The image of the pineapple has long adorned the welcoming entrances of some of the world’s finest homes. The exotic fruit’s association with fine living dates back to the fifteenth century, when European explorers brought them back from their voyages to the Caribbean. By the seventeenth century, when this rare and highly prized fruit began to be cultivated in hothouses, only the very wealthy could afford them and would sometimes use them as the centerpiece for their lavish entertaining tables. Pineapples became so synonymous with opulence that some were even known to rent them for their table displays.
With the rise of New England′s great sailing ship era, sea captains would often place a pineapple outside their homes after returning from a long and perilous voyage to signify a safe return and to invite friends to visit. Thus originated the tradition of incorporating the form of a pineapple into carved stone elements placed at the entrances of distinguished residences. For William Pitt Sotheby′s International Realty, this tradition endures, with the pineapple serving as our icon and the perfect symbol of hospitality and home.