Article written/researched by Vivienne Peterson BA - First published 2009 - Copyright Protected
This article was published in the American Pomeranian Club Pomeranian Review 50th Anniversary edition March 2009
Paintings and prints from the 18th century portray a few variations of colour and size.
A diminutive brown and white (Madam d’Espevilles by Le Brun 1776), a medium sized rich red sable (Richard Bakewell by Boultbee circa 1778), Nattier and Hone painted small whites in 1759 & 1776 respectively and a cream dog can be seen in ‘The Family of Sir William Young’ (1770) by Zoffany. Large whites featured in some Gainsborough paintings (possibly all Carl Abel’s Poms) between 1777- 1785.
Fanciers seem unaware of the handsome white Pom in Francis Wheatley’s 1775 painting of a country squire with his dog, demonstrating that not all whites of this era were of the Gainsborough type. Wheatley’s dog is medium in size and very similar to Miss Hamilton’s famous two white champions Rob and Konig in the early 1890s. A winner in 1864, Mr Eaton’s Topsy was also of this ‘type’.
Wheatley's 1775 portrait (left) depicts a similar type to the Ch Konig of Rozelle, born 1891 (below)
The Prince of Wales (later King George IV) had a celebrated black and white parti-colour, named Fino, painted by Stubbs in 1791 and 1793 (right). Around this time he also owned a handsome wolf sable dog, the subject of a painting by Thomas Gooch, now displayed in Slane Castle in Ireland. Princess Frederica of Prussia, the Duchess of York and daughter-in-law of Queen Charlotte, posed with her small white Pom, sporting the very fashionable ‘lion-cut’, in 1795.
In 1807 Queen Charlotte is finally portrayed with a small white Pom instead of a little Spaniel. A frisky, small-medium sized white is in the painting by William Owen of Mrs Robinson, an actress and the mistress of Lord Egremont; not to be confused with Mary Robinson ‘Perdita’ immortalised some 30years earlier with a larger white Pom in a 1782 Gainsborough portrait.
This ‘type’ of white Pom is not unlike another dog drawn by Wheatley (1795) in ‘Fresh Peas Young Hastings’. In 1810, Goya painted ‘Portrait of a Lady with Dog’ – the dog being a very diminutive white Spitz/Pom.
By studying art of this period, evidence suggests a range of size and type, with some colours depicted, although white was typically the favoured colour.
The Pomeranian enjoyed a period of renewed popularity around 1850, both in Britain and America, and as Walsh noted they were imported mainly from Germany and France. He expected them to be ‘dead flake white’ if white, & without any mixture of yellow. Fawn patches, often seen on the head and body were‘ very objectionable’. Common problems of this era were creamy or clay- coloured Poms, light brown eyes and pale coloured noses.
Walsh also mentions black Pomeranians in Germany and a red strain ‘resembling the fox’ in coat texture and in all ‘respects like the Chinese Sheepdog’. The red variety had been seen by the writer Corsincon (pen name of Hugh Dalziel), in 1879 he expressed his admiration for a rich reddish fawn Pomeranian he had seen some 15 to 20 years earlier – circa 1860 – in Birmingham. He had seen ‘a beauty of the same colour in an open carriage in London’ and another at a butcher’s shop in Clapham, both sightings about 1876. He ends with the comment that a red dog can be seen any day now in Drury Lane.
This author also has a separate chapter on the Chow Chow, therefore, it is unlikely he confused the breeds. Corsincon also stated the most outstanding black he had ever seen belonged to the proprietor of Dolon’s Hotel in Amsterdam
An interesting trend developed in the 1860s of adding colour to white Poms with dyes. ‘One used to accompany the omnibus at Wimborne (1869) with his tail dyed a rich magenta colour; another used to follow a dyer’s cart at Brighton, stained with various brilliant colours, as an advertisement’. (Idstone)
Idstone (writing in 1872) knew of a small, black Pom (blind with old age) living with his devoted owner in Bournemouth. This dog was clearly born in the early 1860s. Another handsome black observed by Corsincon (pre-1879) was a master at performing tricks, feigning death, dancing on two legs and so forth.
