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This is the replica post of an article writen here

The High Head Series in Goldfish

~ Translation by Ken Cheng ~

Translated from: <<金魚的種類與鑑賞(4)>> : 文系-高頭系列 by 郭玉吉


High series: 高頭 or Gao T'ou (high head) refers to the 'wen' on the goldfishes head (sarcoma).

The wen (sarcoma branching) have three forms:
1. Hat (Bump on top of head / High Head)
2. Tiger Head
3. Lion Head

1. Hat refers to the wen distributions pattern that is restricted to the top of the head. In the instance of an oranda type fish, a good example is the Chinese Red Cap oranda. This is the same when applied to a dorsal-less goldfish however this form is seldom seen.

2. Tiger head refers to wen distribution that covers the top of the head and gill covers. The entire shape assumes a square shape. Because the appearance of the wen resembles the Chinese word 'Huang' (King), this growth type is often regarded to be of noble appearance.

The Japanese however refer to this head growth form as the "Dutch lion oranda". In Taiwan and Hong Kong, this form is referred to as "lion's head". This causes much confusion in the Tiger Head orandas.

(Note that Japanese ranchu is a Tiger Head without a dorsal fin plus many other conformation standards)

3. Lion Head refers to the wen distribution that covers the top of the head and gill covers. However the growth is averaged across the head hence causing it to assume a circular shape when viewed from the top or side. This resembles the Chinese mythical stone lions hence the name Lion Head. The Chinese name for this form translates to noble lion head but please do not get this confused with the Tiger head that "has a noble appearance". The common forms of Lion Head 'wen' goldfishes from China is usually dorsal-less. (Ranchu versus Lion Head compounds the confusion)

Because of all these confusions, the oranda in China is often just referred to as the Hat or High Head.


The Red-Cap Oranda, Chinese translation (Red head Crane/Stork)
One of most important representatives of the Hat / High Head form, is caused by a rare genetic manifestation which was crystallized by much pains in breeding. It is however different from the currently popular red capped calico orandas found in Japan. The red-cap oranda must have a whole body that is silver-white in colour. Only the top of the head should be red. An outstanding specimen of the "Red Head Crane/Stork" should have its whole body silver-white with only the top of the wen red. Other spots of red on its body would be a failure in conformation. The wen should be plentiful however not to the extent that it unbalances its body and overall shape. The same rules of describing its wen would apply as per Hat, Tiger Head or Lion Head.

Red Tiger Head (Red/Orange Oranda)
The red Tiger Head also is one of Orinda¡¯s most important representatives. The main importance in this instance is that the head should be of the square shape (as per Tiger Head requirements). The wen should be solid and plentiful but not excessive. The colour of the goldfish should be red or gold (orange). As long as the colours are vibrant, it can be consider as an outstanding specimen.

Five Coloured Lion Heads (Calico Orandas)
Also called the "coloured lion's head" in China and Azuma Nicky in Japan describes the colour form that has transparent scale (soft scale or thin scale). It has black, white, red, orange and blue colours in all variations. This form should have a wen growth and is described as per above (Hat, Tiger Head or Lion Head). Its colours however should still be of a fresh brilliance. An outstanding specimen should have strong distinct representations of all the five colours hence a good piece is hard to come by.

Black Lion Head (Black Oranda)
The most important aspect of a black lion head is its strong ink black colour. The stronger and deeper the black colour is the better. Do not choose specimens that have a strong leaning towards the bronze carp's primary colour. When looking for a good Black Lion Head, special attention should be paid to the abdomen colouration. Any indication of red or white would most likely indicate the black colouration is only wrapping the gold colour underneath. Such a goldfish would finally turn orange. Other key judging criterias are the same as that for the Red/Orange Oranda.

Purple Lion Head
The purple colour should be vibrant. It should not be too black. Often the purple colour wraps the orange colour, like that happens in the Black Lion Head. Such a specimen would ultimately loss its purple colour too. If there are signs of red or orange on the wen, it should also be considered as the purple only wrapping the red/orange. All these signs show how difficult the purple colour is to maintain. A good specimen is therefore hard to find.

Blue Lion Head
With blue goldfish you would only find them in the hat (high head) form. The goldfish is as its name suggests blue in colour. The Blue Lion Head is appreciated in the same way as the other orandas.

Articulated purple blue plump lion head
It is a bluish purple lion head with streaks. The blue purple colour tends to be darker, like that of the black lion heads. The colour is streaked with a golden colour in a noble and refined way.

Indian Jade Lion Head
The Indian Jade Lion Head has a red lion heads wen. On top of the head there is a square shape of a different colour (non-red). A white square colour on top its head is deemed as the best form. The white square should have intensity and integrity (clear white marking). This form is also hard to come by.

Glass coloured Lion head
This describes the red and white transparent scale form, in Japan it is called "oriental cherry". It is derived from the calico oranda however in its initial derivation, the cherry blossom is not stable often showing signs of black colouration on the goldfish. If the colour of the goldfish has red edged scales or as if ink and wash (Xun dyes) paintings, it is also considered as a good specimen. Such forms of calico goldfish are very seldom seen.


There are many other colour forms such as:
- White lion head
- Red and white lion head
- Magpie coloured lion head
- Tri-colour lion head
- Twelve reds lion heads and so on

These however only describes the colour variation. They are all appreciated in the same conformation criterias.
got pictured illustration ah? then would be easier to differentiate the types ya......
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