Dog Poker Art Fetches Big Bucks

Photograph of painting "A Bold Bluff," by artist Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, 2005/2/15
AP
A pair of paintings from the famed series depicting dogs playing poker sold for $590,400 at auction today.

The winning bid set a new auction record for artist Cassius Marcellus Coolidge, whose previous top sale was $74-thousand dollars for a painting at a Sotheby's auction in 1999. The auction house Doyle New York, which handled the sale, said the winning bidder was a private collector from New York.

The two works — "A Bold Bluff" and "Waterloo" — were among 16 paintings Coolidge was commissioned to create for Brown & Bigelow, a St. Paul, Minnesota-based advertising company, in 1903. Of the 16, nine, including the two sold today, are of dogs playing poker.

The two works capture moments in a poker game played by five dogs, among them a St. Bernard that ends up collecting the pot on a bluff.

The sale was part of Doyle's annual "Dogs in Art" auction, which coincides with the Westminster Kennel Club dog show.

The sale prices include the auction house's commission of 12 percent.