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A Profusion of Peacocks

A Profusion of Peafowl!

Many of you know that we spent 29 of our “work years” living in San Diego. We also provided the newsletter for the San Diego Carnival Glass Club for a number of years. This story appeared in the San Diego Daily Newspaper and we placed the following report in the Sept. 1997 issue of the Club Newsletter. It is well-worth repeating for benefit of (Peacock lovers)!
For those of you who can never attain quite enough Peacocks, may we suggest that there is a place other than Carnival Glass collections where they “rule the roost”!
That place is known as Santa Susana Knolls -- and where in this world IS this place, you ask? ... in an unincorporated swath of Ventura County between Simi Valley and Chatsworth. Chances are they didn’t fly in from their native India or Sri Lanka. No matter. Their proprietary, profuse, procession passes through the misty, twisting streets and vine-covered canyons every day at sunrise, and again at dusk.
Right here – right in the middle of the street, strut PEACOCKS!  Gaggles of  them! Peahens with dishwater-dull plumage peck at the asphalt. Gaudy, plump peacocks perch on any convenient roof, bobbing their metallic blue heads and flashing iridescent plumage for the world to admire.
And, OH, the racket!  It can be heard everywhere; a screech that sounds like a cross between a terrified human’s shriek and a very BIG cat’s meow!  One squawks over here. Then another over there…traffic slows down so they’re not hurt.
How DID these funky birds settle into the nooks and crannies outside Simi Valley?  Neighborhood folklore—every tale told—involves a shadowy bird lady who owned at least two of the radiant raucous birds and instigated some prolific propagation. During some ferocious rainstorm, the birds escaped their cages; set free to do their thing, nesting wherever some sucker is willing to feed them.
Now more or less out of control, the precocious plunderers (all 150-200 of the hulking exotic birds) are free to roam wherever they please. Since, by County law, no one with fewer than a half-acre of land may own a peafowl, or four, if enough neighbors sign a waiver, nearly everybody wants to shoot them, declaring two to be too many—a male and a female. Some residents actually enjoy these Peacocks’ antics—but from a distance.
From windows and yard, locals watch them clamber onto fence posts, roofs, and even an occasional hammock.  One Simi Valley resident who takes a power walk through the hills says the birds perk her up every day! “When all the Peacocks come down from their perches, you stop and look. You can’t keep walking.”
From those who live close by comes an entirely different story. The eat-almost-anything peafowl plunder lush gardens, rooting around for snails, nibbling on nibbles and gumming gladiolus. They trample tall flowers like stalks and snapdragons.  If you’re a gardener, waiting months for seeds to mature, then they’re GONE as soon as flowers appear, distress levels can approach impetuous reaction!
(These are the folks to acquaint, if the time between “Peacocks pieces” grows too long! We’re told that in spite of existing laws, many of these folks can be prevailed upon to help one-or more-of these pesky creatures to become your very own, live and in full color “Peacocks on the Fence”.) — an admirer from a distance!

Note: While taking a “gander” (a look) into Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary, we discovered that 1. spreading of the peacock tail feathers is conventionally regarded as a symbol of vanity. 2. a vain person.
Perhaps this explains the reasoning behind manufacture of so many Peacock designs, followed by the unrelenting desire of collectors to accumulate the vast variety~!? VANITY………all is vanity!............Just a thought!
Powder Blue Opal PEACOCKS $8500.-7-10.
Powder Blue Opal PEACOCKS - Sold for $8500.-7-2010.
Listed as REPRO. Peacocks Bowl.-$35. 7-3-10 Wroda Auction9 in. White PCE PEACOCKS Bowl
Left - Listed as REPRO. Peacocks Bowl.-$35. 7-3-10 Wroda Auction.
Right - Nine inch White PCE PEACOCKS Bowl.

PEACOCKS:  Here we have two extremes: The ultimate collectible desired by Peacocks lovers, the Powder Blue Opal bowl, and a marigold REPRO. in the same pattern. We don’t recall seeing any vintage models with this shiny surface.
The 9” white CRE bowl is fairly scarce. That particular un-stippled bowl is also found in marigold, amethyst, green, cobalt blue, ice blue, ice green, lavender,  Renninger blue, smoke, lime green, and aqua opalescent.

Albino PEACOCK Riches take wing, comforts vanish, but love stays with us. LOVE is GOD!
Albino PEACOCK Riches take wing, comforts vanish,
but love stays with us. LOVE is GOD!

Actual PEACOCK:  While admiring the tenacity of the live bird with its full-spread feathers, anyone can readily understand the desire to portray this beautiful creature on a fine piece of glass. At least three of the major manufacturers of carnival glass took full advantage of its portrayal.
While growing up, and during childhood spent in Parkersburg, WV in the late 1930s-early 1940s, we were taken to the large farm of a Mr. Bickel. He was a wealthy oil tycoon; an extremely kind and generous sort who used portions of his wealth to purchase and maintain vast numbers of exotic birds and animals. During Spring and Summer months, he would allow the creatures full roam of his acreage, and was delighted to have huge numbers of visitors to share in his “delight”! Mr. Bickel would circulate among the crowd of spectators, discussing the subjects at hand and welcomed questions for conversation.
There were a number of Peacocks roaming the grounds and it was a most delightful Sunday afternoon when one of those birds decided to spread its magnificent feathers and strut for a few minutes as if on parade.