Probably the first Pomeranian to be shown was in London in 1863, this fact is recorded in the first Stud Book of the Kennel Club published in 1874, the Kennel Club being founded in April 1873.
The Pomeranian was among the original breeds recognised in 1873. Little is known about the colour of the first 43 Poms as the data was mainly compiled from old show catalogues from 1859- 1873.
(However, the author owns a page from the London Illustrated News of 1864 with an engraving of Mr Eaton’s Topsy, a 1st place winner, and Topsy was a medium sized white dog).
above - No.3 - Mr Eaton's Topsy 1st place winner in 1864, Topsy was a small-medium sized white bearing a strong resemblance to the Volpino Italiano type
Mr Lender’s Fritz, a black Pom imported from Germany, was shown in 1874. This dog is special as he was a popular stud and is the earliest Pom to be found in the pedigree of many of today’s top Pomeranians, at least 35 generations back.
Corsincon envisaged, in 1879, future breeders being encouraged to develop or promote the colours black, cream, fawn, red and buff.
right- Carte de Visite from author's personal collection circa 1867 - young white Pom of larger variety with a very proud owner. Photo taken in Scotland
1874 – 1890 Black Pomeranians accounted for 32% of the 131 Poms shown in these years – many colours are not recorded, however, it would be fair to say they were mostly white. Notable exceptions being Mr Kunkel’s Pretty Boy born in 1887 and shown in 1889/90 registered as brown, and Mr Hayward’s Blue Boy born in 1884.
n 1886, a Toy Dog show in London, scheduled only one class for ‘Pomeranians or Spitz’ restricted to dogs under 10lb in weight. At least 8 of the 10 entries in 1887 were black. Some were born as early as 1883.
German Toy Pomeranians (Mannheimer Zwergspitze) had been featured, with portraits, in the Pet- Dog Journal October 1886 (ad for this publication appeared in the catalogue of the 1886 show previously noted). Prominent breeders like Mrs E J Thomas imported these dogs, the first black champion Black boy is of this type. His daughter, Lady Dinah, a black, born August 1891 weighing a mere 3 1/2lbs, did well at shows. There is no doubt these little dogs captured the public’s imagination.
1891 – 1894 Several events account for the increased interest in the breed. The Pomeranian Club was founded in 1891 and the Ladies Kennel Association in 1894. A few women had exhibited Poms prior to the formation of the LKA and the Pom Club, such as Miss Hamilton and Mrs Thomas, but they were few and far between.
The formation of these two Clubs helped give women the confidence to show and breed dogs. The popular ‘Toy’ size Pom was encouraged by the newly formed Pomeranian Club, one of their original ideas was to promote the under 7lb size. The sweet disposition of the small Poms particularly appealed to the ladies. Queen Victoria agreed to exhibit a few of her collection at the first Cruft’s in 1891, although favouring the small-medium size (ref. Charles Lane) rather than small dogs, nevertheless her enthusiasm certainly was also an asset to the breed’s popularity.
The first Pomeranian Club Standard did not mention colour just general appearance. By 1892 the Club had developed a detailed Standard, admissible colours were – white, black, blue, brown, black and tan, fawn, sable, red and parti-colours. An interesting aspect of this is whether this was a ‘wish-list’ of potential colours or the more likely explanation, a list of colours members had actually seen. In Germany, the recognised colours were pure white, black, wolf sable and brown. So where did the black and tan come from?
above - Ch Brilliant - fawn colour, born 1893
It was the opinion of Theo Marples, the first Hon. Secretary of the Pomeranian Club, ‘breeding coloured Poms, was, in the first instance, more haphazard than anything, the incident of lovely coloured Poms, making their unexpected appearance in litters encouraged breeders to turn their attention to colour breeding, with the result that, although Mendelian principle has not yet been applied (NB - by 1907), by studying the crossing of certain colours, and watching the results, a basis has been discovered by which some colours can be produced at will’.
He emphasised that initially the breeders concentrated on 'bantamising’ – reducing the Pom to 2 and 1/2 lbs or less with a top weight of 5lbs. Colour was ‘out of their calculation’.
