- COUNTRY OF ORIGIN: France
- YEAR RECOGNIZED: circa 1932
- USES: Fur, meat
- WEIGHT: 10.5 pounds (4.8 kg) max., senior does
- BODY TYPE: Commercial
- FUR TYPE: Rex type; – inch (1.3–2.2 cm) long, extremely dense, straight, upright; lustrous, plush, with noticeable spring when touched
Amber, black, blue, Californian, castor, chinchilla, chocolate, lilac, lynx, opal, red, sable, seal, white
Broken Group — any recognized breed variety in conjunction with white, or white in conjunction with black and golden orange; lavender blue and golden fawn; chocolate and golden orange; dove gray and golden fawn
Otter Group — black, blue, lilac, chocolate
the rex is a medium-to-large rabbit with classic meat-rabbit conformation, well developed in the hips and joints. But like the much smaller Mini Rex, the standard Rex is mostly celebrated for its luxurious fur. Because the underfur and guard hairs are the same length, the pelt of a Rex is exceptionally soft and velvety.
The Rex originated in the French commune of Coulongé in 1919, immediately after World War I. A French farmer gave the first specimens, the result of a fur mutation in a litter of non-purebred barnyard rabbits, to a French priest, Abbot Amédée Gillet.
The abbot soon realized he had exceptional rabbits, and he sold Rex-furred offspring for increasingly larger sums, but it took the involvement of a German university professor, Eugene Kohler, and others to realize the potential value of the Rex Rabbits and implement selective breeding in a scientific way.
Meanwhile, Rex fur began to appear in other, scattered rabbit litters in Germany, the Netherlands, and France once again. John C. Fehr and Alfred Zimmerman bought a Rex pair for $350 in 1924 and introduced the breed to the United States. During the next few years, imported Rex rabbits fetched up to $1,500 per pair.