I have a Coton de Tulear. They are dog in the Bicheon family similar to the maltese. I have heard different views on the correlation between coat color and pigmentation. Some say all white breeds are not natural. therefore, pigmentation in the nose and eyelids will eventually deteriate in the breed. Others say this might be true for some breeds but not those in the Bicheon family. I have also heard that pigmentation is a seperate gene and not dependant on the influence of coat colar.If anyone has any insight on this I would appreciate hearing from you . Oh, has any other color ever been part of the Maltese history?
I wish I could answer your question. Interesting question. I hope someone out there has some input. However, the question regarding has a Maltese ever been another color--a more extensive breed study and history can be found in books published by T.F.H. publishing--The Book of Maltese (H-1097) and The Maltese (PS-803). I'm told that both of these books provide accurate information about the breed and illustrate important ancestors as well as current-day winners. Dozens of the photos are in full color as well. I guess I know what book I'll be checking out at the library next!
I don't have an answer to your questions, but I do remember reading a post a while back that said at some point, generations back, there were black maltese (that should be in the archives, but I can't remember what the subject was...try checking them). Also there must be some variation in pigment that relates to breeding (again, check the archives for the board) because there have been several posts about nose that loose color during winter, and at least one breeder wrote in and said that breeders are working on breeding strong pigment to keep the noses from losing color when there is a lack of sunshine. Don't know if this helps, but am sure there is at least some of the information you are seeking here if you go through some of the old posts.
I have done some research into the history of the breed... And I did find evedence of colors being part of our breed....in fact the first maltese shown in Westminister was a black dog according to historical documents.. Hope this helps you