Unusual pair of Italian baroque walnut pedestals. Each top is supported by carved fruits issuing from two spirally grooved cornucopiae held in the jaws of scaly twin serpents. The composition symbolizes the agathodaemon, an ancient Greek spirit of vineyards and grainfields and a personal companion spirit. The Romans adopted the snake with a cornucopia as one of the penates, or household gods of plenty. The upper portion rests on an incurvated base that is decorated with laurel swags and overlapping scales and terminates in large scrolls. [Top shelves replaced. Small repairs.]
A famous marble statue of Antinous as Agathodaemon in the Pergamon Museum in Berlin portrays him standing by a grooved cornucopia with an entwined scaly snake.