I am always fascinated to know the provenance of objects and design. When you scratch the surface it is amazing what you can discover.
What does the pineapple symbolize?
Sweet, spiky, and tropical, what does the pineapple represent? Pineapples have been inspiring decorative arts for centuries and it may come as a surprise that they were on trend during the mid 1700's!
Originally they were a symbol of royalty and wealth - an exotic fruit imported across oceans to the homes of the upper class. They were cultivated in glass houses in the late 18th century and soon after became available to the general public.
1970's Mauro Manetti pineapple ice bucket
Today they represent hospitality and still inspire the design of fabrics, lamps and other decorative pieces.
What does the artichoke represent?
Artichokes are an ancient vegetable that are full of symbolism. Artichokes have a tender heart at their core which is protected by strong layers of leaves - lovely characteristics that may be interpreted in a myriad of ways!
Freddotherm artichoke ice bucket
They represent hope, peace and prosperity.
What is the symbolism of the fig?
There is no doubt that the fig is a biblical fruit - one thinks immediately of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden.
They are considered a sacred fruit and a symbol of peace and abundance. The seeds represent fertility, understanding, knowledge and faith.
Artisan salad bowl with fig, leaf and garlic grater
Their plump green and purple skins and blushing pink interior make them a designers dream!
What do melons represent?
Melons have been historically associated with luxury, wealth, creativity and gluttony. This still life by Giovanni Battista Ruoppolo dates to the 17th century - isn't it amazing to see how the fruit has evolved?
A silvered melon sculpture
For the Chinese, melons have a beautiful meaning - symbolizing family unity - "they hold out the wish that the family will, like the moon, stay round, large, whole, and also united", according to Flavour & Fortune.
What do bananas symbolize?
Sigmund Freud wasn't alone linking the phallic shape of a banana with reproductive organs!
Whichever way you look at it bananas and their huge fronds have featured in the design world for centuries and more recently with tropical prints on fabrics and wallpaper.
A collection of six banana ornaments
Explore our collection of unique vintage, artisan and antique wares exclusive to Chez Pluie.
Image credit: Ananbo, Heidi Willis, Scientific Illustration, Giovan Battista Ruoppolo (Wikipedia), Rawpixel, Sheknows.com, Katieconsiders.com, Pinterest and Chez Pluie.