The SERAPHIM CLUB
The purpose of the Seraphim Club International (SCI) is to promote, develop, and preserve Seraphim, the White Angels of the Pigeon Fancy.
The Seraphim Club International shall achieve its purpose by the dissemination of accurate information, continuous educational support of club members, support of sanctioned club shows, promotion of Seraphim within the Pigeon Fancy, and maintenance of a comprehensive website on Seraphim.
The club shall have an international scope that supports interest in Seraphim around the globe.
National Pigeon Association Affiliation:
The Seraphim Club International is affiliated with the National Pigeon Association as a declaration that the SCI is part of the American community of pigeon fanciers. Affiliation with the NPA is voluntary and is maintained by the payment of annual dues to the NPA.
Rare Breeds Pigeon Club Affiliation:
The Seraphim Club International is an Affiliate Club with the Rare Breeds Pigeon Club due to the “Rare” status designation of Seraphim. The Seraphim Club International maintains all the rights and responsibilities of its Affiliate status with the Rare Breeds Pigeon Club as designated in the Constitutions of both Clubs.
Membership is open to all those interested in the breeding, care, and maintenance of Seraphim. One does not have to own Seraphim to be a member; simple interest in the Seraph Fancy is adequate. Members are expected to adhere to the highest standards in their lofts and in Show competition.
The SCI shall have only a President and Manager. The President shall be Anya Ellis, the creator of Seraphim. The President shall provide guidance and expert advice to Members and support the Manager in his/her duties. The Manager is a volunteer position and shall be approved by the President to oversee Club operations, the website, the National SCI Meet, advertising, and other duties as seen fit by the President.
The Seraphim Show Standard
Please refer to the NPA Official Book of Standards or to The Seraphim Club International official website at http://www.seraphimclubinternational.com for the complete up-to-date Seraphim Show Standard.
Introduction: Some Seraph Fanciers strive for recognition of their breeding programs via competitive Shows and Meets, and also use such meets to interact with other Fanciers and exchange ideas for the continuous improvement of the Seraphim Breed. Those who participate in such competitions may earn points toward a “Master” status within the Seraphim Club International. In order to be considered for the “Master” Award, a Seraph Fancier must accumulate a total of 500 points in competitive meets, be a member of the SCI for five years, and be a member of the SCI at the time of application for the award. (**See the section below on Master Award Point Scales for details on the awarding of points.)
Basic Show Rules: Seraphim are on the Rare Breeds List. In the absence of an organized SCI meet, Seraphim must be shown in Rare Breeds Pigeon Club meets or in the Rare Breeds section of any regional/state/national meet according to RBPC Rules. The Seraphim Club International may also sanction official independent SCI meets or hold Joint Meets with the Rare Breeds Pigeon Club. Members of the Seraphim Club International who want to organize an SCI meet may do so and request advice/support from the SCI. To qualify the meet for Master points, the SCI Manager must be notified. The Judge must be an SCI or RBPC Recognized Judge. SCI Meets require a minimum of 2 exhibitors and 10 birds. The Seraphim Club International has designated Des Moines, Iowa, as the location for the annual National SCI Meet, in conjunction with the annual December Iowa State Pigeon Association Show, and as an Affiliate of the Rare Breeds Pigeon Club.
Judging: Judges must be expert in the method of evaluation of the nuances of the breed as well as the methods of rating and assigning points. The approach to judging Seraphim is outlined in the standard in both the 2010 NPA Book of Standards and on the SCI website.
Recognized Judges: A list of Judges specifically qualified to judge Seraphim will be maintained on the SCI website. The Rare Breeds Pigeon Club will also maintain a list of Judges qualified to fairly evaluate all Rare Breeds, including Seraphim.
Rating System and Classes:
The SCI uses the Individual Merit System of judging. The Individual Merit System of judging is an evaluation system of each individual bird in comparison with the Standard of Perfection, followed by a final Judging of the best from each Class for special awards and trophies. The Classes are Old Cock, Young Cock, Old Hen, and Young Hen. (Young applies to birds one year of age or less.)
****The highest possible rating is called “Royal” and shall be designated in show reports by the letter “R”. This rating shall be reserved for those Seraphim which are near letter perfection in all respects, and equates with a point score of 98-100 on a 100 point scale system. This rating should not be given in shows where the exceptional bird is not found. The Royal rating is an award of absolute superiority.
****A “Highly Superior” rating is given only to outstanding specimens with a point score of 94-97 on a 100 point scale; such birds typically demonstrate a single minor fault. Birds in this category shall be re-grouped to compete for a Royal rating (though possibly none may qualify). When more than one bird earns an “HS” in a show, the Judge will place the HS birds in order by labeling them HS-1, HS-2, HS-3.
