Maritime theme prevails in Rafael Osona sales Aug. 8-9

Maritime theme

Robert Stark Jr. (1933-2014), oil on canvas, ‘Off Coatue – Nantucket,’ sight 19½ in x 39½in, overall 26¼in x 46¼in. Estimate: $22,000-$28,000. Rafael Osona Auctions image

NANTUCKET, Mass. – Rafael Osona Auctions, established in 1980, will conduct its 40th annual August Auction on Aug. 8-9. The sale will highlight old Boston, historic Nantucket and 18th and 19th century marine collections. Bid absentee or live online through LiveAuctioneers.

Day 1 will feature the estate Linda Loring of Boston and Nantucket. Described as a woman of style who had an eye for antiques, paintings, carpets, objet d’arts, fashion and jewelry, she was a regular at Osona Auctions on Saturday mornings, always sitting in the front row. She also frequented the antique shops in Nantucket, and on Charles Street in Boston, and annually attended the important antique shows in Boston, Nantucket and New York. Proceeds of the Linda Loring Estate will benefit the Linda Loring Nature Foundation,

She founded the Linda Loring Nature Foundation, with the goal to connect people, especially children, to nature. She envisioned the Foundation as an outdoor classroom where people of all ages could come and learn about the flora and fauna of Nantucket.

Maritime theme

Ralph Eugene Cahoon Jr. (1910-1982), oil on Masonite, ‘Sailor’s Surprise,’ in a carved and gilt Chinese Export period frame, circa 1800, overall 24½in x 20¾in. Estimate: $50,000-$60,000. Rafael Osona Auctions image

Compelling historic material from Loring’s residences – in Louisburg Square, a private enclave in Old Boston’s Beacon Hill and at Ray’s Court, in Nantucket’s Historic District – is offered alongside her collections focused on Americana, fine jewelry, and her acquisitions in continental, Asian and American fine art, furnishings and décor.

Maritime theme

18K yellow gold, ruby and diamond cuff bracelet, set with three oval cabochon rubies and approximately 48 baguette cut rubies and 100 round cut diamonds. Estimate: $2,500-$3,500. Rafael Osona Auctions image

Many fine art offerings survey 18th and 19th c. European and American tastes. Works by John Joseph Enneking and his son, Joseph Eliot Enneking, some genre and landscape paintings, Severdonck’s farmland animals and a pair of noble portraits depicting “Dorothea Agusta Leonora and Friederich Hermann von der Streithorst convey Old World 19th century values, in contrast to several important Nantucket paintings including three by Wendell Macy, three paintings by William Ferdinand Macy, and three scarce Nantucket scenes plus notable woodcarvings by James Walter Folger.

For those spectators who find themselves distracted by the variety and depth of auction material being presented at Osona’s preview gallery, the innocence among Loring’s five charmingly itinerant American children’s portraits are both grounding and a comfort.

Maritime theme

American School oil on canvas, “Portrait of Brother and Sister in a Landscape,” mid-19th century, in original gilt frame, overall 50½in x 41½in. Estimate: $3,000-$5,000. Rafael Osona Auctions image

There’s a singular opportunity to acquire new-to-the-market Nantucket material descended in the family of Capt. James Cary, master and half-owner of the Ship Rose. Twenty-one lots include sea chests, ships’ gear, Ewer and Godfrey maps, Nantucket-made furniture and household furnishings, including tea caddies, a yarn winder, water buckets in original paint and the family progeny’s well-worn schoolhouse slates.

Impressive early Nantucket Quaker-made furniture is further represented in several offerings, including a rush seat ladderback in original paint with line and star decoration and a Federal tilt-top candlestand circa 1805.

Meanwhile, a potent collection of mirrors nicely frame 18th and 19th century Old Boston’s material culture. Bidders will find a choice Connecticut River Valley Queen Anne chest on chest and a Levi Pitkin tall clock topping off several offerings of early American furniture in a buyer’s market.

In any market, those in the know will not overlook the groundbreaking work of America’s Gustav Stickley nor that of Tiffany Studios.

Everyone, including devotees of Americana will thoroughly appreciate a lyrically colored lion hooked rug from the Thomas A. Gray collection, among five trade signs.

And there’s bling. Loring’s appetite for fine jewelry does not disappoint. Least of all are three Seaman Schepps designs and an 18K white gold over 18K yellow gold diamond brooch.

Saturday’s sale of more than 400 lots will begin at 9:30 a.m. Eastern time.

Day 2, Sunday, Aug. 9, will begin at 10 a.m. and disperse the marine sale composed of the estates of Harold P. Genvert M.D. and Jack Magee with additions. The auction catalog contains 18th and 19th century scrimshaw, artifacts, logbooks, portraits, whaler-made crafts and paintings.

Highlights include the 1930 Lakeside Press printing of Herman Melville’s Moby Dick or The Whale, which was the first Rockwell Kent illustrated edition, with 280 pen, brush and ink drawings. Number 1 of just 1,000 sets printed.

Maritime theme

1930 first edition Lakeside Press ‘Moby Dick, limited edition 1/1,000, the first Rockwell Kent illustrated edition. Estimate: $5,000-$7,000. Rafael Osona Auctions image

Paintings headline the second day of the two-day sale including a commanding painting (among several) by Antonio Jacobsen, two by Timothy Thompson  as well as original works by Benjamin Russell, Gilbert Gaul, Nicolo Fondo, C.H. Gifford, engravings by W.J. Huggins and others.

Over 160 lots of scrimshaw and whalemens’ crafts offer the full range of 19th century themes – representing both ingenious contrivances and naïve imagery – and the material is full of surprises: symbolic patriotic figures, Naval prowess, portraiture, fashion plates, ethnic diversity, the Napoleonic mystique and the whale hunt itself.

Maritime theme

Scrimshaw sperm whale tooth, ‘The Wiscasset of Wiscasset,’ circa 1836, signed in fraktur ‘S. Svenson,’ 8¾in long. Estimate: $175,000-$200,000. Rafael Osona Auctions image

There’s a second Ralph Cahoon painting not to be overlooked. It depicts The Whaling Bark Ann Alexander. She was a notable whaler out of New Bedford that was sunk by a wounded sperm whale in the South Pacific in 1851.

For the practical at heart, the auction offers caringly elaborated and scrimshawed walking sticks, ditty boxes, busks for the lady’s dressing room, tools and domestic implements for the workshop, sewing room or kitchen. Historians will admire impressive items commemorating the maritime’s golden era of great ships and Herculean events.

For information, contact Gail Osona: or 508-228-3942.

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