Height: 7 1/4 inches, 18.5 cm
Width: 8 1/2 inches, 21.5 cm

Bronze door knocker or hook

South India, Tamil Nadu, 18th – 19th century

A heavy bronze double hook or door knocker of loop-shape with peacock-head terminals. The heads of the birds are identical and show finely detailed eyes, plumage and beak. The loop hangs from a simple heavy ring that would have been attached to a surface. The central bottom of the loop is fitted with a pommel.

The peacock is the national bird of India. Majestic and graceful, the beautiful form and colours of its tail feathers have caught the imagination of Indian artisans from early times and were used profusely in their artistic creations. From the Harappan period to the present day, in every art expression the peacock is beautifully portrayed.  It has been depicted as a sacred bird and also represents the absent lover in miniature paintings. Other hooks with zoomorphic subject matter are in the National Museum in New Delhi 1, and the Musée Guimet in Paris. 2

  1. Skelton, R. (ed.): The Indian Heritage, Court Life and Arts under Mughal Rule, London 1982, page 152, no 510
  2. Okada, A.: L’Inde des Princes, La Donation Jean et Krishnâ Riboud, Paris 2000, page 118-119