The White Collie: History of the White Collie
In spite of this 'erroneous belief' mentioned by Mr. Wheeler, some good whites were allowed to survive, although the majority of well-known winners of their time were nearly solidly blank and tan, or sable.
The Lily made her place in Collie history both for her individual merit and the illustrious line of descendants she has left. She was born in 1881 and described as "in color white, with sable marking on face. She was a nicely built, racy-looking bitch, with a passable head and a close coat, but not enough of it." She was the litter sister of the sable and white, Ch Flurry I (dam of Ch. Flurry II), Flurry I being descried as having a "head brimful of character and tiny ears; but her coat, although of a good class, was a bit short." Ch. Flurry II, along with her daughter and her own full brother, Ch. The Squire, were imported by Mr. Mitchell Harrison, who owned, showed, and bred a great number of the country's best of the Collie breed. So he must have felt this line worthy of perpetuation.
Scottish Fancier was another of the early whites worthy of mention. He is described as "a large handsome tricolor, with very small, beautifully carried ears...In color he is all white with the exception of his head, which is black and tan with a blaze up the face and a black spot on his off hip." This white dog was pictured in The Scottish Fancier and Rural Gazette under date of December 1887, and at Glamis that same year he was exhibited, winning first and a cup in a class of thirty-six! This, you will observe, was more than sixty years ago. (This was actually 120 years ago!)
Katherine Lee Bates, in one of her books, describes a white collie, Sigurd, whose pedigree she gives as being by Barwell Ralph, a full brother to the immortal Ch. Ormskirk Emerald, being by Heather Ralph and Aughton Bessie, who was daughter of Ch. Edgbaston Marvel, a son of Ch. Christopher, by Metchley Wonder. Aughton Bessie's dam was Wellsbourne Ada, by Great Alne Douglas, a son of Metchley Wonder. The litter containing Ch. Ormskirk Emerald, Barwell Ralph, etc., having been born in 1894, would place the age of Sigurd as somewhat younger.
It is through the Metchley Wonder line that The Lily's blood has been perpetuated, and it is Metchely Wonder we can credit as the source of the white Collie today, as he is recognized by the fancy. We have had in America many representatives of the Metchely Wonder line imported from abroad, not all of which would carry the white genes, this having to be proven through experimentation, but all to be considered potential material for the production of the legitimate, color-marked white.
Wonder was himself a broadly marked, bright sable, whelped in 1886. His sire was
the tricolor Sefton, and his dam the sable and white Minnie. Sefton was a son
the broadly marked, bright sable, Ch. Charlemagne, who was credited with siring
whites. Charlemagne himself, like his own sire, being the product of a tri sire
(Trefoil) out of a sable and white dam (Maude), daughter of Old Cockie, sable,
and Meg, tri. Sefton's dam, Ch. Madge, was a tri from the two sparsely marked
Metchley Wonder's dam Minnie was a sable and white daughter of Loafer (sable son of Chang and The Lily), Minnie's dam, like herself, being also a sable and white, Catrine.
The Lily was a daughter of Trevor, sable and white litter brother to Ch. Charlemagne. The Lily's dam was the tri, Hasty, by the black and tan, Ch. Carlyle, out of Glen, a daughter of Trefoil, sire of Ch. Charlemagne.
was a daughter of Bonnie Laddie, (by Duncan ex Old Bess); Duncan a son of the
tricolor, Scott, ex Lufra, also tri. Catrine's dam was was Bonnie Greta, by the
sable and white dog, Druce (full brother to Bonnie Laddie) out of the blue,
Hunt's Lassie. Thus it will be seen that the blood which produced The Lily was
predominantly sable, although some of the tricolors appearing on her pedigree
were partly of merle ancestry. Undoubtedly, it is to the paternal line through
We must conclude, however, that many of the early whites were not allowed to survive, due to the prejudice against the color which existed during this certain period of the development of the breed. and as a consequence probably only a small percentage lived to popularize the color during this period of Collie history and to bring down to later generations of the fancy the full value of the lines capable of producing the white color.
The prejudice which still exists against the white color is collies is undoubtedly partly a carry-over of this ancient prejudice, and partly due to the all-white, alien type of Collie which was all the fancy knew in the early 1900's. It must always be remembered, however, that the color-bred, color-marked white is not a new color in the breed, but merely a revival of one of the oldest of the Collie colors. As yet there are only a few authentically bred, show-type white in America; by far the majority are of questionable origin, many derived from the all-white stock which savors strongly of the infusion of alien blood, judging from the persistence with which a cerain type manifests itself in this variety. The healthy sign regarding the white variety is that no longer is a white Collie's value measured by the freedom from any color. The all-white as apparently gone, not only into the limbo of "forgotten" things, but also "verboten".