Published: April 27, 2004
Bonhams & Butterfields brought its multiyear tradition of hosting an auction dedicated to dogs in art to San Francisco on March 30.
The auction comprised 150 lots of paintings, drawings, sculpture and collectibles, and included bidders from across the United States, Hong Kong, Australia and the United Kingdom, setting several record prices. The auction totaled $678,151, with strong prices seen throughout.
Two paintings of hounds from The Percy Hunt in Northumberland by Henry Frederick Lucas-Lucas each sold for record prices. Both oils were estimated at $12/18,000, and were signed and inscribed on the reverse with the names of the hounds. Painted for The Master of the Percy Hunt, these pictures had remained in the family ever since. Each painting sold for $44,063, setting new records for works by the artist.
An interesting lot that saw highly competitive bidding was a Tiffany & Co Revere-style sterling silver Westminster Kennel Club “Best in Show” cup with engravings from 1996. Estimated at $7/900, the 13-inch-diameter bowl sold for $19,975. Several cold painted bronzes sold, as did a 20-inch-tall patinated bronze of Champion Marco with its expressive face and curly mane. The Marco bronze sold for $4,994.
The auction opened with drawings, many of which sold for twice or three times the presale estimates. An Abraham Cooper, RA, oil on canvas of three sporting dogs belonging to Lord Charles Vere Ferrers Townshend, which may have been exhibited at The Royal Academy in London in 1851, sold over estimate for $17,925, while John Boultbee’s oil, “An English Setter in a Landscape,” brought $28,200.
Another highlight was a picture of terriers working by Arthur Wardle. Painted in 1934, this picture sold just above its estimate for $37,600. A poodle-loving bidder paid $12,925 for a delightful portrait of a poodle called “Dan” by Edwin Frederick Holt. Dan was born in 1878 and shown in the 1879 Kennel Club Exhibition in Brighton.
This was the first Dogs in Art sale by Bonhams from the West Coast, and the first by Bonhams & Butterfields.
Prices reported include buyer’s premium.
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