Figs , Fig Leaves and the Garden of Eden

There is an ancient town in the heart of Tuscany in Italy, famous for it’s alabaster, a beautiful translucent stone used for centuries to create windows, before knowledge of glassmaking arrived in the west from the Orient.  We stayed just outside Volterra a few years ago and one of our favourite daily pastimes was a coffee and a little ‘people watching’ in the main town square followed by a visit to one of the numerous alabaster studios within the town.  Most of the fine sculptors in Volterra worked in pure classical style producing replicas of famous sculptures for the tourists but one rather more adventurous sculptor  – Paolo Sabatini – drew us day after day to his studio to admire the quirky, magnificent and original pieces he produced there.  An alabaster hand bursting out of a vintage wooden radio, apples and fruit, toothpaste tubes and high heeled shoes .  A particular favourite was his sublime rendering of a large fig leaf which resided in a fine glass cabinet, strategically positioned in the centre of the studio to attract most attention.   Every visitor we observed, including ourselves of course, was unable to resist the temptation to take a peek underneath the fig leaf, at which point would be heard guffaws of laughter, shrieks of giggles or loud intakes of embarassed  breath, depending on the person doing the looking, for underneath the exquisitely sculpted fig leaf in true reflection of classical myth and Biblical tradition surrounding Adam and Eve, was to be found an equally exquisitely sculpted set of male tackle……………….

 ALL PHOTOS © JANE MORLEY

20 Comments Add yours

  1. I’m just glad he was a traditionalist and it was alabaster and not glass……..
    Imagine if you’d come upon him blowing it….

    Gorgeous photos by the way…They look delicious.

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    1. Ooerr Missus 😦 and there was I trying to be tasteful….. Oh well, Glad you like the pics !

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      1. Always rely on me to lower the tone……:-)

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      2. I’m not sure my readers (all 3 of them) are quite ready for you sh – I’m thinking more Jackanory and Midsomer Murders than Raymond Revue bar if you please sir …..! 😦
        I’m looking for that cross-eyed icon thingy again but still can’t find it so we’ll go with ;( ? +( ?

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      3. I promise I will do my best to shuffle off my leanings towards smutty innuendo and chin up to the high bar you set……
        ‘Jackanory’ and ‘Midsomer Murders’ eh…….?
        Hmmmmmmm.
        So you’re trying to appeal to the truly high-brow amongst us then?

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      4. Absolutely sir, my original aim was a slice of gentle rural French life but we have now had a suicide and a murder here in the last fortnight so I may have to start looking at the Tarantino devotee rather than the Bill & Ben flower pot men follower. I would not wish to cast aspersions on your leanings under these circumstances, my bar is not that rigid. I shall stop there , I can hear a joke coming….. 🙂

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      5. Madam !!!! The rigidity of your bar is your business and yours alone.
        🙂
        Oh, and as for that sleazy love triangle between Bill, his brother and that floozy, Little Weed…. even Tarantino would hesitate before exploring the back story…
        Hobberdobberlob!

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      6. No I seem to remember it was more BlobberBlubberBlobberplopt….? ( I was only about 3 when I watched the Flowerpot men but it was my absolute favourite according to my mother) 🙂

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      7. Well Jane, no-one would believe it to look at either of our gravatars, but I was also around for, and a big fan of, the F Pot men at much the same age….For me it was a toss up between them, and ‘Noggin the Nog’…Do you remember him?
        Aaaah, those were the days.
        🙂

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      8. Actually I do remember the name but not quite what it related to, these days, for those of us involved in renovations, a Noggin has become a piece of wood you knock in between upright supports, but never did hear tell of what happened to the Nog?! You’re right, much as I don’t like to think of the time passed, there was something very innocent about those days! Long live Enid Blyton, Blue Peter and the Sex Pistols, oh no, that was teenage stuff wasn’t it? 😉

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      9. You MUST look for Noggin the Nog on youtube….
        You WILL thank me, it’ll be far more fun than banging a piece of wood.
        🙂
        And…Congrats on winning this weeks shpics ‘Strange Combination Award’…….

        (Would you believe, a skinny blue haired 17 year old owner of a bass guitar he never really learned to play, shared a Wolverhampton stage with Johnny, Steve, Paul and Sid in ’77?….. A very phlegmy experience…)

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      10. Isn’t that weird, the moment the theme music started to play I remembered it instantly! Wonderful stuff, they don’t make ’em like that anymore! Fancy you being almost related to the Sex Pistols – I never actually saw them but did see one of the very early Strangler’s gigs at Norwich university Union when I was 16 – thought they were fabulous but was a bit perturbed by the number of beer mugs flying at the stage, mainly full ones – criminal waste of beer!

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      11. I’ve just gleefully watched the four episodes of N the N and the Ice Dragon…..First time for a while 🙂
        Now I’m in trouble with Mrs Shpics as I should have been out to fetch bread….Oh dear…

        Saw the Stranglers but not with quite the same degree of intimacy as the Pistols…..They obviously had more sense than to risk being upstaged by four sixth form Grammar boys..(Or maybe not, hahahahahahahah)……I remember my Grannie saying “You can be a punk AFTER you’ve done your homework”….

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      12. Hope your bread situation is sorted and that you bought Mrs Shpics at the very least a chocolate orange. Your granny sounds like a force to be reckoned with! Never was a punk myself more ACDC Led Zep Robin Trower that sort of easy listening stuff – I’ve been thinking what an excellent name for a band Smutty Innuendo would be…… 🙂

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      13. If Messrs Young, Page or Trower see this they will be gunning for you…Easy listening..haha…
        🙂
        (In your band would someone be playing the double entendre?)

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      14. Oh yes definitely and there’d probably have be a fiddler and at least one pair of castanets 🙂

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      15. Sounds fab…….
        I heart Smutty Innuendo!
        xx

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  2. Ah, the sigh of sadness at reaching the end of this post and not finding the matching image. And you, a brilliant photographer, Jane. I’m resigned to use my mind’s eye. All for the good of praising ART. 😉

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    1. Alas Shelley – I wish very much that I’d had the money at the time to buy the piece in question – ‘twould have been the bringer of much mirth over the years I suspect! And so the mind’s eye must let fly and create for itself in this instance…… 😉

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