****The majority of fine show birds will receive a “Superior” rating, designated by an “S”, and equivalent to a score of 90-93 on a 100 point scale. Birds that are of show quality, but have a couple of minor faults shall receive this rating. “S” birds may be ranked as S-1, S-2, S-3.
****Birds with a score of 80-89 on a 100 point scale are rated “Good”, which is designated by the letter “G”. “Good” birds may be useful as stock birds for breeding purposes. Out of condition birds may be placed in this class. If the top birds in a show are “Good”, they shall be ranked G-1, G-2, and G-3.
****The last and lowest class shall be known as “Inferior” and shall be designated by the letter “I”; this designation equates to a point score of 79 and below on a 100 point scale. Such birds may be disqualified from competition and are not recommended for breeding purposes.
MASTER AWARD POINT SCALES
Basic Rules: Points may be awarded only to Seraphim owned, bred, or raised by the individual competitor. Only Seraphim rated as Highly Superior (HS) or Royal (R) may be awarded points in competition. Additional points may be earned as the HS or R Seraph is given additional awards, such as “Best AOV”, Champion, and Reserve Champion, as the judging continues. Points are additive. SCI Meets must have at least two exhibitors and ten birds to qualify as a point meet; RBPC Meets may have any number of exhibitors and Seraph entries.
Point Scales: There are four point scales used in the Master Award program: two for RBPC (Rare Breeds Pigeon Club) meets and two for SCI (Seraphim Club International) meets. The point scales may be diminished in RBPC Meets at the discretion of the Judge if the number of birds is small or competition poor (see below). The SCI will honor both RBPC points AND SCI points when considering the SCI Master Award. Points will be added by the SCI toward the designation of “Master” at an RBPC meet if the competitor applies for the SCI Master Award.
Champion Seraph 50 points
Reserve Champion Seraph 30 points
Royal Seraph*** 25 points
Highly Superior** 3 – 10 points
STATE, DISTRICT, AND LOCAL MEETS:
Champion Seraph 40 points
Reserve Champion Seraph 20 points
Royal Seraph*** 15 points
Highly Superior** 3 – 10 points
* All SCI Master Point Meets must have a minimum of two exhibitors and ten Seraphim. The Judge must be expert on Seraphim, with no entries in the competition.
** Highly Superior – If there are 3 or more HS birds in an SCI Meet, HS-1 shall earn 10 points, HS-2 shall earn 8 points, HS-3 shall earn 5 points, and the remaining HS birds shall earn 3 points.
***Royal is an exceptional accomplishment and must be awarded additional points.
Champion Rare 1+25+50= 76 pts (51 pts – if less than 10 AOV’s)
Reserve Champion Rare 1+25+15= 41 pts (16 pts – if less than 10 AOV’s)
Best AOV**** 1+25= 26 pts (1pt – if less than 10 AOV’s)
Best of Breed*** 5 (5 pts (1pt – if less than 10 Seraphm)
Highly Superior** 1pt 1pt
STATE AND DISTRICT MEETS:
Champion Rare 1+15+ 25= 41 pts (26 pts – if less than 10 AOV’s)
Reserve Champion Rare 1+15+10= 26 pts (11 pts – if less than 10 AOV’s)
Best AOV**** 1+15= 16 pts (1pt – if less than 10 AOV’s)
Best of Breed*** 5pts (1pt – if less than 10 Seraphim)
Highly Superior** 1pt 1pt
*** RBPC’s “Best of Breed” – The higher number of points are awarded if 10 or more Seraphim are entered in an RBPC show and if the bird winning “Best of Breed” has earned an HS rating or higher.
**** Seraphim are in the AOV class on the RBPC list. The higher number of AOV Champion points are awarded if there are 10 or more birds in the AOV class and the winning Seraph has earned an HS rating or higher.
Master Award Member Responsibility
Members wishing to achieve the Master Award are responsible for maintaining a record of points awarded. Once the goal of 500 points has been achieved, the member must send a complete summary to the SCI Secretary. The summary must include the band numbers of all the member’s birds awarded points, the number of points awarded in each case, the listing of awards, the location and date of the Show at which the points were awarded, the type of show (State, District, National, Local; SCI or RBPC) and the name of the Judge. The Member will then be issued a Master Award certificate from the Seraphim Club International to be displayed in their home or Loft.
