Monday, October 13, 2008

Alexander Fisher- The Peacock Sconce

The Peacock Sconce was made around 1899 by Alexander Fisher. A sconce is used as a holder of a light source on a wall. He designed the sconce for the sole purpose to be exhibited and not used within a home. However, if the sconce were to be used within a living space, the space would be designed in the style of the arts and crafts movement. There is also a strong influence of art nouveau, because of the peacock motif relating back to nature. The use of metals and the enameled decorative peacock feathers give off the impression that this would be a higher class home. The windows are therefore taller with long sweeping curtains, ideally velvet. The fireplace is more grand with a frame surrounding it along with a larger mantle. The furniture pieces included in the space are from the art nouveau movement with very organic details such as the swirling woodwork in the couch on the back wall. Furthermore, the decorative pieces added to the space reflect the natural theme of the peacock as well. There is a vase in the far corner of dried flowers and the rug in the center of the floor has an art nouveau influenced swirl. The same swirl motif is shown in the oversized mirror as well as the metal fire screen. Alexander Fisher’s use of metal is also reflected in several other areas of the room including the mirror on the opposite wall of the room and the fire screen just below the sconce. The Peacock Sconce represents a harmony between embracing nature with the art nouveau and arts and craft movement, and the industrial revolution with his use of steel and other metals.

1 comment:

  1. Hi! I just saw this piece in the Arts and Crafts exhibit at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum yesterday ( I was quite taken by its stunning beauty, as well as the rich symbolism. I wish I had copied down the exact inscription, I found the text quite fascinating.