Marples observed that initially two blacks produced some brown puppies, a chocolate or brown bitch mated to a black dog produced shaded sables. He noted the blues came from the blacks originally.
Mr Marples advised in 1907 that an orange sire and a black or chocolate bitch ‘will likely produce chocolate puppies without light shading’. A chocolate sire and an orange or sable bitch will produce pure orange puppies. Orange sable and blue parents seldom produced blue, with the exception of a blue ancestry, and wolf sable & blue parents usually produce orange puppies.
The overall trend was white then black followed by brown and then blue. The appearance of sables & shaded sables, started with Prince of Orange born in 1890 a ‘bright sable, with even white collie markings’, Ch Ruffle born Nov. 1892 a
‘light sable, black shaded saddle’ but identified by Miss Ives as the first wolf sable champion and also Marco a red sable, this inevitably started a new colour craze. Prince of Orange, described by Mr Lee in 1894 as an orange and white dog weighing 5 1/2lbs, helps illustrate the difficulty of interpreting colour in the early Stud Books.
1891 to 1893- 305 Poms are recorded in the Stud Books. Colours are not always recorded but black and white account for most of the entries. Here are some exceptions. In 1891 The Queen exhibited Gena a lemon and white originating in Florence. In 1892/93 Prince of Orange, previously described, and three ‘golden browns’ were shown – Baton D’Or, Pretty Boy and Prince Ginger. Alfio the ‘red’ son of Marco, Vixen a brown and Brown Boy a chocolate added to the list of developing colours. Mismarked Poms now appeared, of which more will be said later.
1894 saw the debut of 5 blues (first since Blue Boy), Ruffle the wolf sable and a couple of fawns such as Aigburth Chance. A Pom named Sweetheart was registered as ‘dove’ in colour.
1895 – Prairie King (right photo ) a ‘sable’ and Puck a ‘chocolate’ were the only new colours. However, Miss Ives noted that Ch Prairie King was a small brown dog! He was advertised at stud as ‘red brown’ and he weighed less than 6lbs. The use of the term ‘sable’ is intriguing as a the dog Ch Brilliant was recorded in this year as ‘sable and white’ but in Mr Lane’s book (he was a show judge in this era) this dog is called fawn. There are a few others recorded as fawn, blue & brown.
A very small chocolate, Manel of Rozelle only 3lb 2oz in weight was bred by Miss Hamilton, she advertised him at stud in 1896. Another of her under 6lb studs, the black Herr Graf of Rozelle was also born in 1895.
1896 – Dainty Boy the second wolf sable champion began his show career but he was actually registered as ‘fawn and black’. The ‘jet black’ import Junger Meisel of Rozelle was available for stud (under 6lb in weight). Perhaps of greater importance was the arrival of Mister T a ‘red’ by Prince of Orange and Trappola.
The Italian Volpino now influenced colour development, although usually white some were fawn others were shades of gold. Miss Ives reported she exported her two brilliant red Volpinos to America. She noted some were a bright rich orange with black pigment.
In Mr Bendelow’s book (1990) is an article written in 1911 by Mrs Hall- Walker (Lady Wavertree) of Gateacre Poms, she wrote of her acquisition of the wolf sable Ch Dainty Boy and her trip to Italy to find ‘ a little shaded wife for him’. She continued to go to Italy looking for ‘little yellow and white lupetties’ to breed with her black or white Poms. In this manner (ref. KC Stud Book) she acquired her orange, Gateacre Lupino, born August 1897 and bred by Mr Spoletti.
1897 - marks the beginning of the definition ‘orange sable’ - the first being Coniston Fop born in 1895 by Major x Floss and the other was Rozelle Thelma born in 1895 and bred by Herr Felkel (by Jolly x Butz), she may have been an imported bitch.
left - a Bulldog and black Pomeranian feature in this charming 1898 engraving by Fannie Moody called Beauty and the Beast
1899 – The first brindles, Halliford Bob and his litter sister Halliford Ivis were shown. They were bred by Mrs E J Thomas and born in 1898 (by Elthorne Dick x Pansy Girl). Elthorne Dick’s pedigree is not known but Pansy Girl was by Ch King Pippin and her dam Vera was of black ancestry.
