The lovespoon is a traditional craft that dates back to at least the seventeenth century. The spoons were carved by men and given as a gift to a girl as an indication of a desire to court them. They were intricately carved, usually containing one or more traditional symbol, indicating the carver’s hopes and wishes. For example, an anchor indicates a desire to settle down and a clover is a wish for good luck. To learn more about these symbols and the wishes represented by them click here.
Once a practical gift as well as an indication of love, these highly decorated spoons have lost their original use and have become a treasured decorative item to be hung on a wall.
The earliest known dated love spoon from Wales was carved in 1667 and now hangs in St Fagans National History Museum near Cardiff. The earliest dated love spoon worldwide originates from Germany, and is dated 1664.
The spoons above are labelled “modern” and are very simple compared with the intricately carved spoons of bygone days.