Pointer painting to cause a 'Sensation' in Bonhams Manhattan

Dogs in Show & Field
The Fine Art Sale
12 Feb 2014
New York

NEW YORK – On 12th February 2014 the annual Dogs in Show & Field Sale will take place at Bonhams Madison Avenue galleries.

Among the sale highlights is Haunt of the woodcock: Sensation and Bang Bang by John Martin Tracy(1843-1923). This 1886 masterpiece depicts two of the most famous Pointers in American breeding history. The painting is expected to sell for $100,000-$150,000.

Sensation(left) and Bang Bang(right) were both found in England before being shipped to New York to improve the breeding programme of the Westminster Kennel Club of Manhattan. Both were highly successful trial dogs in England and America but their primary role was as a cornerstone of the American Pointer breed where they were offered for stud at $50 – a price equivalent to over $1,000 today.

Tracy painted Haunt of the woodcock: Sensation and Bang Bang at the height of his powers. His talent for capturing characteristic poses and his evocative landscapes made him the leading American sporting artist of his day. A premature death and the rarity of his paintings make him an elusive figure but one whose work is still highly prized.

Sensation was painted by numerous artists, but this remains the defining image. This depiction of Sensation 'in point' has been the basis of the logo of the Westminster Kennel Club from 1877 to the present day.


Bonhams, founded in 1793, is one of the world's largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. The present company was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Bonhams & Brooks and Phillips Son & Neale. In August 2002, the company acquired Butterfields, the principal firm of auctioneers on the West Coast of America. Today, Bonhams offers more sales than any of its rivals, through two major salerooms in London: New Bond Street and Knightsbridge; and a further three in the UK regions and Scotland. Sales are also held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Carmel, New York and Connecticut in the USA; and Germany, France, Monaco, Hong Kong and Australia. Bonhams has a worldwide network of offices and regional representatives in 25 countries offering sales advice and valuation services in 60 specialist areas. For a full listing of upcoming sales, plus details of Bonhams specialist departments go to www.bonhams.com

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