I could have had a glove stretcher, a warming plate, a penny lick. What I actually got was the cheeky Coca de Mer.
Yesterday I was at an event hosted by The Box, the soon to be open contemporary cultural space in Plymouth.
I was handed a mystery object to talk about.
The Coco De Mer , a giant seed pod from the Seychelles was not unknown to me, there is one growing a tree at the Eden Project and there is a shop of the same name just North of Covent Garden
The seed is known for its erotic appearance, something that has hastened the trees demise in its native Seychelles.
It’s name means Coconut of the Sea, a name given erroneously because floating seeds were found in the seas of the Indian Ocean and were believed to come from underwater palm trees. In fact they had dropped into the sea and sunk because of their immense weight , only floating to the surface when the decay process made gasses and gave them bouyancy.
The Box specimen is blackened and has a glossy finish with a hole drilled into it. It was very tactile, not particularly heavy. It has obvious visual female charms but the surprise was how calming it was resting on my lap. The curves just nicely fill your hands and the smooth surface of the Plymouth specimen encourages fingers to make journeys around its form.
The tree is endangered because it’s seeds are the way they are and surrounded by erotic folklore. They are protected by law in the Seychelles, but can be sold in a more controlled way to tourists and institutions. Historically gathered examples are sold for massive prices.
Since meeting the Plymouth Coco de Mer, yesterday, I’ve read a bit more about it on another blog site, a good read if you are interested.