Tuesday, 15 May 2012

The Princess & the Peacock

*MPW featured in 'An Indian Summer'




From time immemorial, the peacock has been regarded as a highly symbolic bird. Exotic & vain, with a plume so dazzling, even humans gush & blush brightly. Its symbolism is steeped in centuries of noble decadence, glory & excesses, with the ancient Greeks attributing to it power & caution, the Indians, knowledge & compassion, & the Persians, royal guardianship. Is it any wonder then, the Grand Palaces of the past rendered the pretty pheasant to 'domestic deity' status?....a garden pet of flaunting, racy, regal magnificence.



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Who's a pretty peacock?


The vibrant, iridescent feathers of the peacock, not only illuminated the manicured lawns of the Royals, but also served as the perfect decorative feature to their bold, sumptuous interiors & exteriors, by way of painted motifs, tiles, sculptures & more........



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Precious peacock gateway, Jaipur Palace



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Painted peacock tiles, Bundi Palace



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Velvet peacock tapestry. 
Ephesian stately home, Turkey


Nothing speaks Mesopotamian-magic louder than pretty peacock feathers & other peacock paraphernalia. Plonk a partial plumage into a vase today & you'll have yourself a tiny slice of Cleopatra's Crib, Zeus' Ancient Acropolis or even Rani's heavenly Palace!



Long stems, short stems or 
baby plumes, all create a
magical, whimsical feel



Dainty marble peacock coasters
Serving it up, Palace style



Large peacock-feather earrings 
hung from bamboo-reed blind


The striking blues, greens & golds of the peafowl (a perfect combination of primary colours ordained by the Gods) blend brilliantly with earthy browns, yellows, pinks & sandstones, as well as contrasting strikingly against white, black & navy.



Peacock-fans of handy handbag size to
full-body frou-frou, elevate any interior



Colourful devotional deity
'Lord Murugan' with peacock



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Peacocks emblazoned on white 
village walls in Rajasthan


The Rani (and other 'bonafide' Princesses before her) has lived and luxuriated happily amidst the sublimely hued feathers of the peacock, been protected from the evil eye & passionately propelled towards knowledge, beauty & compassion. Bold & enigmatic, it takes confidence to style with these colours & items -- especially given such popular beliefs as 'blue & green should not be seen'. I would hazard a guess, whoever uttered these eternal words, never had the privilege of witnessing the seductive, magnetic power of the Regal Peacock on 'display'....in its manifold varieties & exuberant expressions, in either home, garden, zoo or Princess Palace!



*Rani's Palace on 'An Indian Summer'
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*All images are from inside the 'House of Rani' except ###, which are my personal travel photos, and ***, which is courtesy of Gill Davies' 'Spirit of India'.
#All Writing & Photography by Rani.Cee

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