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'DOGS PLAYING POKER' SELLS FOR $590,400 AT DOYLE NEW YORK ON FEBRUARY 15, 2005

ANNUAL DOGS IN ART AUCTION SETS WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR 'POKER DOGS' ARTIST CASSIUS COOLIDGE

Intense Competition for Pair From Coolidge's Original 1903 Series 

Paddles were wagging at Doyle New York's annual Dogs in Art auction on February 15, 2005. Coinciding each year with the Westminster Kennel Club dog show, the auction offers two centuries of canine paintings, paintings, prints, bronzes and other objects.

Highlighting this year's sale were two rare paintings from Cassius Marcellus Coolidge's 1903 series of dogs playing poker. The pair were estimated to fetch $30,000-50,000 at the auction. After intense bidding from several determined bidders on the telephones and in the salesroom, the pair sold to a private collector from New York City for a staggering $590,400, setting a new world auction record for the artist.

Cassius Marcellus Coolidge was born in upstate New York in 1844 to abolitionist Quaker farmers who named him after statesman Henry Clay's brother, Cassius Marcellus Clay. An accomplished cartoonist, he is also credited with creating the familiar life-size Boardwalk cutouts, which he called Comic Foregrounds, into which one's head was placed so as to be photographed as an amusing character.

In 1903, Coolidge contracted with the advertising firm of Brown & Bigelow of St. Paul, Minnesota to create sixteen paintings of dogs in various human-like situations. Nine of these paintings depicted dogs around a card table, two of which were offered at the auction.

AUCTION
Tuesday, February 15, 2005 at 1pm

EXHIBITION
Doyle New York, 175 East 87th Street, NYC
Saturday, February 12, 10am – 5pm
Sunday, February 13, Noon – 5pm
Monday, February 14, 10am – 6pm

CATALOGUE
Subscriptions Department, 212-427-4141, ext. 257, subscriptions@DoyleNewYork.com

View the online catalogue.

CONTACT
Alan Fausel, 212-427-4141, ext. 238, alan@DoyleNewYork.com

MEDIA CONTACT
Louis LeB. Webre, Vice President, Marketing and Media, 212-427-4141, ext 232, louis@DoyleNewYork.com
Images and interviews are available upon request.


A SELECTION OF AUCTION HIGHLIGHTS






Lot 3687
Cassius Marcellus Coolidge
American, 1844-1934
A BOLD BLUFF and WATERLOO  
Each signed CM Coolidge (ll)
Oils on canvas
Each 24 x 34 inches
Provenance:
Collection of William Zeckendorf, Sr.
Private Collection, Connecticut

Cassius Marcellus Coolidge was a man of many talents who, over his long lifetime was a banker, shopkeeper, inventor and painter - he even penned an opera. However, he is certainly best known to generations of Americans for his paintings of dogs playing poker. In 1903 Coolidge was commissioned to produce 16 paintings for the advertising firm of Brown & Bigelow of St. Paul, Minnesota. The majority of these works depicted dogs performing many very human activities, chiefly playing poker.

The present works display a distinct pair. The sequential narrative follows the same 'players' in the course of a hand of poker. In the first, our main character, the St. Bernard holds a weak hand as the rest of the crew maintains their best poker faces. In the following scene, we see the St. Bernard raking in the large pot, much to the very obvious dismay of his fellow players. Apparently, Coolidge originally titled the two Judge St. Bernard Stand Pat on Nothing and Judge St. Bernard Wins on a Bluff. They were most likely re-titled A Bold Bluff and Waterloo for convenience by Brown & Bigelow, who then mass marketed the images.

Although his name is not commonly remembered today, Coolidge's images seem permanently seared into the American public conscience. They are among our most important and endearing images of American popular culture and stand beside the icons of other illustrators such as Rockwell, Flagg and Wyeth.

We are grateful to Garner Fredrickson and his forthcoming publication, Poker dogs: The Life and Work of C.M. Coolidge, and Joseph Richey's Web site, dogsplayingpoker.org, for their assistance in cataloguing this lot.

Estimate for the pair: $30,000-50,000

Sold for $590,400
A WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR THE ARTIST

Doyle New York will be offering another work of dogs playing poker by Coolidge on February 12, 2008 - click here for more information






Lot Lot 3681
Percival Leonard Rosseau
American, 1859-1937
OCTOBER ON GRASSY HILL, PORTRAIT OF 'TRANSUE BILL' AND 'GLENSALE HARRY' ON POINT
Signed Rosseau and dated 1919 (lr)
Oil on canvas
28 3/8 x 34 1/4 inches
Provenance:
Mrs. Helen Rockefeller Bowler, Cleveland, Ohio
Mr. William Fullerton, from 1962
Literature:
Taylor, Decourcy, 'Rosseau - Master of the Sporting Dog', Sporting Classics, September/October 1985, pp.50-59, ill., p.53
Percival Rosseau was often invited by his patrons to hunt and paint on their estates. Most prominent was Percy Rockefeller, who made Rosseau a member of his hunting club at Overhills, on his estate in Fayetteville, North Carolina. Rockefeller erected a studio for Rosseau on his estate and often lent his bird dogs to Rosseau as models.
Estimate: $50,000-70,000

Sold for $120,000
A WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR THE ARTIST


 






Lot 3629
Attributed to Thomas Earl
TERRIER IN A LANDSCAPE 
Bears signature T. Earl (lc)
Oil on canvas
19 7/8 x 20 1/8 inches
Estimate: $3,000-5,000

Sold for $22,800
A WORLD AUCTION RECORD FOR THE ARTIST

 






Lot 3682
Edmund Henry Osthaus
American, 1858-1928
A BRACE OF POINTERS 
Signed Edmund Osthaus (ll), numbered 105 on the stretcher
Oil on canvas
24 x 36 inches
Estimate: $40,000-60,000

Sold for $39,000

 






Lot 3675
Charles Olivier Depenne
French, 1831-1897
HUNTING DOGS AT REST BENEATH A TREE 
Signed indistinctly Ol...Penne (lr) and numbered G.C. 14013 and 43725 #3 on the reverse
Oil on panel
18 1/8 x 14 3/4 inches
Estimate: $6,000-8,000

Sold for $14,400

 


DOGS IN ART BENEFIT BRUNCH

A.K.C. DOGS IN ART BENEFIT BRUNCH
Sunday, February 13 from 10am Noon
Art-loving canines and their human companions were invited to a special champagne brunch benefiting DOGNY, the American Kennel Club's charitable program supporting canine search and rescue organizations across the nation through the AKC CAR Canine Support and Relief Fund.

View images from this year's Dogs In Art Brunch!

View images from the 2004 Dogs In Art Brunch
View images from the 2003 Dogs In Art Brunch


Hot Dog George at the
2005 Dogs In Art Brunch.
View images
.