It may be appropriate at this point to include a couple of general observations about the state of colour development at the turn of the 20 th century. The first is Mr William Drury writing in 1903 – ‘Colour is a matter of taste. Pomeranians may be procured pure white, black, brown, blue, sable, red, orange, and shades and combinations of most of these colours. Just now shades of brown and blue are most popular’. Next is Theo Marples (1907) describing the evolution of ‘almost perfect Toy Pomeranians with all the features of the breed, foxy heads, small ears, short backs, enormous coats and plumes, and with all the vivacity, beauty, and activity of the breed – weighing as little as 1 ½ lbs full grown, and averaging 4lb in weight in the following colours – black, blue, beaver, white, sable (various shades), black and tan, chocolate, racoon (various shades), black and white, brown (several shades), orange, tricolour etc’.
The candid observations of the eagle-eyed May Bird, show reviewer for the Ladies Kennel Journal in the late 1890s, deserve a mention. She was the only person to bluntly comment on ‘blue failing’ CDA in blue Poms. Here is a selection of her other comments. Moorland Brownie ‘not looking well, and the white spot on the end of his nose is painfully visible’, Ch Konig of Rozelle’ looking out of coat and old’, the black Clayton Duchess’ grey in the muzzle and flat in coat’, Ch King Pippin (black) ‘ in splendid coat and form but his eyes are looking very bad and we fear he will lose the sight of one’. On browns and sables – many ‘are long in back, badly shaped, lacking the lively manner of the Pomeranian’. Shaded sables – ‘are not some really Brindles?’ On quality, ‘9/10 th of imported Pomeranians die or turn out rubbish’ – she welcomed the new Quarantine Law! Finally, reviewing a novice dog named ‘Made in Germany’ she added he ‘might have remained there’.
In 1898 The Pomeranian Club revised the Breed Standard to clarify the difference between a mismark and a parti-colour. The sentence ‘a few white hairs in any self-colours shall not disqualify, but should be discouraged ‘was strengthened to ’a few white hairs in any self-coloured dog shall not absolutely disqualify, but should carry great weight against a dog.’ The definition of a parti-coloured dog was added ‘ in parti-coloured dogs, the colours should be evenly distributed on the body’. Leaving no stone unturned (until the next clarification) this was added ‘whole coloured dogs with a white foot or feet, leg or legs, are decidedly objectionable and should be discouraged, and cannot compete as whole coloured specimens’. Preference was also to be given to whole coloured specimens.
In 1901 there was another revision – the list of admissible colours was amended. Grey, shaded sable (including red, orange, or fawn) now appeared, and, black and tan was removed! Obviously there had been continuing confusion about what is a parti-colour and what is a mismark as the definition of a parti-colour was extended to include ‘ a dog with a white foot or a white chest would not be a parti-coloured.’
above - unknown chocolate Pom circa 1900
There were a lot of mismarked Poms recorded such as Gluck of Rozelle born in 1891 ‘ black, white spot on chest, white tips to three feet’. It must have been quite a surprise for Miss Hamilton, having selected Black Boy, a rising star and the first black Pom champion, for her top winning white bitch Garda Booh Wooh. It is possible she may have hoped for a parti-colour as expressed later in Mrs Parker’s book ‘ blacks, whites and oranges inter-bred produce blues, wolf-sables and parti-colours’. Ives noted that after the 1915 cancellation of CCs for whites (usually over 7lb in weight), the bitches were mated to ‘any sort of coloured dog’ and mainly produced ‘ wolf sables and pretty parti-colours’.
The removal of black and tan from the list of admissible colours did not mean it was discouraged as the standard concerning nose pigment was unchanged; ‘In black, black and tan, or white dogs the nose should be black etc’. It is possible they had come to think of it as a pattern, like the parti-colour, and this is why no base colour was mentioned for the parti- coloured dogs. Unlike the FCI, to this day the standard does not stipulate a white background colour. In Miss Ives book, revised by Miss Wilson (1929) black and tan is accounted for in the section on parti-colours.
