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Celebrating man's best friend at Bonhams New York's annual auction Dogs in Show & Field
John Martin Tracy (American, 1843-1893), Dog Talk, signed 'J M Tracy' (lower left), oil on canvas, 24 x 36 in. (61 x 91.4 cm.). Est. US$150,000-250,000. Photo: Courtesy of Bonhams.

NEW YORK, NY.- On February 13, Bonhams will open its Madison Avenue galleries once again for the highly anticipated annual auction Dogs in Show & Field: The Fine Art Sale. For the past 30 years, the sale has offered a delightful mix of media depicting the various qualities of man’s beloved canine companions – from the humble to the humorous, the mischievous to the majestic. A myriad of breeds will be represented, and items are to be found at every price point. There is sure to be something for every dog lover.

Among the highlights will be a large oil of hunters resting with their dogs at the edge of a wood by the American sporting artist John Martin Tracy (1844-1923), which is expected to fetch $150,000-250,000. The catalogue will also feature works by Edmund Henry Osthaus (1858-1928), Arthur Wardle (1864-1949), Maud Earl (1864-1943) and six works by the ever popular John Emms (1843-1912). Emm’s group portrait The New Forest Foxhounds sold for $843,500 at Bonhams in 2006, a world record for the artist.

“Bonhams Dogs in Show & Field: The Fine Art Sale is the only one of its kind in the art world. The sale regularly contains about 200 lots of dog related fine art and decorations. While primarily consisting of oil paintings, the sale is also comprised of prints, sculpture, ceramics, and a category of collectables we lovingly refer to as Dogiana,” explains Bonhams Director of Fine Art, Alan Fausel, who scours the globe along with his London colleague Sam Travers for appropriate artworks for the sale.

Paintings of famous dogs from yesteryear will include champions related to the Duke of Buccleuch's Labrador Retrievers and Borzois belonging to the Duchess of Newcastle. Also featured are a number of paintings of sporting dogs from the collection of Margie and Robert E. Peterson.

The sale in February 2012 realized over $1m and ‘Hounds in a Kennel’ by William Henry Hamilton Trood (1860-1899) established a new auction record for the artist of $212,500. Trood is represented once again by a number of works including the enchanting Wait ‘Til the Clouds Roll By. Exhibited at the Royal Academy in 1893, it shows two Basset Hound puppies sheltering under an umbrella and is expected to bring $30,000-50,000.

Each year there are a number of events held in conjunction with the sale, none more fun and interesting than "Barkfest," the annual Sunday morning charitable brunch. Approximately 150 dog lovers and about 40-50 dogs attend this special auction preview at Bonhams Madison Avenue galleries with the proceeds going to support the American Kennel Club's Humane Fund. This year’s “Barkfest” will be held on Sunday, February 10. For a $50 donation, brunch attendees dine on pastries, fresh fruit and canapés that are washed down with coffee, tea or Mimosas while their canine companions are fed specially prepared treats and bowls of water are supplied around the gallery.

Dogs in Show & Field: The Fine Art Sale will be held at Bonhams New York on February 13. The sale will be on view at Bonhams from February 9 to February 12.

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