The Lovespoon Tradition

 

In Wales we have this wonderful romantic tradition which is appreciated universally  -  we love to share it with you and the World.

The custom of giving lovespoons as a token of affection began in Wales in the 16th Century. They were given to a loved one as a courting gift (in a similar way to a bouquet of flowers or a love letter!).

Even the most elaborate lovespoon is carved from one piece of wood, showing the skill of the expert carver. It was almost always the handle of the lovespoon which was decorated. This was eventually enlarged to form a panel giving greater scope for decoration, such as relief carving,  piercing the panel, fretwork or a combination of all three.

Other developments included wooden chains, swivels and rings, the purpose being to make an object from one piece of wood, which seemed initially to be made from several pieces. Showing the expertise of the expert carver!   The decoration of lovespoons takes many forms to allow for the artistic expression of the carver and to give personal meaning to the design. (see "meanings")

In the 1800's, at the time when the Victorians started greeting cards, the tradition of the Welsh lovespoons broadened to be given to family and friends and for special occasions, although the original idea of a courting gift is still as strong!