Over the years, in the 20th century, van Gink continued to produce many drawings and
paintings of Dutch bantams.  Some of the varieties of Dutch Bantams he portrayed were not
yet in existence at the time he painted them.  For example, van Gink painted Mille Fleur
patterned Dutch bantams before the variety existed in the breed.  The Mille Fleur variety in
Dutch bantams was standardized in the Netherlands in 2001.  This color variety is not yet a
recognized color in the U.S. by either the ABA or APA.  Montana breeder C. Jean
Robocker, however, has been working with this color in the U.S. since 1999.  Thanks to
Jean’s work, many other breeders in the U.S. are currently working with this variety.  
History of the Dutch Bantam
By Kristi van Greunen
Home, "Why Fynbos," , Latest News, Our Birds, The Farm, Dutch Info, Links, Contact Us
(This article was derived primarily from information from The Dutch Bantam:100 Years
of History
, written and published by the Hollandse Kreilenfokkers Club in 2004)
Origins of the Breed

The Dutch bantam breed was predominantly created and standardized in the twentieth
century.  A first standard for the breed was adopted by the Dutch Poultry Breeds Club in the
Netherlands in 1906.  The birds seen at that time, however, were quite different from the
Dutch bantams we see at shows today, as there was a gap between reality and the ideal
image set in the 1906 Standard.

Apparently, it was not until the 1960s that breeders in the Netherlands were able to achieve
the desired full, well-spread, tail with well-curved sickles that is seen in the Dutch bantams of
today and depicted in the art of C.S.Th. van Gink.  Van Gink was a poultry man and Dutch
artist.  He was asked in 1912 by early Dutch bantam breeders to draw an ideal image of the
breed.  Van Gink was only 22 years old at the time.  He was asked to do this because of
complaints regarding the Dutch bantam type and the judging of the breed.

Van Gink then drew a number of sketches.  From these sketches and comments by early
Dutch bantam breeders, van Gink completed a watercolor painting of Dutch bantams for the
Holland Standard.  This painting below—a pair of light brown Dutch bantams—was
published in the October 17, 1913 issue of
Avicultura magazine (in the Netherlands, this
color is called patrijs, which translates to “partridge” in English).  Below is a reproduction of
that painting (taken from
The Dutch Bantam:100 Years of History)
The origins of the Dutch bantam breed
appear to be from the old Dutch breeds
such as Drente and Friesian.  A DNA
test done on Dutch bantams in Holland
confirmed that the genetic
characteristics of the Dutch bantam
belongs to the same lines as these old
Dutch breeds.  This contradicts the
theory that ancestors of Dutch bantams
were Southeast Asian bantams
imported to the Netherlands from the
former Dutch East Indies.  

It is possible that Rosecombs and
Phoenix in Holland were bred into Dutch
to improve the plumage and type of the
early Dutch bantams.  In the first chapter

It is unknown whether Rosecomb bantams contributed to [the] development
[of Dutch bantams].  Van Gink indicated this in several publications.  If it is
true, it clearly had no effect on the DNA pattern.  Van Gink stated in his article
of 1918/1919 that Rosecomb bantams had been developed by the English
from a cross between feather-legged animals with red ear lobes, imported
from Java, and a small black Dutch bantam cock with white ear lobes and a
rose comb.  It was evident that the Hamburgh had had a decisive influence
on the gene pattern of the Dutch bantam, linking it to the old land races.
of The Dutch Bantam: 100 Years of History, the author of that chapter—Ad Boks—wrote the
following (this is an English translation from the original Dutch in the book):
Popularity and Spread of the Breed

The Dutch Bantam Breeders Club (Hollandse Kreilenfokkers Club) in the Netherlands
was formed in December of 1946.  The main object
ive of the club was to promote the
breed and the breeding and keeping of Dutch bantams in the Netherlands.

In Germany, the first Dutch bantams were bred in the early 1960s.  The first Dutch bantam
standard in Germany occurred in 1963.  The breed is popular in Germany and poultry
shows have been attracting large entries averaging around 500 since the mid 1990s.

In England, the first Dutch bantam eggs were imported in the mid 1970s.  The Dutch
Bantam Club in England was formed in 1982.  The breed is said to be one of the ten most
popular breeds in Great Britain.

In the United States, the first Dutch
bantams were probably imported just
after World War II.  Dutch bantams were
shown then but allegedly did not attract
much attention at that time.  In the early
1980s several breeders imported Dutch
bantams from Europe.  At this point,
more interest for the breed occurred
and the American Dutch Bantam
Society was formed in 1986.  The
American Bantam Association
recognized a standard for Dutch
bantams in the 1980s, prior to the
formation of the American Dutch
Bantam Society and the American
Poultry Association first recognized
Dutch bantams in the Standard of
Perfection in 1992.
Unfortunately, deviations in type from the Dutch bantams that were imported to the U.S.
occurred by these birds being crossed with Old English Game bantams, Rosecomb
bantams, and Leghorn bantams.  In the 1990’s, however, more birds or eggs were again
imported from Europe and Dutch bantam breeders in the U.S. are breeding to recreate
the original type.  The American Dutch Bantam Society is assisting in that work, and
more varieties have been added to the APA and ABA standards than were originally
recognized by the clubs.  Quality in type of these new varieties and existing varieties is
emphasized, as well as the reasonable addition of new varieties.  This is evidenced by
seeing Dutch bantams on Champion Rows at shows throughout the U.S.

Dutch Bantams are also popular in South Africa and eggs have been imported there
from the Netherlands and England.  Dutch Bantam eggs have also been imported to Sri
Lanka and I have seen photos of Dutch bantams of good type that are being raised in Sri
Lanka.