Did you know that the pineapple has been a symbol of hospitality since colonial days? The discovery of formerly unknown continents brought new and exotic fruits to Europe and the American colonies. Merchants and sea captains returning from the West Indies would present their guests or host with a pineapple as a gesture of friendship. The significance of such a gift was greatly enhanced by the rarity of tropical fruit.
The symmetrical beauty soon made the pineapple a favored form of decoration for eighteenth and nineteenth-century homes. Many examples of this symbol of hospitality exist throughout Colonial Williamsburg. Sculpted finials, wall decorations and elaborate furniture carvings are but a few of the examples of the pineapple which have provided inspiration for this design.