You’ll see majolica pine cones like this one I photographed in the ceramic center, Caltagirone, all over Sicily and southern Italy. It’s a significant symbol.
As a botanical, the pine cone is a reproductive organ. Female pine cones hold seeds. Male pine cones hold pollen. From ancient Greek times, the pine cone recalls the Greek god of male fertility, Dionysus (who had one atop his staff or thyrsus). Importantly, fertility translates to prosperity.
In ancient, spiritual wisdom, images of the botanical represent the third eye–our own awakened inner spiritual wisdom.
As a modern interpretation, which is the prevalent meaning today, it communicates a welcoming, hospitable home. In sum, such a piece, large or small, is a provoking souvenir to bring home with you from Sicily for so many reasons. Certainly, it’s a conversation starter for all your guests!