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The Adoration of the Peacock


What do Brigitte Bardot, Marilyn Monroe, Dolly Parton, Elizabeth Taylor, Mark Bolan and Julio Iglesias have in common?

Answer: they’ve all been photographed lounging seductively in a peacock chair.

Marc Bowland in peacock chair

We love peacock chairs too!  With their spectacularly flared backs and intricate details, they were the boho-glam chair of choice to be photographed in, during a huge surge in popularity in the swinging Sixties and early Seventies.  If you were there, you either owned one or lusted after a peacock chair.

And guess what?   They’re making a welcome comeback right now.  There’s a major revival going on for these fabulous statement chairs.Even our delivery driver Barry is a fan. He spotted this beautiful specimen in a shop window in Belgium during a delivery to one of our customers. Realising what a treasure it was, he quickly sent us a photo via his mobile. Long story short, we phoned the shopkeeper, agreed a price and it went straight into the van and back to the UK.  We love its intricacy and the total extravagance of its fan.

It’s not difficult to understand the peacock chair’s appeal. It makes an instantly beautiful backdrop for any photographic portrait as a long list of celebrities over the decades would undoubtedly confirm.  But unlike other chairs with conventional legs, seat, back and possibly arms, the peacock represents something very evocative and seductive: maybe it’s the wraparound effect that instantly transports you away on a daydream about an exotic beach, an unforgettable mountain view or simply a special moment in time.

The great thing about these chairs is that they are divas. They’re there to show you off the moment you sit in one. Or they’ll turn a dull corner of your house or garden into a show stopper.   They will sit happily alongside any type of furniture, ancient or modern.  Easily customized with a cushion or two in a striking fabric, they will always bring a smile to those lucky enough to sit in them or simply admire.

Like many of the great designs in history, the peacock chair can be traced back several centuries to Asia where such chairs were reserved for royals.

Wicker furniture, so beloved of the Victorians, is actually one of the oldest methods of furniture making. In 17th century Northern Europe, wicker was considered healthy and more breathable for the elderly than solid wood and more hygienic than upholstery.  In short, wicker furniture has never gone out of style.

By the 19th century, peacock chairs were regularly making their way via trade routes to England and the United States where they became immediate must-haves.

So it’s not surprising that this magnificent chair is trending once again. And deservedly so. Some things never really go out of style.