A class of London Fancies was presented at the 2017 World Show in a section officially known as Nouvelles Race en étude (pas de medailles), in other words for appraisal rather competition. This is part of COM’s process of evaluating a new breed before it can be recognised officially.
I’m not going to go into the details of the process here, but it starts with a) the submission of a technical description of the breed (the show standard) and b) a display of specimens that conform to that standard. The process takes a minimum of three years; there are many obstacles along the way. The most recent graduate familiar to British readers was the Irish Fancy.
The aim, of course is to recreate the London Fancy as described in nineteenth century bird books: a dark bird that moulted out clear at the first moult, apart from its wings and tail. It’s not a great photograph, but the bird at the head of this article has those essential characteristics. There are improvements to be made in the darkness of the wings, tail, beak and legs, but nevertheless this is a good example at such an early stage in the breed’s development.
Unfortunately, the new London fancy fell at the first hurdle. The common refrain (all from unofficial sources) was that most of the birds on display were merely variegated canaries and therefore did not meet the standard. Readers who recall my article on the London Folly will understand the problem.
All is not lost, but there will be a delay before the process can be restarted, and I hope the London Fancy Canary Club will use this time wisely. It needs to acknowledge that there are two different strains of the ‘new London Fancy’, but that only one of them has a chance of being recognised officially. I will explain why in a future chapter of my series on variegation.
My apologies for the quality of the images.
I would like to thank everyone for their comments; a wide range of information and opinion. Well worth reading.