A frequent figure in these manuscripts, as well as in art and architecture of the Christian Church from early times, is the peacock. The peacock appears in borders and in illuminations. Examples of drollery (the term for these playful figures) appear in the margins; these figures are typically not symbolic. Since it was believed that the peacock's flesh did not rot, the peacock symbolized immortality. Two qualities of the peacock, its regalness and its incorrupt body, linked it to the Virgin Mary: like the Virgin, the peacock was considered royal, and the Virgin's body was incorrupt and taken to heaven unstained by death, like the peacock's. The peacock's association with pride and vanity occurred later.
Although peacocks leave the egg-laying to the peahens, eggs likewise represent eternal life. The egg is symbolic of Christ's resurrection, the creation of new life. Eggs also became associated with the resurrection since they were forbidden during the Lenten fast; at Easter, they were symbolic gifts representing new life and an end to fasting. Frequently they were painted red, in commemoration of Christ's blood.