Captain Barff and Zardin
(By Steve Tilotson, Lyall Payne, John Bloor, 2014)
(And with great thanks to Capt Barff's Grandson - Wiliam Barff)
Front Head Study Of Zardin (photos taken in India)
4, A CLOSER LOOK AT ZARDIN
A great thrill we get from William Barff;s photographs is the clarity of the photos. Many of the photos we have seen in the past (click here to see AHT legacy article/collection on Zardin) were candids and perhaps limiting the detail we could observe, or, in some cases "touched up" by the photographer to enhance the Hound. All of the William Barff photographs are "natural" no touching up, and no photoshipping enhancements either. John Bloor kindly ran a second set of scans of the original photographs, at a higher resolution, so that AHT can more clearly articulate some of Zardins features -
4.1 ZARDIN'S HEAD
The 1906 Indian Kennel Club Gazette desription of Zardin's head is thus - "Zardin is a light-coloured hound, almost white, with a black muzzle. He has a very long punishing jaw of peculiar power and level mouth; his head resembles that of a Deerhound, but with skull oval and prominent occiput, surmounted by a top-knot; ears fairly large, well-feathered, and hanging to side of head rather than carried to front. He has a keen, dark eye, and little or no stop."
Two Head Studies Of Zardin (photos taken in India)
We think that 1906 description is pretty accurate. Our additional observations are 1) (And possibly drifting into "semantics"), the comment about "little or no stop" - Zardin has a beautifully balanced head, but we would prefer the word s"slight stop" because Zardin clearly has a definable stop and the 1906 wording suggests otherwise. 2) "With a black muzzle". We also agree with this 1906 description but would add that (and as seen in earlier photographs,) Zardin has white or grey blazes on his left cheek, and white or grey on his chin (we see these markings even in the Juvenile photographs). We agree with the 1906 description about a keen dark eye. It is a beautiful head.
4.2 ZARDIN'S CONFORMATION POINTS
We understand from Hubbard (page 22) that a photograph of Zardin taken by Coates & Co of Bristol was published in The Illustrated Kennel News’ in 1907. The photos below were taken in Bristol and we presume they were from the Coates and Co photo shoot -
Zardin, Coates and Co, Bristol 1907
Back to the 1906 Indian Kennel Gazette description of Zardin dated 1906 -
"Zardin is a light-coloured hound, almost white, with a black muzzle. He has a very long punishing jaw of peculiar power and level mouth; his head resembles that of a Deerhound, but with skull oval and prominent occiput, surmounted by a top-knot; ears fairly large, well-feathered, and hanging to side of head rather than carried to front. He has a keen, dark eye, and little or no stop. A long, strong, clean neck, fairly well arched, running in a nice curve to shoulder, which is long and sloping and well laid back; his back is strong, loin powerful and slightly arched. He, as well as all this class of hound, falls away towards stern, which is set on low, almost destitute of hair, and usually carried low.
He is well ribbed, tucked up under loin; forelegs straight and strong and covered with hair; great length between elbow (which is straight) and ankle. The forefeet are long, fairly broad, and covered with long hair. Not too narrow in brisket, which is deep, with good girth of chest. Hind quarters very powerful, furnished with plenty of muscle; great length between hip and hock, which is low and strong, a fair bend in stifle, hind feet not so long as fore feet, but fairly wide and well protected with hair. The hind quarters, flanks, ribs and fore quarters are well clothed with protective hair, thick and fine in texture, showing some undercoat. The coat on the back is shorter."
( Tail Feathering) We would disagree with the comment about the tail ("almost destitute of hair,"), it is clear from the left hand (and other photo's) that Zardin's tail was well furnished with hair
(Body Shape), Zardin would appear to be compact/square in overall body shape
All in all the unknown author of the 1906 IKC Gazette description seems to have provided a pretty accurate portrayal of Zardin
5 THE MYSTERY OF ZARDIN'S ORIGINS
We still have no conclusive information about Zardins origins. Here are a couple of authoratative comments on this topic -
Major Bell-Murray 1926 wrote "I had a very large illustration of Zardin, who incidentally did not come from Afghanistan at all, but from a place called Chagai, hundreds of miles from Afghanistan in the Mekram (Persian) country."
Rev H W Bush In Volume II of The Kennel Encylopedia 1908 wrote "From Seistan in Persia, are obtained very heavily coated hounds, mostly fawn in colour with black faces. Very handsome, taking dogs they are." From the two photographs, which were taken at the same time at Quetta, it wil be seen that they breed true to type. "The younger hound was brought down into India, and after a while lost most of the heavy coat on the back, while the hair on the loins showed a decided tendency to "cord" reminding one of the Afghan hound, with which there is no doubt they are closely related. Dogs of this type are to be found at Chageh (Chagai) (Baluchistan-Afghan border)' at Nasratabad (Persian-Afghan border) - both places wide apart; as well as over a large area on the Eastern Persian borders".
Clifford Hubbard writes in "The Afghan Handbook" 1951 - "Zardin, was imported from Seistan province into Britain by Captain John Barff in 1907, and came out of quarantine just in time for Mrs M C Barff to exhibit him that year".
5. ZARDIN MEETS KING AND QUEEN OF ENGLAND, 1907
Mrs Barff showed Zardin a lot and was invited to take Zardin to Buckingham Palace and meet both Queen Alexandra and King Edward VII – which she did.. Newspaper reports clearly show she and the dog met both the King and Queen. There is no mention of Capt Barff accompanying his wife to the Palace, so our assumption is that Capt Barff may have been out of the country when the invitation and meeting occured.
Zardin meets the King and Queen Of England
Dog Show , Quetta 1906 (Zardin 2nd from the left)
Un-named kennelmate of Zardin
Original AHT Zardin Page
Mr Shackleton (Zardins 2nd owner) Page
1906 Indian Kennel Club Description Of Zardin
Press Cuttings about Zardin compiled by Steve Tillotson 2015
1907 Zardin meets the King and Queen of England
Previous Captain Barff and Zardin Page
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