon dome top, a cherry wood frame, whalebone dowels, and a hinged access door. Each top corner features a whale ivory ball-in-cup decoration.  Another item showcased is a 19th-century mahogany and brass ship’s wheel produced by John Hastie & Co. Ltd, a steering gear manufacturer from Greenock, Scotland. The 36-inch wheel features eight mahogany spokes and handles with support rails. The brass hub is inscribed ‘John Hastie & Co Ltd. Greenock.’ To view the entire auction catalog and register to bid, visit Bidsquare. 

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    A Civil War Document Signed By Lincoln And A 1775 Revolutionary War Muster Roll Will Be In Rafael Osona’s Online Auction, Aug. 7-8

    The Day 1 session on Saturday, August 7th, is titled Americana, Fine Art, Pacific Trade & Décor. Day 2, on Sunday, August 8th, is titled The Marine Auction. In total, over 700 lots will be sold. NANTUCKET, Mass. – A Civil War document signed by then-President Abraham Lincoln and a rare 1775 American Revolutionary War Muster Roll are just a couple of the expected star lots in Rafael Osona Auctions’ annual, two-day online auction slated for the weekend of August 7th and 8th, at 9:30 am Eastern time both days. Over 700 lots will be sold. The auction will be headlined by the Gail and Rich Mellin collection of Chinese export porcelain of Canton design, American furniture, fine arts and décor. The Mellins are esteemed antiques dealers in Canton and export porcelains and are offering Part 1 of their collection from their recently sold Connecticut residence; property from the descendants of Francis Elias Spinner, U.S. Treasurer appointed by Lincoln; and fine antique rugs, China Trade art, and export porcelains from the Marie and Rick Wackenhut collection from the Starbuck East Brick mansion in Nantucket. Civil War document signed by then-President Abraham Lincoln in 1861, naming Francis E. Spinner as U.S. Treasurer, a post he held until 1875. Estimate: $4,000-$6,000. The Day 1 auction on Saturday, August 7th, is titled Americana, Fine Art, Pacific Trade & Décor. The Lincoln signed document with others will be part of the Day 1 offerings, which total more than 500 lots. The Lincoln lot is a signed presidential appointment, naming Francis E. Spinner as U.S. Treasurer, a post he held until 1875. The document, which also has the signature of Secretary of State William H. Seward, plus the Presidential seal, should bring $4,000-$6,000. Two Rembrandt etchings, titled Self-Portrait Leaning on a Stone Sill and The Windmill, descended in the Spinner collection. An exceptional offering of six original paintings by the noted Nantucket artist Anne Ramsdell Congdon (1873-1958) will come up for bid, an example being an oil on board titled View from Mill Hill, and measuring 14 ¼ inches by 18 ½ inches (sight, less frame).…

  • Auction Preview
    Anne Ramsdell Congdon Painting, Rembrandt Etching Headline Rafael Osona Auctions Event

    Known for her plein air oil paintings of harbor views, seascapes, and sand dunes, Anne Ramsdell Congdon was an accomplished American artist of the early 20th century. She studied at the Académie Delecluse in Paris and under Rhoda Holmes Nichols, an assistant of William Merritt Chase. However, Congdon developed her own style while studying with American Impressionist painter Charles Woodbury. Rafael Osona Auctions will offer Congdon’s View from Mill Hill in its upcoming auction. The oil painting shows a figure (likely Ruth Haviland Sutton) in the foreground with a harbor view of Nantucket in the background. In its molded wood frame, the unsigned painting measures 16 ¾ inches by 20 inches. A Dutch artist of the 1600s, Rembrandt Harmenszoon Van Rijn painted dozens of self-portraits. These self-portraits depict the artist in various scenes with different facial expressions and costumes. Found in this auction is Rembrandt’s 1639 etching titled Self-Portrait Leaning on a Stone Sill. The artist’s signature, along with the year of the self-portrait, can be found in the upper left corner. The etching is affixed to a mat with cardboard backing and comes in a thin black wood frame. View the entire auction catalog and place a bid by visiting Bidsquare. 