The SCI’s Philosophical Stance
The Seraphim Club International recognizes that not every member is interested in competition or even recognition in the Seraphim Fancy. Many simply enjoy the artistry and beauty of their Seraphim while quietly making major contributions to the Fancy. Such individuals may be the most important Members of all, as their methodology reflects the quiet reflection one must maintain to truly appreciate and understand the Seraph as a work of art. The SCI is truly grateful for the contributions of these quiet members.
It is also important to note that the SCI is a service organization rather than a political one. As such its primary interest is in the promotion of the enjoyment and pleasure of breeding and raising beautiful Seraphim.
Finally, it is worth noting that the goal of the Standard of Perfection for Seraphim has always been to create a Classic breed, one that demands no additional artistic improvement or refinement from the artist’s concept. The Standard has thus only been gradually and ever-so-carefully modified to fully reflect the genetic potential to create what the artist always imagined possible in a living entity. The Standard for a Classic breed, once established, should remain unchanged over time, not altered or modified on a whim or sudden fancy. The Seraph Fancier must always take this into account when breeding toward the elusive Royal Seraph and must always remain dedicated to the artistry of the Breed above all else, thus maintaining the Classic status of this beautiful living sculpture for the enjoyment of generations to come.
The Uniqueness of the Seraph: Most pigeon breeds were created over a period of years by a group of breeders. These breeds fall into two categories. (1) Breeds that are recognized as classics, whose standards do not vary. These standards define a final work of art and continue to be challenging for all breeders to achieve. (2) Breeds whose standards are always changing according to the tastes of those who are breeding them at the time.
There are only a few pigeon breeds that were created by an individual. Seraphim fall into this very small category. Each of these breeds is understood to be the ‘work of art’ of the person who designed the breed, for example: John Lindley designed the Indian Fantasy, Layne Bowles designed the Heart Pigeon and HP Macklin designed the Saint. Seraphim were created by Anne Ellis in East Moline, Illinois, USA. The ancestral breed of origin was the Classic Oriental Frill.
The first proposed standard for Seraphim was published in the National Pigeon Association’s 1993 “Encyclopedia of Pigeon Standards”; Seraphim were recognized by the NPA as an official breed of fancy pigeon at the Oklahoma City NPA Grand National in 1995. The second Standard for Seraphim was published in the French National Standard book in 1997. In 2000 the third Standard for Seraphim was published in the National Pigeon Association’s “Encyclopedia of Pigeon Standards”; the fourth Standard was updated in 2009 and published in the “2010 National Pigeon Association Book of Standards”. The 2017 standard is published in the most recent NPA Bood of Standards and on The Seraphim Club International website at http://www.seraphimclubinternational.com.
Breed History: 1986 – Anne Ellis visits Bob Pettit and has her first lesson in pigeon genetics. Since Bob mentions that one of Anne’s blue Old Frills is ‘carrying red’, Anne prays for red babies from that bird and its brown mate.
1986 – Two red babies are born in the blue X brown pair’s first clutch. The father later died, and the mother was given away due to wildness. Both of their red babies turned pure white with their first molt. These birds, both of which were males, are the original source for the “Seraph Color Gene Complex” and are the progenitors of the modern Seraph.
1987 – One of the males, paired with a Silver Old Frill hen, produces no recessive red babies. The other male, paired with a brown Old Frill hen, produces one recessive red male that turns white.
1988 – One male and one hen are produced. Both are recessive red and both turn white.
1989- Three Seraphim are produced.
1990 – Nine Seraphim are produced.
1991 – Forty-five Seraphim are produced.
1992 – Sixty Seraphim are produced. Bob Pettit tells Anne that for Seraphim to be recognized as an official breed, a written standard must be presented to the National Pigeon Association. Frank Barrachina encourages Anne to write the standard and agrees to have it included as a proposed standard in the NPA “Encyclopedia of Pigeon Standards.”
1993 – A proposed Standard for Seraphim is published in the NPA “Encyclopedia of Pigeon Standards.”
1993 – Ten Seraphim are displayed by Anne Ellis at the NPA Grand National Show in Lancaster, Pennsylvania. Ten Seraphim (five male and five female) must be exhibited at the NPA Grand National for three consecutive years before the NPA Board of Directors will consider recognition of the breed.
1994 – Ten Seraphim are displayed by Anne Ellis at the NPA Grand National Show in Portland, Oregon.
1994 – Seraphim are introduced to the fancy pigeon world via two American pigeon magazines. Seraph OC # 341 appears on the cover of the April edition of the “Pigeon Debut” and Anne Ellis’s article, “A Great Grand National for the New Kid on the Block” is printed inside. A full page of color Seraph photos and “That’s What It’s All About”, by Anne Ellis, are published in the April edition of the “Pigeon Fancier.”
