Roasted peacock was a Tudor delicacy. In the Tudor kitchens at Hampton Court three peacocks sit on fine tableware ready to be taken upstairs as part of the King’s feast. Although today the peacocks are stuffed, their feathers still make an ideal dinner for moths! Our preventive conservation team regularly check for signs of moths and damage and remove any live moths and their cases. If a large number are found, the whole peacock can be frozen (for three weeks) which will kill any remaining moths, larvae and eggs. Accumulated dust is carefully removed with a soft brush and a vacuum on low strength suction, the nozzle is covered with mesh to ensure that the delicate feathers do not get sucked through.
Pam Pinkett, Preventive conservation technician