colours and their origins

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colours and their origins

Post by Simba on Tue Jul 24, 2012 2:42 am

Was just reading a 1917 book on pets which mentions that white, grey, and black were the prdinary colours of pet rats, with some unusual 'Japanese' or hooded rats, but that "in the last two or three years" yellow and cream had been perfected.

I'd previously read (I think in 'Lives and labour of the london poor' by Mayhew) that the first white rat was wild-caught. There was an interview with Jack Black, the famous rat-catcher and breeder.

So what are the more or less recent colours?
Not sure how much of the above is true- it depends on the accuracy of the original books.

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Re: colours and their origins

Post by katherine on Tue Jul 24, 2012 5:50 am

Can't help with your questions but I did read something about the black rat fancy that was popular before the first world war and read that they had bred towards a GREEN rat before the war destroyed the fancy and the line - how cool is that if it's true Big Grin

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Re: colours and their origins

Post by Simba on Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:52 am

Like hens with a green sheen, or totally green? That's amazing.

Jack Black, in the interview, mentions his former collection of piebald rats (fawn and white, black and white, brown and white, red and white, blue-black and white.) There's also a rather horrific method of transporting rats casually mentioned: stacked up "like tea-cups" as "a solid mas" in cages that hold up to a thousand rats at a time. Apparently you have to feed them regularly if you do that, or they start eating each other. Sounds very like Pratchett's book (The Amazing Maurice.)


Last edited by Simba on Tue Jul 24, 2012 7:57 am; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : forgot a sentence- typing on phone)

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Re: colours and their origins

Post by Zoundz on Tue Jul 24, 2012 9:25 am

Blimey - a bit scary but rather interesting. The cream and yellow were probably eye dilutes, like champagne and silver fawn or buff and topaz.

I would say the newer varieties are British Blue, Russian Blue, Siamese... probably an interesting question to raise on the NFRS forum?

xx

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Re: colours and their origins

Post by katherine on Tue Jul 24, 2012 10:33 am

I think they meant a green sheen but I don't know. I'd love to see one.

That sounds horrific re the transport Shocked Sad I'd love to read that book though.

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Re: colours and their origins

Post by Simba on Tue Jul 24, 2012 11:03 am

The Jack Black stuff is in Mayhew's book(1861) volume 3, which is pretty easy to find online.

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Re: colours and their origins

Post by katherine on Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:10 am

Cheers! Grin

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