Unlike most faux fruit, these showstoppers are signed by the creator — the house of Barbini, in Murano, Italy. Each of the islands’ renowned glassworks is famous for its own technique, and Barbini’s trademark is trapping a bubble, often colored, in the center. A centuries-old tradition, Murano glass gained recognition in the U.S. after World War II, with actual-size works rising in popularity as souvenir paperweights, and outsize options like these serving as bookends.
The produce is still beloved today, for its beauty and for sentimental reasons. Along with figs and, as Karch says, “every kind of fruit that’s local in the Mediterranean,” artisans produce grapes as symbols of luck, and individual cherries, which can be given as sweet favors to wedding guests.