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Dogs Playing Poker by C. M. CoolidgeDogs Playing Poker by C. M. Coolidge


A Bold Bluff"Without question, the most recognized gambling paintings ever created are the various renderings of dogs playing poker by C. M. Coolidge. In fact, surveys have shown these paintings to be among the most recognizable artwork of any type. Coolidge was born in upstate New York and began his career as a druggist and a painter of house numbers and street signs. He also founded a small newspaper called the Antwerp News. Coolidge was already known for his paintings of dogs playing cards before he was approached by the publishers Brown & Bigelow. The company hired him to create calendars and other advertising products. Of the sixteen paintings of dogs in a human situations created for Brown & Bigelow, nine of them depicted dogs around a card table. .

A Friend In NeedOf all C. M. Coolidge's dog paintings, his Dogs Playing Poker series was the most famous of all. "A Friend in Need" is his most popular one (pictured right). Replicas have adorned the walls of basements, bathrooms, pool rooms, and poker dens all across America for a century. The scene has a surprisingly modern look to it. Cheating is a focal point. The game, without question, is five-card draw. The second most popular of the dog paintings is "A Bold Bluff" (pictured above). The painting shows the St. Bernard trying to bluff with only pair twos. The third most popular painting is "Poker Sympathy" (pictured below). Here you can see the bulldog beating his opponent with a straight flush against his opponent's 4 of a kind Aces. A bad beat that a lot of poker players can relate to.

In 2005, Two "Dogs Playing Poker" paintings cleaned house at Doyle New York's annual Dogs in Art Auction, fetching a staggering $590,400. After intense bidding, "A Bold Bluff" (pictured above) and "Waterloo: Two" sold to a private collector from New York City.

Dogs Playing PokerCassius Marcellus Coolidge created the whimsical poker dogs, a series of oil paintings made in the 1920s depicting a group not only playing poker but engaged in other usually human activities. It was the poker dogs who achieved national recognition from the 30s through the 60s, by appearing on calendars and in various other advertising media. This was an artistic subspecialty for Coolidge that was preceded by a string of careers. In the upstate New York town of Antwerp, Coolidge worked, almost simultaneously, as a druggist, painter of street signs and house numbers, and founder of the first newspaper and earliest bank - all within the years of 1868 and 1872. It was after a trip to Europe in 1873 that he turned up in Rochester, New York, as the portraitist of dogs whose life style mirrored the successful middle-class humans of his time. Coolidge's first customers were the cigar companies, who printed copies of his paintings for giveaways. His fortunes rose when he signed a contract with the printers Brown & Bigelow, who turned out hundreds of thousands of copies of his dog-genre subjects as advertising posters, calendars and prints. Coolidge was also a banker, shopkeeper, inventor and painter. He even penned an opera. Cassius married late and had one daughter at the age of 66. He died in his nineties in the 30s.

ProPokerGuide.com rates the Dogs Playing Poker series a perfect score of 5 out of 5.

You can purchase C. M. Coolidge's arts including the timeless classic "Dogs Playing Poker" series at a great price with this link. These frames and posters will be a great conversation pieve on any wall. Be sure to check out our Poker Poster Store for more poker art.


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