Add Love and Stir

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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.

Linked to Thursday Special and Daily Prompt: Wish.

25 thoughts on “Add Love and Stir

  1. I can see that a carved wooden spoon could be a lovely way of showing affection. Taking the time to carve something into wood is a feat in itself. That it is utilitarian also is more a sign of the times. I think the modern spoons are kind of silly, unless the giver is going to add something to them. Now I’m going to have to go look at some of the carved spoons.

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    1. Yes, the modern ones are a sign of our mass market times, sadly. They are pretty but hardly suitable as a gift for a loved one. Unless… There’s a nice diamond attached to the bow maybe?

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  2. Interesting how customs have changed. We think of wooden spoons as servitude in the kitchen. Yet back then the love and skill that went into carving then was what was important. It is the message it represents, not the item. Great post. 😀

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    1. Maybe it seemed more romantic back in the day! I certainly wouldn’t be pleased if I was given a wooden spoon tomorrow. Nothing at all would be better. And more likely!

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