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Letter 1941

Darwin, C. R. to Tegetmeier, W. B.

14 Aug [1856]

    Summary Add

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    Inquires about pigeons seen at Anerley show.


Down Bromley Kent

Augt 14th

My dear Sir

When at Anerly Show the end of Catalogue which I got, was not completed; & I shd be very much obliged if you would take the trouble (if you can remember) to tell me whose some very much elongated, Blue Runts, with black bars, belonged to. They were in the last pen but one in a row. I want to find out, if I can, something of their history: they struck me as very singular birds.—

The two young Scanderoons are coming on well & becoming feathered, & in about 3 weeks will be ready for you.—

I hope you are recovered from your gigantic labours at the Show.—

Yours very sincerely | C. Darwin

These Blue Runts stood next to a pair of black mottled Runts.—

    Footnotes Add

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    f1 1941.f1
    Dated by CD's reference to the Anerley poultry show (see n. 2, below).
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    f2 1941.f2
    The second annual poultry and pigeon show held at Anerley Gardens took place from 29 July to 1 August 1856.
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    f3 1941.f3
    CD discussed these and similarly marked pigeons in Variation 1: 195–6. He reported that blue birds of any race almost invariably showed black wing-bars. These markings characterised wild Columba livia and CD believed they indicated the origin of the domestic races.
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    f4 1941.f4
    CD had promised Tegetmeier a pair of Scanderoons in letter to W. B. Tegetmeier, 24 June [1856].
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    f5 1941.f5
    Tegetmeier was called in at the last minute to supervise the Anerley show (Cottage Gardener 16 (1856): 355–6).
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