Cassius Marcellus Coolidge's name may not instantly resonate with the poker audience, but he is the artist behind all of the amazing paintings that depict dogs playing poker. According to art auctioneers Sotheby's, Coolidge's 1894 painting Poker Game has been sold for a sum that aligns with that of first-place prizes in many major poker tournaments — $658,000.
The oil-on-canvas painting was the first of a several paintings of dogs playing poker by Coolidge, many of which were commissioned by the advertising company Brown & Bigelow. All have become very recognized by poker fans everywhere, and the originals have garnered some large price tags.
Just over a decade ago, on Feb. 15, 2005, the original pieces of A Bold Bluff and Waterloo were auctioned as a pair for $590,400. Before that sale, the previous largest top price for a Coolidge piece of artwork was $74,000.