Published: August 7, 2007
Delicately woven Nantucket baskets once again proved their sturdiness within the Americana market as lot after lot of the coveted items brought substantial prices at Rafael Osona’s Americana, Continental, Fine Arts and Marine auction this past Saturday, August 4.
Listing a provenance of the early and historically important Coffin family, an unusual covered 12-inch-tall basket that had been constructed so that the swing-handle extended through the domed lid became the top lot of the auction. Kept in place by a solid band with unusual drop staves extending below the rim of the cover, the basket was described by Osona as a feather gathering basket. Several were involved in the bidding on the lot, including underbidder Miranda Holmes, the Nantucket gallery manager of Wayne Pratt Antiques.
Bidding opened at $10,000 and a frantic pace was established with the lot hammering down to a telephone bidder at $69,600. While Holmes missed out on the covered basket, she did claim a rare open round basket with carved heart-form staves at $34,800, and an oval open basket with heart-form staves for $13,920, both with Coffin family provenance.
Other lots of interest from Osona’s $1.5 million sale included an antique Serapi carpet, 11 feet 5 inches by 18 feet 1 inch, that sold for $60,320, a carved Federal mantel, $58,000, an 1838 map of Nantucket by Mitchell, $24,336, and a painting by Nantucket artist Anne Ramsdell Congdon at $34,800.
A complete review will appear in a future issue.
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