Welsh Love Spoons
by Emma Lewis
May 19, 2021
The idea of gifting carved wooden spoons is filled with affection and a tradition started back in the 17th century in Wales. Carved love spoons have developed a symbolic meaning over time, used to express love and acknowledge friendships.
The oldest Love spoon in the St Fagan’s Museum Wales dates back to 1667 but the tradition was probably around before then.
Historically, Love spoons were crafted by male suitors and presented as romantic gifts to the maidens they wanted to marry. Crafters would spend considerable time crafting the spoon to impress the maiden. More intricate detail would show the depth of their feeling and illustrate their natural carving skill. If the maiden accepted the Love spoon, then it would mean she was interested, and they would begin a relationship. The display of affection and union was referred to as ‘Spooning’. The term later evolved into a meaningful hug/embrace. The tradition was common across a number of Celtic countries not just Wales
Overtime people began to display the love spoons as a decorative item on their walls and carvers began to show off their abilities even more by also embellishing handles and grooves.
Love spoons are intended to illustrate thoughts and emotions and carvers continue to honour the folk origins. Every Love spoon will be unique as they are hand-made but they will include traditional symbolism.
In their original form as romantic gifts the symbolism mainly consisted of hearts, diamonds and wheel motifs. Over the centuries Celtic and national emblems like dragons and daffodils have become popular additions.
Some of the most popular symbols on Love spoons are:
- Hearts – frequently seen on Welsh Love spoons and is a universal symbol of love. The use of hearts signifies the depth of feeling for the carver’s beloved.
- Chain – Linked together forever. The added effect of balls was originally indented, to illustrate the number of children the carver wanted.
- Keys – are an illustration of security and a desire to look after the recipient.
- Bell – illustrates a need to be together in harmony
- Diamonds – a demonstration of wealth or good fortune
- Cross – depicts a faith in Christ
- Horseshoe – an illustration of Good luck
At Lush and Tidy we have a beautiful range which includes both small and larger size Love spoons and can be gift wrapped.
Our Welsh Love spoons are made from Lime wood, which is a popular choice as easy to carve and polishes well. Welsh Love spoons make wonderful gifts for Weddings, Anniversaries and Christenings. Our most popular Love spoons are:
The double heart love spoon is a traditional style and can be given to a loved one for birthdays or anniversaries and Weddings.
Our treble clef musical Love spoon depicts the musical aspirations of the sender/receiver. It’s modern and exquisite, and the perfect choice for a Birthday, Wedding or engagement gift.
The glitzy and gorgeous “together forever love spoon” comes in a small and large size and makes a wonderful wedding or anniversary gift. With its intertwining design and the balls locked in a cage, the piece is a symbol of eternal and unfathomable love.