The peacock embroidered on a ground of white silk, now on view at Messrs. John Wilsons' Successors, 188, Regent Street, is a truly marvellous specimen of modern Japanese work. Somewhat larger than life, he faces the observer with gorgeous tail outspread, his iridescent plumage glowing with the hues of life. This wonderful bird was embroidered by ten of the most skilful workmen in Japan, for the Chicago World's Fair Exhibition, and, failing to find a purchaser there, has, after ten years, drifted to this country in search of one. The treatment of the tail feathers is quite simple - two purples for the eye, bronze for the surrounding margin, and touches of brighter green here and there. The stem of the feathers is white, and the rudimentary plumes are of a brilliant metallic green. The glowing effect, produced by simple stitchery, is due more or less to the subtle blending of the shades of silk and also to the judicious use of much gold thread. Every fibre of the countless feathers is whipped with this thread, and the scale-like plumage of the breast and the upstanding crest are also heavily embellished with it.

A Wonderful Peacock 147

A Marvellous Example of Japanese Embroidery.

Mast wonderful, however, is the treatment of the legs and feet, which to all appearances are real; only the closest inspection reveals that they are composed of fine cord, delicate stitches and small French knots. By an ingenious method of padding and working with infinitesimal stitches, the scales on the legs are represented with true Oriental fidelity, the membranes being formed of many French knots, and the spurs and claws of lighter silks and much stuffed. The ground of the banner, with the cord which edges it, is foursquare and very curious. Everyone interested not only in embroidery, but in decorative art generally, should see this most remarkable study of colour and stitchery.