  • Auction Preview
    Joan Albaugh’s Oil Painting Leads Upcoming Rafael Osona Event

    A landscape painting from Joan Albaugh will lead the upcoming Nantucket Furnishings, Decorative and Fine Arts Auction, presented by Rafael Osona Auctions. When Joan Albaugh traveled to Nantucket, she was interested in the way winter light hit the shingled roofs of houses. Her fascination with light can be seen in many of her paintings. “Be it an isolated house, an empty pool, a snorkeler, a bush or a buoy… all are echoes or a story, a story perhaps without a plot, a haiku of a memory, a breeze with light,” she said, describing the essence of her work. The available oil painting depicts a landscape view of the Tom Nevers Pond. It shows an interplay of light and shade across the canvas.  The auction also features a Baroque pearl necklace. The piece features pearls with shades of white, silver, grey, gold, and pink. Although the Baroque style first emerged in Italy, its influence spread across Europe in the 18th century. The style can be characterized by movement and curved lines. An Aubusson-style wool carpet and Angora Oushak rug are also featured in this sale. View the full listings and register to bid on Bidsquare.

  • Auction Industry, Press Release
    A 20th c. Visionary, Neoclassicism – and a Breath of Fresh Air Collecting for Today’s Living

    A single owner’s collection of period painted Scandinavian furnishings from a Nantucket Waterfront Estate plus, Frank Gehry furniture, antiques, fine art & décor from multiple family compounds offered at Rafael Osona’s April 24th online auction, now open for bidding Over 500 lots Frank Gehry for Knoll. Signed Apple Basket “Cross Check” armchair, circa 1999. Lot 176 Est. $1,500 -$2,500 (one of two Frank Gehry lots) NANTUCKET, MARCH 22, 2021 – A collection of 18th and 19th century Scandinavian Neoclassical lime-washed furnishings, 10 naïve Swedish folk Bonads, and Danish paintings is presented alongside two classic American Jeeps, Nantucket Art, antiques, décor, hand knotted carpets, estate jewelry, and Frank Gehry’s for Knoll mind-bending furniture in 2 lots “Cross Check”, “Faceoff” and “Top Hat.” (image 2) “In compiling the spring auction” Rafael noted, “I selected objects that reflect today’s living. The material is fresh; its lines are clean yet elegant. Nantucket seaside décor, Swedish Neoclassical discipline, and 20th c. design are a perfect mix for 21st c. lifestyle and collecting.” Among the offerings, a dozen carved and partial gilt mirrors span 1790-1830 representing Swedish Neoclassical and Gustavian period styles, including trumeau and this Pier Mirror, circa 1790, with gilt-carved olive branch pediment above classical carved columns, vases and portrait, original split mercury glass panels and gilt carved elements at the base. (image 3) The mirrors, among 100 lots from a single owner collection (much of which was sourced from Cupboards and Roses) including desks, chests of drawers, armoires, fine pairs of armchairs, ceramics and this Scandinavian daybed, lime-washed with carved pediment, star, scrolls, and reeding. (image 4)  This 1926 view from the Himmelbjerget, or “Sky Mountain” painted in oil by Peder Mørk Mønsted, a leading Danish artist of his day, portrays a storied vantage point of interest for historians and fine art collectors alike. (image 5) Another storied painting that shares Mønsted’s Adelson Galleries provenance is a tender but virtuous childhood portrait of Denmark’s Jonas Colin, by Georg Mathias Fuchs. Fuchs was a student of Venetian, Jacopo Amigoni, a highly sought-after Baroque portraitist and decorative painter among the high courts of Europe. (Image 6) …

  • Auction Preview
    Marine Scene by Jack L. Gray in Upcoming Rafael Osona Nantucket Auctions Event

    Jack L. Gray was a marine painter well-known for his depictions of skiffs and fishing boats. Born in Nova Scotia, Gray was the only son of a civil engineer. As a child, the artist loved painting ships and sea scenes. He went on to learn painting at the Nova Scotia College of Art. Gray’s marine scenes are famous for their realistic nature, sense of depth, and earthy color palette. The upcoming Rafael Osona Nantucket Auctions event presents an important marine scene by Jack L. Gray. Titled Steam Trawler At Sea, the oil painting depicts a fishing trawler in the middle of the ocean.  Another highlight is a wood carousel pig by Gustave Bayol Carousel Company. Gustave Bayol was a prominent woodcarver who learned his craft from his father, a cabinetmaker. Initially involved in ornamental carving, Bayol later switched to making carousel horses. His carousels were among the most popular in France. The available wood carousel swine features a lolling tongue, a saddle cloth, and blue ribbons. The auction also features oil landscapes of Nantucket by Illya Kagan. The artist’s paintings are known for their fluid nature and reflect Kagan’s love for Nantucket. Jewelry by Simon G., Reed and Barton sterling silver flatware, an ivory and baleen cane, and an antique transit in a fitted box round out the listings. Interested collectors can explore the full catalog and register to bid online on Bidsquare.