While the history of the pineapple goes back before America’s colonial times, the pineapple has stood as a symbol of hospitality and abundance for hundreds of years. In Colonial America, visiting and entertaining was standard fare for sharing cultural news and society’s well-to-do. The pineapple stood as a symbol of warmth, prosperity, welcome, affection and graciousness not only for society’s elite, but in the family home and included in neighborly gatherings celebrating an ornamental fruit bowl.
Used as a favorite motif, not surprisingly this historic symbol was picked up by artists, architects, furniture makers, silver smiths and other artisans. Carved finials were added to buildings, gate posts and weather vanes, using the pineapple as the prominent subject.
Today the pineapple is still associated with colonial times and used in traditional style decorating schemes, but I wonder if many remember its historical roots. Living in New England I still spot the occasional Christmas door adornment and often spy Christmas ornaments decorating our holiday trees. The pineapple will always stand as a symbol of welcome and hospitality in New England.