17th Century Baroque Carved and Gilded Wooden Girandole: Goddess Pomona as Caryatid F750

The Goddess of fruitful abundance, Pomona, is represented as a caryatid, carved in gilded wood, meant to support a many branched girandole, or candelabra. Time and wear has only added to its beauty, and, though the finish and gilding has mostly eroded, the carving is remarkably intact. Probably one of a pair. The exuberance of the carving presages the rococo period succeeding the baroque. Goddess measures 57″ high, and 18″ square at the base. 17th century European.

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A Girandole (from French, in turn from Italian girandola) is an ornamental branched candlestick or lighting device often composed of several lights. Girandoles came into use about the second half of the 17th century, and were commonly made and used in pairs. A girandole has always been, comparatively speaking, a luxurious appliance for lighting, and in the great 18th century period of French house decoration, the famous ciseleurs designed some exceedingly beautiful examples. A great variety of metals have been used for the purpose. Sometimes, as in the case of candlesticks, girandoles have been made in hardwoods.

Pomona was the goddess of fruit trees, garden, and orchards. Unlike many other Roman goddesses and gods, she does not have a Greek counterpart. She watches over and protects fruit trees and cares for their cultivation. She was not actually associated with the harvest of fruits itself, but with the flourishing of the fruit trees. The pruning knife was her sacred tool. In artistic depictions she is generally shown with a platter of fruit or a cornucopia.