Albino PEACOCK Christmas Tree Ornament!!!
Albino PEACOCK Christmas Tree Ornament!!!

PEACOCK Tree Ornament: You just “thought” you’d seen all the Peacocks! (smile) This 20” tree ornament creates a spectacular sensation in and of itself!
According to Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary: peacock(s) - 1. any number of large, related birds, especially the male with a crest and a long tail which has rainbow-colored, eyelike spots that can spread out like a fan; conventionally regarded as a symbol of vanity. 2. a vain person. 3. to be vain; to strut.
As compared with “human nature”, perhaps we can take from this, the prime reason leading carnival glass manufacturers placed great emphasis on use of this “bird” to sell their products?

Only known Sapphire PEACOCK @ FOUNTAIN Fruit Bowl-Remmen Auction-6-07. Aqua Opal PEACOCK@ FOUNTAIN-$6500. 2006
Left - Only known Sapphire PEACOCK @ FOUNTAIN sold at - Remmen Auction - 6-07.
Right - Aqua Opal PEACOCK@ FOUNTAIN - Sold for $6500. in 2006.

PEACOCK @ the Fountain:  The ultimate piece to collect in this pattern: the Sapphire Fruit bowl. We are pleased to be able to display it, along with another very rare specimen in the pattern: the A.O. Fruit bowl.  

Blue PEACOCK @ the FOUNTAIN Fruit Bowl.
Blue PEACOCK @ the FOUNTAIN Fruit Bowl.

PEACOCK @ the Fountain:  There are a few more in this color available, and green bowls are lovely, as well. Most collectors are happy to own at least one! (smile) Marigold, amethyst, white, ice green, and horehound are colors found in the fruit bowl, as well.

Ameth. PEACOCK @ FOUNTAIN Spittoon.$8500-Wroda Sale-11-06
Amethyst PEACOCK @ FOUNTAIN Spittoon.
Sold for $8500 at Wroda Sale in Nov. 2006.

PEACOCK @ the Fountain Spittoon: This disproportionate specimen was “bent out of shape” from a sugar bowl base. The amethyst example sold in 1996 for $15,000! Perhaps collectors have learned to “think through this sort of oddity, then think it ALL the way through?”  We have always doubted their origin as having come from the factory. (As a matter of fact: should one such as this have been included in a shipment ordered from the factory, the recipient would very likely have requested a replacement; believing it to be faulty and not at all “saleable”.)  There have been “tinker-ers” creating this sort of peculiarity for all of the more than forty years we have been collecting carnival glass. (We have talked with a couple of them who have admittedly created such distortions.) There is a green spittoon of this same sort, as well. Don’t you think that IF the factory thought for a minute things like this would sell so fabulously, they would have produced MORE of these than complete sugar bowls?  It’s a fair question!!

N. PEACOCK & URN 10 in. bowl in glowing marigold. Courtesy Rick & Debbie Graham.
Northwood PEACOCK & URN 10 in. bowl in glowing marigold.
Courtesy Rick & Debbie Graham.
10 in. Ameth. N. PEACOCK & URN (Ruffled) Bowl.
Ten inch Amethyst N. PEACOCK & URN (Ruffled) Bowl.

PEACOCK & URN (large, ruffled bowls): These large 9 ½”- 10  ½” bowls were fashioned from the same mould used for the non-stippled master ice cream bowls. Reported only in marigold, amethyst and green. This same mould fashioned the 10 ½” – 12” chop plates in amethyst, marigold, white and ice green.

N. PEACOCK & URN IC Bowl in Sapphire-C. Remmen Auctions $6500.11-11.
Northwood PEACOCK & URN IC Bowl in Sapphire.
Sold at Remmen Auctions for $6500. in Nov. 2011.

PEACOCK & URN Master IC Bowl (stippled) :  Sapphire is certainly a “winning” color in this popular pattern. Ice Cream sets are among the all-time favorites of collectors. Very few are known in this color…………possibly only 3 or 4. Named with the most available color first: marigold, cobalt blue, ice blue, horehound, honey amber, smoke, Renninger blue, sapphire.

NEW Peacock @ Ftn.-10 in. across x 6 in. high. Pink Frost.
NEW Peacock @ Ftn. - 10 in. across x 6 in. high. Pink Frost.

NEW Peacock @ the Fountain bowl:  Perhaps it came from China? Your guess is a good as anyone’s! Moulds are scattered all over the globe now.

Still MORE PEACOCKS, you say??
Actually, the stories surrounding the “pre-occupation” of John Fenton with the beautiful live birds on the grounds around the plant, may have resulted in the multitude of peacock variations found in Millersburg Glass. (You will find those detailed in our list of segments: Millersburg’s Myriad of Peacocks listed on our homepage.)

Dean & Diane Fry, 9/11
He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.  
He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.
But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God,
to those who believe in His name: who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh,
nor of the will of man, but of God.
And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory,
the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
John bore witness of Him and cried out, saying, “This was He of whom I said,
“He who comes after me is preferred before me.”
And of His fullness we have all received, and grace for grace.  For the law was given through Moses,
But grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has seen God at any time.
The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him.  (John 1:10-18)
Should you care to contact the Frys, their email address is:

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