Meet our EASTER BUNNIES…
The rabbit supermodels that prove there’s more to bunnies than big ears and a healthy appetite for carrots...
It is official: we are a nation of bunny devotees. From the White Rabbit in Alice In Wonderland via Beatrix Potter's Flopsy to Bigwig in Watership Down, rabbits have long held a special place in our hearts, but never more so than at Easter time. As we know, bunnies are rather fond of large families and it is this association with regeneration that makes them the perfect symbol for this time of year.
These gorgeous specimens are bunny supermodels. If you meet one, please don't mention rats or mice, as rabbits are more closely related to horses than rodents. And, like their human friends, they have very definite ways of showing their feelings, jumping for joy when happy and thumping their back feet when they're not!
Taken from Beautiful Rabbits Postcard Book, £5.99, © 2011. Part of a range of stationery published by Ivy Press: www.ivypress.co.uk
Bred for its wool during Roman times. Two distinct strains, the French and the smaller English, evolved. A dedicated group of fanciers still spin angora wool and knit garments with it, but the commercial side of the industry has disappeared.
Originally called the Castor Rex (King of the Beavers), its dense, plush, velvet-like coat distinguishes the Rex from all other rabbits and was caused by a mutation seen in French wild rabbits in the late 19th century. Highly Intelligent and playful.
The 'Sib', as the Siberian is generally known, was originally bred in brown, but it is now found in black, blue and lilac. Bred as the 'smallholder's' rabbit, it provides quality meat and a superb(and valuable) pelt.
The smallest of the domestic breeds, very fine-boned, even delicate, descended directly from the wild rabbit. Called the Britannia Petite in the US.
First discovered as a mutant in Dwarf Lop litters, it was originally discarded by breeders. When the breed was registered, the name Thistledown was suggested but then rejected in favour of one that would reflect the soft, cashmere-like fur.
Graceful and streamlined, the Belgian rabbit, despite being named after the wild hare, is actually a rabbit. Originating in Flanders, it made a major impact on the show scene when it came to England and, later, the US.
The first rabbit bred for exhibition. It started its show life in the gambling dens of London's East End, where large sums were waged against the longest-eared rabbit. From tip to tip, its ears have been recorded in excess of 30in.
Named after its lion-like mane, this is one of the newest recognised breeds, and has taken the show and pet world by storm on both sides of the Atlantic. It is believed to have originated in Belgium from a Swiss Fox crossed with a Belgian Dwarf.
Daily tip from the lady archive
"DEEPLY-ROOTED is the idea that men are indifferent to dress, while the ladies, God bless them, think of nothing else"The Lady, With Prejudice, 8th January, 1942