Auction Action In Nantucket, Mass.
NANTUCKET, MASS. – “It was an exciting two-day sale, with competitive bidding in all categories,” said Carolyn Walsh, director of exhibitions and marketing at Rafael Osona Auctions, commenting on the firm’s event on August 7-8. A high point during the first day of the auction was the sale of a pair of Eighteenth Century Chinese export porcelain baluster vases with covers over the telephone to a long-time Osona friend and gentleman collector, intended as a surprise gift for his wife. Reaching $54,900 all-in, the 21-inch-high vases featured blue underglaze, ten cartouche-shaped on-versa pieces reserved from a chicken skin ground, applied leopard handles, foo lion finials and were embellished with gilt detailing.
Osona’s signature August sale is known for presenting a wealth of offerings from far-reaching corners. On offer over the two days were choice properties that ranged from Rembrandt etchings to Abraham Lincoln and Civil War US Treasury “redbacks,” several works by leading “Nantucket Renaissance” painter Anne Ramsdell Congdon (1873-1958) and the Cape’s own Ralph Eugene Cahoon Jr (1910-1982), collections of Canton and Chinese export porcelains and lots of scrimshaw and sailor-made items.
The first day was led by a Cahoon oil on Masonite, “The Sea Fairies,” depicting a view of three mermaids on a buoy, lighthouse and clipper in the distance, which sold for $67,100. It was inspired by lines in an Alfred Tennyson poem: “white limbs, unrobed in a crystal air, sweet faces, rounded arms, and bosoms, prest …….