1994 – Seraphim are included in the NPA “Wonderful World of Pigeons” coloring book. Drawing by Diane Jacky.
1995 – Ten Seraphim are displayed by Anne Ellis at the NPA Grand National Show in Oklahoma City.
1995 – Anne Ellis makes a presentation to the NPA Board of Directors detailing the history, genetics and increasing popularity of Seraphim. The NPA Board of Directors votes to recognize Seraphim as an official breed.
1995 – Four Seraphim, exhibited at the NPA Grand National, are sold to Gottfried Ernst, who imports them into Germany.
1995 – Two articles written by Anne Ellis are published in the “Pigeon Fancier.” “Thanksgiving in January” covers the recognition of the Seraphim by the NPA (May issue). “Judges Beware” covers Seraphim judging techniques (November issue).
1995 – Raul Delgado’s article, “The Seraphim and Me” is published in the “Pigeon Debut.”
1995 – Harold Jones’ article, “The Seraphim and Their Angel” is published in the “Pigeon Fancier.”
1996 – Seraphim compete for the first time in an NPA Grand National (Salt Lake City). Seraph // OC # 262 wins Grand National Champion Rare.
1996 – Seraphim are featured in the German magazine “Deutsche geflügel Zeitung.” (article by Anne Ellis, translation by Frieda Lind.)
1996 – Seraphim are featured on the cover of the French pigeon magazine, “Columbiculture.” (article by Anne Ellis, translation by F. Xabada.)
1997 – Seraphim compete in the NPA Grand National (Lancaster) and four birds are purchased by Gottfried Ernst for a second importation of Seraphim into Germany.
1997 – With the help of Jean-Louis Frindel, the standard for Seraphim is included in the French national pigeon association (SNC) standard book.
1997 – Seraphim are featured in the Dutch magazine “Avicultura.” (article by Anne Ellis, translation by “Avicultura”)
1998 – Two articles by Anne Ellis are published in the “Pigeon Debut” Rare Breeds Special Edition. “It’s Greek to Me” covers the vocabulary needed to describe Seraphim and “What’s in a Name” deals with the intricacies of the name, Seraphim.
2000 – Seraphim are exported from Illinois to Gabriel Thomas in France.
2000 – The Seraphim standard is printed in the 2000 edition of the National Pigeon Association’s “Encyclopedia of Pigeon Standards.”
2000 – Seraphim are exported from France to Belgium.
2001 – Seraphim are exported from France to Czechoslovakia.
2001 – Seraphim are featured in the Czechoslovakian magazine, “chovaltel rádce.” (Article by Jerry Sindelar, based on interview of Anne Ellis.)
2002 – Attempt to export Seraphim from Illinois to Belgium fails due to New Castle outbreak in California.
2002 – The SERAPHIM CLUB INTERNATIONAL is founded by Anne Ellis.
2003 – Seraphim are exported from Germany to Denmark.
2003 – Seraphim are exhibited by Maurice Denis of Belgium at the German National VDT Show in Cologne, Germany. Anne Ellis makes a speech about the Seraphim at the VDT conference. Seraphim are exhibited by Rene Dautel and Jean-Pierre Demuyter at the French National SNC Show in Chambery, France. Anne Ellis makes a speech on the pigeon fancy and the Seraphim at the SNC banquet.
2010 – The website “seraphimclubinternational.com” was established as an encyclopedic source of information on Seraphim.
2013 – The first ever “National” Seraphim Club International club meet was held in Des Moines
2013 – “Seraphim – Does Color Matter?” by David Coster (SCI Manager) was published in the May/June edition of Purebred Pigeon Magazine, pp. 50-52.
2013 – “Evaluating Seraphim for Show Qualities” by David Coster was published in the July/August edition of Purebred Pigeon Magazine, pp. 54- 58.
2014 – “In the Blink of an Eye” by Anya Ellis and “Observations on Seraphim Behavior” were published in the January/February edition of Purebred Pigeon Magazine, pp.’s 60-63 and 80 – 81.
2017 – The Seraphim Standard of Perfection was modified and updated by Anya Ellis and David Coster and published in the NPA Book of Standards as well as on the website.
2017 – Anya Ellis and Seraphim were featured on the cover of the January/February edition of Purebred Pigeon Magazine after the 2016 SCI show in Des Moines. “The Seraphim Club International at the 90th Anniversary Iowa State Pigeon Show in Des Moines” by David Coster was published in the same edition, pp. 38 – 40.
2019 – “Seraphim” by David Coster was published in the May/June edition of Purebred Pigeon Magazine (Rare Breeds Issue), pp. 38 – 40.