Fancy pigeon breeds that Darwin kept for observation and anatomical study of his test breeding. The many breeds he worked with are shown below using old prints and modern photographs.
The woodcuts in the centre are from 'Variation in Domestication', 1868, Darwin commissioned these from Luke Wells. He had considered Harrison Weir for this project but felt the cost to be prohibitive. Darwin had already parted with his pigeons by this time and his now good friend W.B. Tegetmeier supplied quality live birds for Wells to work with. I do not know if Wells was familar with pigeons and feel the woodcuts are slightly stylised particularly the necks of the Barb and Owl being rather slim and the tail of the Fantail resembling that of an Indian Peacock. Maybe Darwin also felt this as he had one or two of the prints retouched.