Fir Cone or Pineapple?
In ancient Greek and Roman times, fir cones were commonly used as decorative motifs in architecture, sculpture, and other forms of art.
The fir tree was a symbol of life and regeneration in many cultures, including the Greeks and the Romans. In Greek mythology, the fir tree was associated with the goddess Artemis, who was the goddess of the hunt and of childbirth. The tree was said to possess healing powers and was often used in ancient medicine. In Roman mythology, the fir tree was associated with the god Jupiter, who was the king of the gods and the god of the sky and thunder.
Fir cones were often used in Greek and Roman art to symbolize fertility, regeneration, and the cycle of life. They were commonly used as decorative elements in sculpture, particularly in the decoration of architectural features such as columns, friezes, and pediments. Fir cones were also used in the decoration of vases and other pottery, as well as in jewellery and other decorative objects.
Pineapples are native to the Americas and were introduced to Europe after the discovery of the New World in the late 15th century and symbolised the regenerative power of nature.
The use of pineapples as a decorative motif in classical architecture emerged much later, during the 16th and 17th centuries, when pineapples were introduced to Europe from the New World.
Pineapples became popular as a symbol of wealth and hospitality, and they were used in the decoration of buildings, furniture, and other objects throughout the Baroque and Rococo periods.
In the 18th century the Coade factory produced pineapples because they were a popular and fashionable decorative motif at the time. The Coade factory was known for its innovative and high-quality architectural ceramics, and they likely responded to the changing tastes and trends of their customers and clients in producing a wide range of decorative motifs, including pineapples.
In fact, both pineapples and fir cones continued to be used in classical architecture throughout the 18th century and beyond, depending on the specific design and context. For example, pineapples were often used in the decoration of grand houses and public buildings, while fir cones were commonly found in garden and landscape designs.
Today at Coade, we follow the tradition of the 18th century original design of a pineapple. We make them in pairs and don’t confuse them for a fir cone.