Treasures

Peacock Minuet

<em>Peacock Minuet</em>

© Memorial Hall Museum, Pocumtuck Valley Memorial Association

Currently known only through a Frances and Mary Allen photograph, Madeline Yale Wynne's wooden chest with applied raised-copper ornament known as Peacock Minuet was shown in the Village Room at Deerfield's first group Art and Crafts exhibition held in 1899. Suited for table-top display, Peacock Minuet was intended to hold photographs. Wynne used the technique of pyrography to burn the impression of strutting fowls into the surface of the piece. Like their counterparts in nature, Wynne's dancing peacocks are vibrantly hued. The Springfield Republican described the pair as "low relief colored with dull blues, greens and ruby reds, the keyhole and corner plates being made of hammered copper, toned to harmony with the dark surface of the bow."1

The Peacock Minuet stands as an example of Wynne's unparallelled versatility and inventiveness. What one contemporary said of her jewelry could as well be said of her entire body of work, "Mrs. Wynne's metal work still keeps unchallenged place for beauty and originality. She could not do a commonplace thing and she never repeated herself."2 The Allen photograph of the Peacock Minuet appeared in the September 1899 issue of Harper's Bazar.

  1. Springfield Republican September 5, 1899.
  2. Lydia Avery Coonley Ward, contributor, In Memory of Madeline Yale Wynne (Chicago, 1918), page 12.

Date:
1898 - 1899
Creator:
Madeline Yale Wynne