Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Italian Stone Fruit

I began collecting stone fruit many years ago. In the world of collectors, we refer to it as stone fruit, although some people call it alabaster or marble fruit.  Made in Italy as early as 1900,  it became a popular decorative in the 50s. The vintage pieces have a nice, aged patina to them. There is also new stone fruit from Italy that is great looking as well, and if you don't have an affinity for old things, you can make a handsome collection with the new fruit.

I hunt for unusual pieces now, have been known to throw in a new piece if it is interesting enough,  and am quite wild for little obscure pieces that I have found, like hazelnuts, peanuts and, technically it is not all fruit. There are even some vegetables out there to be found.......rare, though.

Joan, over at Anything Goes Here, has done a several posts on stone fruit and was featured in Country Living in 2001 here for her amazing collection.  I was a little late to the party and just commented on her stone fruit post today. She featured the collections of several other bloggers and I recognized this big, wonderful mound of grapes in an urn from Joan at for the love of a house. Check out her blog for lots of other beautiful antiques.


 Joan, of Anything Goes Here,  suggested that we combine our enthusiasm and link to each other. Great idea!

In fact, she is selling some stone fruit on her anything goes here marketplace and if you want to start collecting, here is a wonderful peach she has for sale!

Gather a few more and you can have a bowl full like I have on my coffee table!

Fredericksburg is known for our peaches, so it was only fitting that I gather a bowl full!

See the peaches hiding back there behind the bowl of mixed fruit?

My sweet daughter just went to the flea market at the Tennessee fairgrounds and surprised me with two more pieces of stone fruit. (I LOVE it that she has started hanging out at flea markets!) A girl just can't have too much fruit!

My friend, Barbara, whose home I featured here, has a marvelous collection of good, old fruit in muted, soft colors. When I am at her house, I covet her fruit. Sick. I know.

Barbara also has some incredible pear halves. Fruit slices or "splits" are harder to find and are desirable among serious stone fruit collectors. Many of them were originally made as bookends and finding a pair is really fun!
Here you can see my half pear and my half apple. Oh! and I spy a peanut.

Here are my grapes in one of my favorite tramp art pieces.

Last, but not least by any means, my blue grapes. Someone painted them long ago, and while that little bit of creativity could have been disastrous, they appealed to me in a weird way and over time I have grown to just love them for their worn and beautiful blue patina.

If you like stone fruit, visit Joan's etsy shop,  or look on eBay or at flea markets and antique shows. Some of the new pieces, like so many reproductions these days, will look like they are old. An honest dealer will tell you if the fruit is vintage or new,  and ultimately only buy what you love and want to live with, new or old.

The prices vary, so don't be discouraged if you run across a piece with a giant price on it - keep looking for what feels right for you. As with anything you collect, the more you look, the more discerning your eye will become. As you look more and more,  you will know which pieces of fruit appeal to you and what you are willing to pay.

Happy Hunting!


  1. What a fun collection! Love the grapes especially, and adore the tramp art box!

  2. my sister has some persimmons that I covet.

  3. Hi Ann!
    WOW, some of those look so much like the real thing, that peach is mouthwatering......Amazing stuff love the grapes...Maryannexo

  4. You even inspired me to start my own collection a few years ago, and I just love the ones I found! I'm always on the lookout for persimmons, half-fruits, and pomegranites - so I'll check out the links in this wonderful post.

  5. Hi Ann, nice collection... the stone fruit has never really been on my radar screen but they will certainly catch my eye and attention now!... ~Terri

  6. I have a few pieces of stone fruit. Love your collection.

    Thanks for the lovely comment about my home on Love Where You Live. If you'd like to see more photos, there is a house tour at Atticmag.


  7. I love stone fruit, temple fruit, bisque fruit. Especially the fruits and veges of Mary Kirk Kelly. I decorate my dinner table with them with low flowers and never get tired of the effect--my guests might be. Thanks for the post!

  8. love your collections!
    also LOVE your green mexican pottery!
    just noticed your article on "Love where You Live" cool!
    and your ticking stripe chairs look sooo comfy.....
    any luck on house selling? your place is wonderful....just waiting for the right buyer/right time....
    have a great wknd....

  9. hi! i just found your blog and I love it! I love, love, love the hill country. My husband and I live in Fort Worth, and we love the hill country so much we got married in Blanco-on a lavender farm overlooking the twin sisters! My bachelorette party was in Fredericksburg!!

  10. You have a fantastic collection .I love the tramp art box ...

  11. * I LOVE these~~~ what SUPER pieces & the split pear I COVET!!! Hmmmm, could this be the beginning of yet ANOTHER collection??? YIKES!!! Gonna HAVE to buy a summer house!!!!!

    SUPEr posting... thanks!!!

    Linda in AZ *

  12. Hi Ann!
    Thx for the comments today...the house on the lake was amazing and pics really didn't do it justice!

    Have a great wknd and again , thx for stopping by!

  13. I have some too!!!!! great minds.....


  14. Tuesday I will have my post up linking people to this beautiful and informative post! Thanks for linking to me. xo Joan@anythinggoeshere

  15. I have never seen stone fruit. I like the way it looks though.

  16. These fruit are gorgeous. We sell them at our antique store, though, It's been harder to find them lately. You took such beautiful pictures of them.



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