Dogs Playing Poker
You may be familiar with the painting of dogs playing poker around a poker table. The actual name of this painting is called "Looks Like Four of a Kind." This painting was painted around 1910 by a man name Cassius Marcellus Coolidge. Mr. Coolidge worked as a druggist and sign painter, founded a bank and a newspaper, then moved to New York to start his paintings of dogs in human situations. The dogs playing poker painting is one of the most famous paintings that he has painted. Little do some people know that he also painted dogs on a commuter train and in a ballpark.
Mr. Coolidge's first customers of his dogs playing poker paintings and other paintings were the cigar companies. In 1903, Coolidge signed a contract with Brown & Bigelow to create 16 paintings of dogs in various human-like scenarios. Nine of the paintings that were painted depicted dogs around a card table, such as dogs playing poker. The cigar companies printed copies of the painting to use as giveaways. His business relations with such companies began to flourish. Brown & Bigelow copied hundreds of thousands of the paintings. The dog paintings were used for advertising posters, calendars and prints. Dogs playing poker is one of the most copied paintings of all time.
At a recent February 15, 2005 auction, two of Coolidge's rare original paintings of the series of dogs playing poker were auctioned off. There were determined bidders from all over who wanted these paintings. People were on the phone bidding, and in the stateroom. These two paintings were a hot commodity. These paintings sold for $590,400. These paintings are truly a prized possession and a privilege to have. The paintings are valuable enough to insure them, much like dog health insurance is often purchased to cover unexpected medical expenses or accidents.