The first black and tan in the Stud Book is Squirrel born in 1904, placing 2nd in the Open class at Crystal Palace in 1905 (by Nanky Poo x Sable Queenie).
above - a couple of Mrs Wearing's mismarked Poms
Among all the dogs recorded with two colours some really were parti-coloured Poms and this is why the early records are very confusing. There are numerous ‘black and whites’and ‘grey and whites’ also ‘blue and whites’. Leyswood Tom Tit (born 1897) was registered as ‘chocolate and white’ but May Bird reported that he was the only parti-colour, other than a bitch named Daisy, of note at shows. She later called him a “Harlequin”. Another Pom called Harlequin Iky (born 1894) was a’ blue and white’ so it is possible Iky was a parti-colour (his sire was Prince Bismarck most likely the dog exported to America a little later). The first Pom with ‘parti’ in the colour designation was Shelton Novelty a’ parti-colour white with black markings’. Mafeking of Rozelle pre-dates Novelty by some five years but he was called ‘a tricolour’ even though some books refer to him as a parti-colour. As the standard makes no provision for tricoloured dogs it must be assumed the Pom Club’s definition of ‘parti-colour’ was a fairly liberal one at this time.
By 1906 the Standard was tweaked again, the brackets were removed from the colours listed after shaded sable, so red, orange and fawn were now whole colours, and definitions were added for shaded sables and the colour orange. Shaded sables were to have three or more colours shaded throughout with no patches of self-colour, and orange was to be self-coloured throughout and light shading was discouraged.
December 1909’s revision removed sable and shaded sable from the whole colours, fawn was removed and replaced with beaver, cream was added, and the words ‘light or dark’ added to brown and ‘pale as possible’ added to blue. However, the colour ‘tan’ was added to the mismark clauses – ‘ dogs other than white with white or tan markings, are decidedly objectionable and should be discouraged’ and also ‘ dogs with white or tan feet or chest would not be parti-coloured dog’.
The nose requirement for black and tan was removed so it is reasonable to assume black and tan was now considered objectionable. The clause ‘decidedly objectionable and should be discouraged’ was later modified to just ‘ …white or tan markings highly undesirable’. Although the exact requirements of black and tan were never defined, it is still the opinion of top breeders that a good black and tan should have full ‘terrier’ markings including pencil lines & thumb marks.
A debatable issue in the new clause concerns a white dog with tan markings as the rule applied to dogs ‘other than white’.
It is ironical that while discouraging black and tan, the colour blue was promoted despite the problem of Colour Dilution Alopecia or ‘blue failing’ as it was called in this era. May Bird is the only person who raised the issue although others alluded to a problem. In 1897 she said of Squib and Cracker ‘ if he was the happy possessor of a Pomeranian’s coat, Cracker would be perfect, but alas his head, legs, and back have only down upon them. His brother Squib has a better coat, but even he suffers a little from the “blue failing”. Earlier in the year she had commented on Cracker being ‘minus his coat’ and also on Chocolat, later a champion. Of him she said ‘ though his tail and ruff nearly hide the fact, the coat on his back is barely an inch long’.
Blue Boy is in their ancestry and also behind Miss Ives famous Ch Boy Blue. He is not known to have suffered from CDA. Mrs Williams commented in her book ‘blues, which, unless large, generally have hairless ears’. Cracker was noted to be small by May Bird so is it possible that size was connected with “blue failing”? Mr Hicks wrote that Mrs Vallance, Miss Ives, Mrs Parker and Mrs Loy were the principal breeders of blue Poms, Mrs Vallance ‘for some years showed two specimens, Cracker and Squib, of very fine bone but rather scanty coat, especially on the back’.
left - Squib and Cracker - blue Poms with CDA, born in 1896
Mrs Williams noted (1919) that blue Poms were seldom seen. Mrs Hofman commented on blue Poms in America in Mrs Parker’s book (1937) ‘although there were many blues shown at early shows, they are never seen at the shows today.’ In the 1929 edition of Miss Ives book, revised by Mrs Thomson of Lochryan Poms, it’s reported that ‘Mrs Stratton has for years made strenuous efforts to revive blues, but much ill-luck has been her portion’.
