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NEW YORK – It was a busy February for man’s best friend in New York and at Bonhams. The doggie-centric week kicked off this Feb. 12, 2012 with Barkfest, a doggy brunch and art preview hosted at Bonhams along with the American Kennel Club.
After the Westminster Kennel Club dog show judging Feb. 14, attention moved to the Bonhams annual Dogs in Show & Field: The Fine Art Sale. The auction room was filled with avid canine art collectors vying for their favorite breed. Strong bidding went beyond New York with active online and phone bidding from a global audience.
“This was the best Dogs in Show & Field sale we have had in years and I am delighted with the results,” said Alan Fausel, Bonhams vice president and director of fine art. “The dog art market is certainly turning a corner.”
Consummate canine artist William Henry Hamilton Trood broke two world records in the sale. Déjeuner was his first work up for auction in the sale and it quickly smashed its pre-sale estimate of $50,000-70,000, ultimately claiming $194,500, a new world record for the artist. But, an hour later, the newly established record was surpassed by Hounds in a Kennel, one of the most exquisite paintings in the sale, which sold for $212,500 (pre-sale est. $60,000-80,000).
Most of the top ten lots of the sale came from the Sporting section, including three paintings by a leading American painter of hunting dogs, Percival Leonard Rosseau. His English Setters on Point sold for $74,500 (pre-sale est. $40,000-60,000); his Three Hunting Dogs Stalking Game sold for $37,500 (pre-sale est. $25,000-35,000); and his A Setter and a Pointer on a Riverbank sold for $37,500 (pre-sale $30,000-50,000).
Other highlights to the Sporting section included 31 paintings by Reuben Ward Binks, who regularly painted for the Royal family. This group of paintings from one private collection sold for 300 percent over their combined estimate. Also of note was John Emms’ Hounds at Rest, selling for $80,500 (pre-sale est. $70,000-90,000) and Arthur Wardle‘s Pointers on a Moor, selling for $42,500 (pre-sale est. $15,000-20,000).
In the Genre section of the sale, Buffet Crasher by F. de Wit fell right within its pre-sale estimate of $20,000-30,000, selling for $25,000. This charming representation of a dog dining on leftovers atop the table after a formal meal, found quite the following during the sale’s previews.
For an illustrated list of prices realized, visit the Dogs in Show & Field: The Fine Art Sale online catalog.
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