Bonhams Scotland Raises the Woof With a Dog Sale Featuring Canine Art and Artifacts Galore

Pekingese, Dalmatians, French Bulldogs, and many other breeds are featured in the November 8 sale in Edinburgh.

Paul Friedrich Meyerheim, “Sidi” - A Poodle with a Tennis Racket (1898). Courtesy of Bonhams.

Pekingese, Dalmatians, Dandie Dinmonts, French Bulldogs and many more breeds feature in the Dog Sale at Bonhams Scotland, which includes 250 works of art and other items for fans of man’s best friend. The sale takes place November 8 at the auction house’s Edinburgh location. 

“From 19th-century sporting subjects to portraiture, ceramics, bronzes, and even collars, we really wanted to show the breadth of dogs in art and of course, celebrate the enduring relationship we have with our canine companions,” said Leo Webster, specialist in pictures, in a press release. 

John Emms, The New Forest Buckhounds (1896). Courtesy of Bonhams.

The sale’s priciest lot is British artist John Emms’s canvas The New Forest Buckhounds (1896), with an estimate of £50,000–£70,000 ($61,000–$85,000). It shows three hunters relaxing in the shade of a tree, accompanied by nine New Forest Hounds at the ready; the breed was a speciality of the artist. So, the price works out to possibly less than $10,000 per hound, in the end. (True story: Emms’s 1895 painting Callum, showing a Dandie Dinmont Terrier beloved by its owner, hangs in the National Gallery of Scotland in perpetuity as a condition of a bequest from his human, civil engineer James Cowan Smith.)

Frances Mabel Hollams, Portrait of ‘Buster’, ‘Shandy’, and ‘Bluett’ (1936). Courtesy of Bonhams.

There are also a number of artworks that, though they may feature fewer dogs, are on offer at more modest prices. British artist Frances Mabel Hollams contributes a canvas of a trio of Dalmatians, A Portrait of ‘Buster,’ ‘Shandy,’ and ‘Bluett’ (1936), estimated at £4,000–£6,000 (about $4,900–$7,300), possibly working out to less than $2,500 per animal. In her day, Hollams exhibited at the Royal Academy on no fewer than eight occasions. 

Sculpted dogs also make an appearance, for example American artist Gertrude Katherine Lathrop’s remarkable 10-inch bronze sculpture of a playfully crouching Pekingese, estimated at up to £10,000–£15,000 ($12,000–$18,000), and Franz Xavier Bergman’s 11-inch cold-painted bronze of a very alert Borzoi (£3,000–£5,000, or $3,600–$6,100). Lathrop’s work can be found in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Some works are quite lighthearted, for example “Sidi” – A Poodle with a Tennis Racket (1898) by German artist Paul Friedrich Meyerheim, showing a finely groomed specimen with a racket in its jaws. It is tagged at £6,000–£8,000 ($7,300–$9,700). Meyerheim’s work hangs in institutions like the Hermitage, in St. Petersburg, Russia, as well as the Milwaukee Art Museum.


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