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News & Events - Proud As A Peacock

Proud As A Peacock
By Louise Irvine 8/22/2017 3:50 PM

Peacocks have inspired many beautiful Royal Doulton pieces during the last 100 years and Louise Irvine has written about the spectacular bird in the latest issue of the Doulton Collectors Club magazine. This unique prototype sculpture was modeled by John Ablitt for Minton’s Flights of Fantasy collection in 1993 but the peacock, which has a Royal Doulton backstamp, was never put into production. 

Royal Doulton used a peacock design on the cover of their catalogue for the 1900 Paris exhibition and the bird can be seen preening and strutting on some stunning vases from the Lambeth and Burslem studios. Peacocks were a popular subject for Royal Doulton Sung Wares where the bird’s vivid blue-green plumage contrasts dramatically with the lustrous rouge flambé glazes. An archive photograph shows Fred Moore working on a flying peacock design and there are several examples at WMODA of peacocks soaring in the sky with their tail feathers swirling around the vase. 

Peacocks have appeared also in Royal Doulton’s HN collection as miniature models and as figurines. In Peggy Davies’ portrayal of Helen of Troy, the beguiling beauty of the Femme Fatale is compared with the splendor of the peacock. Juno and the Peacock by Robert Jefferson was inspired by the myths of Greece and Rome. The peacock was one of the symbols of the Greek goddess Hera, known as Juno to the Romans. She was drawn through the heavens in a chariot pulled by peacocks and in a fit of jealousy she placed the 100 eyes of her watchman Argus on the peacock’s feathers.