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A Bold Bluff, by Cassius Coolidge, which with its companion picture, Waterloo, made $520,000 (£275,000) plus 20/12 per cent buyer’s premium at Doyle’s, New York on February 15.

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The pair of oils that set paddles wagging at Doyle New York's annual Dogs in Art sale on February 15 were two of the 16 pictures Coolidge produced for the advertising firm of Brown & Bigelow of St Paul, Minnesota in 1903.

A Bold Bluff and its companion picture Waterloo, each, 2ft x 2ft 10in (50 x 86cm), are a true pair. In the first, our main character, the St Bernard, holds a weak hand as the rest of the crew maintain their best poker faces. In the second, we see the St Bernard raking in the large pot, much to his opponents' dismay.

At Doyle's sale - timed to coincide with New York's Westminster Kennel Club dog show - the pair was estimated at $30,000-50,000. After intense competition from several bidders the pair sold to a private collector from New York City for $520,000 (£275,000) plus 20/12 per cent buyer's premium.