The History of the Birman

The history of the Birman in Europe dates back to around 1920, although the details are rather sketchy. The Birman is reported to have descended from a pair brought to Europe by Mr. Vanderbilt this pair being Sita the female and Madalpour the male. During the voyage to Nice Madalpour died, Sita was however in kitten and later gave birth to a litter where only one survived - this was the female Poupee being the beginnings of the 'de Madalpour' stock.

Selections and cross breeding to Siamese and other breeds (including Colourpoints, and White Longhairs) were done in order to establish the early Birman, as there was no other way to recreate that which had been found in Sita & Madalpour.

Pedigree research is rewarding and fascinating and a very good way to get to know the breed. The starting point in the UK being the original imports in 1965 by Mrs. Elsie Fisher "Praha" Prefix and Mrs Margaret Richards "Mei Hua" Prefix.

  • Nouky de Mon Reve a Seal Pt. male born 17th September 1964
  • Orlamonde de Khlaramour Blue Pt. female born 2nd March 1965
  • Osaka de Lugh Blue Pt. born 17th September 1965

Nouky was apparently a large cat with a good coat, pale eye colour and too much white on his front feet although his gauntlets were good. Orlamonde on the other hand had no gauntlets, but did possess even front feet, whereas Osaka was well marked and had the best eye colour of the three, but also had occasional fits.

Mrs Fisher and Mrs Richard worked under the joint Prefix "Paranjoti" at this time until 1967 when they reverted to their own.

From 1966 to the early 1970's five more cats were imported

  • Pipo du Clos Fleuri Seal Pt. Male by Mrs. Elizabeth Towe
  • Ghandi Von Assindia Blue Pt. born 14th August 1968 Mrs. Fisher
  • Solomon Von Assindia Seal Pt. born 7th September 1969 by Miss. Betty Brown
  • Shani de la Valliere Seal Pt. Female by Mrs Enid Holmes
  • Dandy von Aroldessen a Seal Pt.Male by Mr. Bransdon

Ghandi is said to have been a beautifully marked cat with a lovely coat but an unpredictable temperament. Pipo's father Hamlet de Madalpour was also the father of Osaka and the grandfather of Orlamonde. A study of these early pedigrees will show all these cats to be related sometimes quite closely.

Fortunately the addition of the new colours has injected some new blood into the Birman and should over time serve to strengthen the lines.