His name was Subramaniam and he lived in our garden in Calcutta when I was a girl.
He was a vain (& tame) fellow and would come out at teatime each day to dance and preen for us, his avid admirers. (We had no television; for which I will eternally be grateful.)
Sometimes my little sister would dance along…
I’ve explored imprinting before in posts here and here, but I’m apparently a slow study, because it wasn’t until I was sifting through decades-old photographs for Tuesday’s post on Rajasthan’s art & architecture, that I realised just how long an arc my artistic fascination with peacocks has had and that Subramaniam had been my original muse.
Ever since, I’ve been drawn to depictions of his brothers/ancestors/sons in mosaic form in palaces in Rajasthan and chapels in Sicily …
Designed collections & developed embroideries inspired by his feathers and their colours…
I’m partial to the incorporation of peacock motifs in wallpapers – particularly as realised by companies such as Wallpaper Republic and FS Schumacher that are committed to conducting business in an environmentally responsible manner.
I also fancy those depicted in these printed textiles. The first hails from the Grand Dame Liberty of London and the other (a block print) from Saffron Marigold – a tiny fair trade concern based in India.
Who amongst us can resist a peacock chair? My personal favourite is the vintage wicker lovely , but the early Ib Kofod Larsen Spindle Back Peacock Lounge Chair and the Peacock Chair by Hans Wegner for Johannes Hansen have their (costly) charms as well.
And while the Hollywood Regency Style Stiffel Asian Form Peacock-Glazed Ceramic Table Lamp and Vintage Peacock in Ink are both pretty, my most irrational crush of all may be on a pair of way-above-what-I-can-possibly-justify absolutely dreamy bronze and turned oak Peacock Fire Place Tools from the English Aesthetic Movement.
Not going to happen, but what a lovely (if crazy -indulgent) reminder of my magic childhood – and the bird that danced through it – that would be!