Less than 10 blue Poms are highlighted as worthy of note, and it is remarked that blue ‘may also be said to have practically ceased to exist’. Was it just the difficulty of obtaining the desired light blue or the problem of CDA being more common in the smaller size (Williams) promoted in the Standard.
White Poms illustrate another quirk in the Standard, although still the first colour on the list of whole colours, like Beaver that is still listed, these colours are rare. The white Pom that dominated the show scene until the late 1880s steadfastly resisted successful miniaturisation.
Miss Ives book states ‘Miss Hamilton, devoted years to breeding small whites but the results were disappointing except as regard smaller size. The little ones lacked real type, buoyant disposition’ and were ‘ often soft or short coated, sad, little pathetic creatures’. Adding ‘by degrees all traces of the old whites have been lost’.
right - Miss Cresswell's Star of Devon born 1894
Mr Drury (1903) –‘ Evidently room for small whites, and great success will attend those who can bring out dogs of that colour from 4 to 5lbs. – provided they were well proportioned and pocket-editions of their larger brethren’. Vale Nicholas (1907) wrote – ‘Breeders of white Poms seem unable to reduce them in size and at the same time maintain purity of colour, the results being Whites, which usually weigh 8lbs and upwards and are usually beaten by Blacks, Browns etc. of 4 to 5lbs.’
However, Mr Nicholas hoped ‘that steady perseverance will in time be rewarded by the appearance of a Toy White –typical and pure in colour. The only small ones so far seem to have been very weedy and flat-coated, and nothing under 7lb or so has had the build and character required’. Both Mr Nicholas and Mr Hicks cite Princess Duleep Singh’s Pom ‘Bambino’, 4.5lbs in weight as an exception. Hicks mentioned that this dog was the smallest white ever bred and said there had always been difficulty in breeding under 8lb whites.
In Mrs Parker’s book (1937 edition) – ‘It is a puzzle to me why someone who has the necessary cash does not import some pure whites, especially the miniature whites, from the Continent, and re-introduce this lovely colour, with their jet black eyes and nose’. She mentioned that Mrs Patten (Waynflete & Redhill) was the only breeder who had bred a typical miniature white.
Examples provided include the 3lb Syringa Waynflete (born in 1917) and Albus Waynflete also born in 1917. Albus was a gt grandson of both the white Ch Belper Fritz and the wolf sable Ch Shelton Sable Atom. In Miss Ives book Miss Barrow is noted as the only person attempting to re-introduce whites, using Waynflete lines, but ‘she is working against many difficulties and disappointments to produce small whites’.
May Bird commented circa 1898 – ‘two real white Toys were in Limit, and the awards they received were not such as to encourage breeders. Little Tim was VHC (4th), though he has an enormous coat, and is a lovely size, while Miss Hamilton’s Felicite was only “commended” (5th) but she wouldn’t show a bit.’ All the white Champions were in fact over 8lbs.
Shaded sables and then orange became the rage in the early 1900s. In 1902 a dog described by Theo Marples as ‘the immortal king of the sables’, Ch Sable Mite (left), was born. Marples said, ‘his colour came about quite haphazard’ – in fact he was the son of The Little Nipper a rusty black and his dam Laurel Fluffie was a mismarked black. Marples felt he ‘initiated the rage for shaded sables’ this little 4 ½ lb wonder often showed in brace with his half –brother Ch Shelton Sable Atom (they were both considered to be wolf sables) and their owner, by then Mrs Vale Nicholas, refused £500 for the pair. Ch Sable Mite’s son called Shelton Merlin had a look that is often seen to this very day.
Sable Atom was a popular and versatile stud siring Poms of the following colours – deep cream, light shaded sable (cream sable), shaded sable, orange sable, wolf shaded sable, black, light orange, blue, and the two Gateacre litter brothers one was sable and the other black and tan. He also sired the mismark Home Farm Lily ‘black, with little white on chest’.
Ch Dragonfly born in 1903 was registered ‘shaded sable’ but was an orange shaded sable. Although he was not the first orange sable he is thought to be the foundation of the colour. He sired three champions and their progeny also excelled. He made public appearances at Pom Shows as late as 1913. His sire was Cheetwood Swell and his dam was the unregistered bitch Cheetwood Judy. He weighed 5.5lbs.
