Giacomo Alessi’s Pine Cones
The symbol of the pine cone has many meanings dating back as far as the ancient Babylonian culture. It also had a symbolic in role in Ancient Greek culture and in Roman Catholicism, in which it signified a cosmic egg linked to the birth of creation and the beginning of everything.
Pine cones are full of seeds and are thus symbolic of fertility and prosperity. They were the traditional good luck charm given to a married couple forming a new family, hence why wrought iron beds in farming culture are decorated with pine cones. Pine cones are also a symbol of the fertility of the mind that produces ideas of renewal and growth, since its ovoid shape is associated in various cultures to the pineal gland of the human brain.
There is a traditional belief that pine cones should be given to people to hang above the door of their home in order to bring the family good health, hospitality and good luck. Pine cones are the fruit of evergreen conifers and therefore also symbolize longevity and eternity. They are used to embellish the balconies and entrance gates of great villas and stately gardens, as well as monumental cemeteries and the facades of churches and convents. They also adorn the thrones of kings and popes, representing the embodiment of the soul, the bridge that unites the earth with the divine.
This important symbolism is shaped by the hands of the Alessi company’s skilled craftsmen, who make small and large pine cones. The potter uses a wheel to create the basic shape and the support, which are joined together after a first drying stage. Then, with great skill and precision, the craftsman shapes the scales of the pine cone one by one, using only their fingers. This produces a truly harmonious, captivating final result, which is then glazed in the kiln using classic colours such as cream white, copper green and cobalt blue.