AUD $1,700.00

Persian, Damascened Steel Peacock.

This hand raised steel decorative Persian Peacock with a detachable pierced tail, is free standing.  (When I say "hand raised" I mean that this bird was forged by skilfully beating, folding and soldering the form rather than casting from a wax original.  That's why, as a result of the skill used, the surfaces are smooth and a uniform thickness, whereas a cast one would probably have raised surface decoration which is easily applied to the wax during modelling.)

The oxidized slightly rusted surface has "damascened" highlights of fine lines of rich gold inlaid into channels cut into the steel.

This high grade gold gleams out of the darker red ochred/rusted iron revealing two peacocks facing each other on the tail, feathers on the wings, elaborate eye make up and decorative foliate "arabesques" on the breast.

I wouldn't dream of actually polishing this bird but I would think about rubbing it with a dry cloth to remove any loose oxide, then I'd apply a little vegetable oil to the rubbing cloth to intensify the darkness of the iron and slow any future oxidation. This done occasionally will enrich the appearance of the metal, adding a gentle lustre to it as well as preserving the metal, without removing its age as more invasive polishing might.

There is a similar one of these pictured on page 236 of  "Persian Lost Treasures" (Mace 2003) which is in The Hermitage Collection. It's a small photo but although it says it's a steel, it looks rather more like a brass base and appears to have more gold, with the same head but a very different tail.

 Age; Mid/Late 19th Century

Size; H 420 mm x W 205 mm x Depth 160 mm.

Weight; 766 grams.