Mr T born in 1894, although registered as ’red’, was described by eye- witness May Bird as an orange sable, she wrote -‘ the orange sable Pom is one of the very rarest. Only 3 appeared Mr T, his daughter Gemma and Rozelle Thelma.
These lovely dogs do not breed true to colour, a large proportion of the pups coming a grey sable, which is not popular with either breeders or buyers’. As late as 1919 Mrs Williams said they were ‘apt to be flat-coated’. However, breeders rose to the challenge of perfecting this colour and were rewarded with great success. After the World War I this colour and orange dominated the show scene.
Ch Mars became the ‘pillar’ of the colour orange although, like Dragonfly, he was not the first of his colour. Mars did have a light nose but this was clearly not held against him. He was born in 1906. (Note - the author has catalogued 176 known ancestors of Mars, with many of the colours, spanning 13 generations all the way back to Mr Lender’s dog Fritz, the first known black to be exhibited in 1874.)
There was much debate by 1910/11 about the exact definition of both colours and the precise definition of sable tipping – what shade of sable, black or dark brown? If the standard states white shading is wrong on an orange then why is black shading permissible on an orange sable? If an orange has a black muzzle, is it an orange or a bad orange sable?
(Ref. Original letters, Bendelow 1990)
By 1920, Pomeranian breeding/showing was back on track after a few years of little activity due to the Great War. Of 911 that were registered 124 were recorded in the 1921 Stud Book. Just over 100 of them were some form of orange or orange shaded sable. Some of the colours included ‘ rich orange sable’ rich, brilliant deep red, black points’ ‘rich orange, jet black eyes and nose’ ‘orange shaded sable’ ‘light orange or fawn’ many were simply ‘orange’. The love of orange continues to this day.
left/above - An outstanding example of a black 'Mannheimer' type small German Spitz representative of those imported by Victorian Pom breeders.
This little dog and his very proud owner were photographed about 1910 in Stuttgart. It would be safe to say this dog's type has virtually remained the same through all the years. Photo owned by author.
Note: The author’s archives include a private letter written in 1961 by a former President of The Pom Club about black and tan. A previously little known fact will now be revealed - the litter brother of the immortal Bonny Ideal, the most popular and influential stud of his day, was a black and tan! The letter states Bonny Ideal’s descendant’s Hadleigh’s Pride and a son of Suncharm of Hadleigh produced black and tan pups. In 1967 Andersley Lolita of Rosebert, a black and tan daughter of Ch Kestrel of Hadleigh entered the Stud Book – her son was another popular stud. So in this way, almost a hundred years after the Standard revision, the black and tan colour/pattern continues onward in Britain.
Today’s Standard in Britain is little changed since 1909. Some of the whole colours are rarely, if ever, seen in the show ring, such as pale blue, light brown, beaver and white. Unfortunately parti-coloured Poms are seldom exhibited and this is probably due to the clause 'in mixed classes, where whole coloured and parti-coloured Pomeranians compete together, the preference should, if in all other points they are equal, be given to the whole coloured specimens’.
Black and tan Poms can be exhibited, there are no disqualifying colours, and infrequently they are shown, one qualified for Crufts as recently as 2002.
Links to some websites featuring images of painting of some early Pomeranians:
The Family of Sir William Young by Zoffany - 1770 Cream dog of larger variety of Pomeranianhttp://www.liverpoolmuseums.org.uk/walker/collections/18c/zoffany.aspx
Richard Bakewell by Boultbee circa 1778 / Bakewell was a famous stock-breeder from Derbyshire / Small red sable Spitz - now categorised as German Spitz Klein or Mittel National Portrait Gallery - Portrait NPG 5949; Robert Bakewell
Similar type to Earl Spencer's dog Mouton - this dog was once owned by the Prince of Wales and his portrait painted by Thomas Gooch (1750-1802) is now owned by Earl Mount Charles of Slane Castle. Keeshond Archives is a wonderful site with a terrific photo history of the breed - Keeshonds prior to 20th century