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

4 Results
  • 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.

  • Auction Preview
    Fine Art-Decor-Antiques-Furnishings from Nantucket Estates and Sold Homes

    Antonio Jacobsen was a prolific maritime painter well known for his depictions of American vessels. As a child, Jacobsen learned music from his father. However, his true love was the sea. Jacobsen began painting the doors of safes with elaborate harbor scenes. These works landed him a commission for painting the vessels of the Old Dominion Steamship Company, which launched his career. The upcoming Rafael Osona Auctions event presents America's Cup Trials, 1871, Yacht Dauntless by Jacobsen. The available oil painting features the artist’s signature vessel profile.  Another highlight is an oil painting titled Sailor's Surprise by Ralph Eugene Cahoon Jr. The early 19th-century painting depicts a sailor and mermaid in Canton, China. Whimsical scenes of mermaids with sailors are among Cahoon’s most famous works. A Wagonmaster Jeep Grand Wagoneer will be on offer as well. This 1989 gray Wagoneer has a burgundy interior, power windows, and modern radio. The auction also offers Stephen Swift Windsor dining chairs, a Reed & Barton flatware service, and Steuben glassware. Interested collectors can explore the full listings and register to bid online on Bidsquare.

  • Auction Preview
    Estate of Linda Loring with Additions

    A nature lover and a conservationist, Linda Loring was dedicated to protecting the environment. During her lifetime, she turned a 270-acre area near Long Pond in Nantucket into a wildlife sanctuary. Loring’s love for Nantucket and nature is evident in the upcoming Estate of Linda Loring with Additions sale, presented by Rafael Osona Auctions. The leading lots in the event include paintings from Michael Keane, G.S. Hill, and Illya Kagan that reflect the collector’s love for nature. Kagan’s painting, titled Long Pond, features a location Loring was fond of. Hill’s Rainbows Nantucket painting depicts a coastline with colorful boats.  Equally colorful are several pieces of pearl jewelry from Loring’s estate. One necklace with golden South Sea, Tahitian (black), and freshwater pink pearls stands out. With 482 lots, the sale will also include a cast iron mermaid who sits with her arms behind her head, as well as Wallace Sterling silver flatware, Steuben crystal, and a Stephen Swift bench. The sale will benefit the Linda Loring Nature Foundation. To view the entire catalog and bid, visit Bidsquare.

  • Auction Preview
    Americana, Fine Art, Marine

    Recognized for his contributions to American marine painting, Antonio Jacobsen was also known as the “Audubon of Steam Vessels.” Painting over 6,000 portraits of ships, many of his works documented domestic and international ships sailing by West Hoboken, New Jersey. A leading lot in the upcoming Americana, Fine Art, Marine sale, presented by Rafael Osona Auctions, is an 1887 oil painting from Antonio Jacobsen. The piece is a portrait of the Apache, an American steam-sail luxury liner, on the open sea. This event also includes a scrimshaw sperm whale tooth from the 1830s. Scrimshaw started in the late 18th or early 19th century as whalebone carving style. Many sailors had plenty of leisure time between sighting and chasing whales. To utilize this time, they would scratch on ivory and hone their craft. Also available in this auction is an ivory and whalebone swift made during the same period. The piece consists of 114 carved bone staves emanating from whale ivory. View any other piece and register to bid on Bidsquare.

  • Auction Preview
    Americana, Fine Art, Furnishings & Décor

    Artist Ralph Cahoon was known for his whimsical scenes of mermaids with sailors. In 1953, a New York art collector offered Cahoon the opportunity to paint for the Country Art Gallery in Long Island. After his paintings in the gallery were sold almost instantly, Cahoon became a well-known artist. Among the featured lots in the upcoming Americana, Fine Art, Furnishings, & Décor auction, presented by Rafael Osona Auctions, is Cahoon’s oil on canvas painting titled Sailor’s Surprise. In the piece, a sailor is shown covering a mermaid’s eyes. They are sitting in front of a chinoiserie dressing table in Canton, China. The event includes an oil painting by American artist Wendell Macy. Many of his works explore the shipwrecks of Nantucket’s South Shore, while also experimenting with shadow and light. The available 1898 piece is an example of his signature style. Apart from fine art, the sale also offers decorative art, jewelry, furniture, wine, and more. Leading the available jewelry pieces in this auction is a Seaman Schepps bracelet designed with a series of cabochon tanzanite stones. View the complete catalog and register to bid on Bidsquare.

  • Auction Preview
    Estate of Jennie K. Scaife, with Additions

    With a personal fortune of approximately $1.2 billion, banking and oil heir Richard Mellon Scaife was an American public figure and the publisher of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. His granddaughter, Jennie K. Scaife, shared his interest in philanthropy and collecting antiques. Her collection is on sale this July in the upcoming Rafael Osona Auctions event. Featured lots include a view of the town of Nantucket painted by Illya Kagan, one of Nantucket’s best-known plein air painters. The bold brushstrokes and saturated colors used to re-create nature are his trademarks. According to the artist, the beautiful landscape of his home island inspires him.  Floral life is the subject of another featured lot. Californian artist John Powell’s love for color and gardening comes together in the available painting, titled Dramatic Floral Still Life in Blue Terracotta Planter. He has been honored as the artist of the year by the World Federation of the Unity Nations (WFUNA), and his work is held in the Philatelic Museum at the Palais de Nations in Geneva, Switzerland. Other notable lots include Nantucket baskets; jewelry by Tiffany & Co., David Yurman, Glenaan Elliot, and Guy Beard; South Sea pearls; and Gloster furniture. Visit Bidsquare for more information and to place a bid.

  • Auction Preview
    Nantucket Shopper’s Stroll Auction-Nantucket Art, Fine Art, Furnishings, Silver-Décor

    Nantucket Island was first known to the indigenous Wampanoag tribe as “the faraway island.” Since its European colonization in 1602, the area grew into a shipping and whaling port and eventually a popular tourist destination. Rafael Osona Auctions is based on the island, offering sales that celebrate the region’s history and culture. Their upcoming Nantucket Shopper’s Stroll Auction will include fine art and décor from artisans in the community, both past and present.  One such artist is David Lazarus, a British-American who settled in Nantucket to pursue painting. Two Egrets, one of his oil works available in the sale, depicts the titular birds flying low over a marsh. Other available pieces of fine art include dioramas made of seashells and a selection of ocean paintings. Forrest Anderston Rodts painted one view of the sea in Nantucket Harbor Arborway, showing sailboats through a white picket fence and an archway of roses. Handcrafted baskets, Oriental rugs, and wood furniture are also highlighted in this auction. View the full listings and register to bid online on Bidsquare.