Love spoon


Love spoon

A love spoon is an ornately carved spoon traditionally made from a single piece of wood by young men, especially in Wales, as a love token for their sweethearts, to show their affection and intentions.

History & Origins

The earliest surviving example, displayed in the St Fagans National History Museum near Cardiff, dates from around 1667, although the tradition probably dates back long before that.

The love spoon is thought to have originated from the "cawl" (soup) spoon. Over generations, decorative carvings were added to the spoon and it lost its original practical use and became a treasured decorative item to be hung proudly on a wall.

Symbols

Certain symbols came to have specific meanings: a horseshoe for luck, a cross for faith, bells for marriage, hearts for love, a wheel supporting a loved one. and a lock for security, among others.The love spoon was given to a young woman by her suitor. It was important for the girl's father to see that the young man was capable of providing for the family and woodworking.

Sailors would often carve love spoons during their long journeys, which is why anchors would often be incorporated into the carvings.

Although the Welsh lovespoon is the most famous there are also traditions of lovespoons in Scandinavia and some parts of Eastern Europe, which have their own unique styles and techniques.

Today love spoons are given as wedding and anniversary gifts, as well as birthday, baby gifts, Christmas and "just because". They are now mostly seen as a folk craft.

Literature

*'The Fine Art of Lovespoon Carving', by David Western, 2008, published by Fox Chapel Publishers, East Petersburg, PA, USA'.
*'Lovespoons in Perspective', by Herbert E. Roese, 1988, published by The Bulletin of the Board of Celtic Studies, Vol.35, pp.106-116.
*'The Story of the Lovespoon', by Trefor M. Owen, 1973/7, published by Celtic Educational (Services) Ltd., Swansea, U.K.
*'Welsh Wooden Spoons', by J.R.Allen, 1906, published in Archaeologia Cambrensis, 6th series VI, pp.47-53

ee also

* Wooden spoon
* treen

External links

* [http://www.welsh-lovespoons.co.uk/ Welsh Love Spoon History]
* [http://www.adamking.co.uk/Lovespoon_History.htm History of the love spoon]
* [http://www.lovespoons.250x.com The Lovespoon Story & its history]
* [http://www.gtj.org.uk/en/item10/15485 Lovespoons from Brecknockshire museum & art gallery held on Gathering the Jewels]
* [http://www.gtj.org.uk/en/item10/28686 Lovespoons from St Fagans museum on Gathering the Jewels]


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Look at other dictionaries:

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