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London Shubunkin

London Shubunkin


The London Shubunkin was developed in England between World War I and World War II. It is the product of a common goldfish and a Japanese Shubunkin most probably. The fish no longer imported form the UK to the United States but is reproduced by crossing short tailed Shubunkin of various types. There are a few people line breeding these fish and they occasionally show up in shows. For many people these fish are simply the nacreous (calico) version of the common goldfish

Above, the London Shubunkin as illustrated by Merlin Cunnliffe, Merlin Cunnliffe 2016. The London comes in variety of dominant color morphs. In the United States blue and black color dominance is preferred.

Breed Details

The London Shubunkin is a compact fish with a thick peduncle. In a pond environment the fish get to 8” (20.3 cm) and their pigmentation is intensified by sunlight. The fish are vigorous swimmers and have a reputation of being difficult to catch in a pond. Fins are short and compact. Domestic specimens often have too long of fins and the peduncle is too thin.


The fish should be swimming and never bottom sitting or head standing. Tail height should be 1/3 to ½ the length of the total fish. When stationary the dorsal fin and tail fish should not fold over. Fins should not be torn, split, infected, or incomplete.

The length of the peduncle is about 1/5 to 1/6 of the body length. All fins show contain black pigment and should be short.

A white stomach is acceptable and is fairly common.

Maximum points that may be awarded are as follows;Body Shape25Body Color25Finnage Color20Condition15Deportment15100

The best specimens have very defined color patches without bleeding from one color into the next. Because the fish are generally cultured outside, colors are generally vivid. Since this variety is generally pond grown care should be taken when grooming for the show that no tail splits occur.

Body Shape*Body depth 25%-35% of of length from nose to peduncle25Body depth 15% -24% of body length20Peduncle stout and thick ¼ – 1/3 height of tail25Peduncle thinner than ¼ of tail height20

*Peduncle and body depth points are averaged for a body shape score.

Body Color25%-35% of body is black2515% -25% of body color is black200 -15% black body color10

Finnage ColorAll fins contain black color20Some of the fins have no black15All fins are clear10

Condition; fish must be swimming and not a bottom sitter (-5), eyes maybe normal or wild colored by they must not be hazy (2-5). Frayed fins may cause to fish to loose 1-15 points based on severity.

Deportment, fish must carry itself on an even plain. Fish is an avid swimmer, when stationary fish cannot list to one side.

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