A Pair of English Carrier Pigeons, oil on re-lined canvas, set against a swirling moody sky. Mid 19th century. In original frames.
Sight: 11.5" x 15.5" ( 29cm x 39m)
Frame: 16" x 20.5" (41cm x 52cm)
The Carrier or English Carrier is a breed of pigeon developed in England from a combination of non–European far eastern breeds. They have a long slender body, with
a long neck in proportion to the rest of the body, and distinctive features including a rounded hard wattle on their beak.
The largest of the flying pigeon breeds, the Old English Carrier was originally used for sending messages, and by the mid 19th century the breed was praised for its
"perfectness”. At this point the colors of the breed were limited to black, white and dun (a brownish grey colour).
These "carrier pigeons" were formerly used to carry messages before the modern homing pigeon was developed in the 1800s (initially in Belgium and Britain), but is
today strictly an exhibition or show pigeon that has mostly lost its strong homing instinct.
The modern homing pigeon was bred from eight different pigeon breeds including The English Carrier.