For over forty years we have worked closely with our customers in the Middle East to produce masterpieces that represent and tell the story of their remarkable history and culture. One iconic animal from the region is the majestic Arabian Falcon, revered in Arabic culture, its symbolism dates back into distant antiquity and the earliest civilisations of Mesopotamia and Babylonia.
Falcons are a remarkable family of birds. The fastest hunters on the planet in fact, managing speeds of 180mph when swooping onto their prey. They are apex predators, with short wings and razor-sharp talons that they use to eviscerate prey with incredible precision. Capturing that sense of power and agility in a sculpture isn’t easy, we work hard to get it right.
Peak of Elegance began life as a wooden sculpture, which was then 3D scanned to enable our talented CAD designers to scale it and enhance the form before it was 3D printed into castable sections. These pieces are then welded and soldered in the forge to form a whole piece. The magic of the masterwork comes from the chasing and colour treatment that truly brings it to life, perfectly representing the fine traditions we uphold in our London workshop.
Firstly, the incredibly detailed and finely finished feathers are chased into the metal by hand, creating a highly realistic texture that almost feels like feathers to the touch. Secondly, this effect is complemented by the combination of two colouring processes. We oxidise the surface to create a darker metal finish, then we polish it to burnish and lift the upper elements of the chased textures. The result creates a contrast between the feathers, as you would see in real bird. It tricks the eye into seeing more depth of colour and movement than either polishing or oxidising on their own could achieve.
The particular falcon is perched on a piece of preserved hardwood, subtly treated to look like a natural unvarnished branch but stabilised so it will remain perfect for lifetimes to come. A heavy matt-oxidised silver base in the form of a rock keeps Peak of Elegance’s tall 58cm stance stable and planted. Its mirror polished eyes and beak seem to move with reflections and add a sense of realism and dynamism to this remarkable sculpture. There is no finer example of hand chased master craftsmanship, with such realistic detailing and the palette of silvery grey tones that match the colours of a real peregrine falcon. And like it’s living cousins, it is rare, uniquely coloured and truly striking.