History of the Lovespoon

As their eyes met across the Welsh village square, he knew what was needed. He had to hand carve her a lovespoon. Any available time over the coming months, would be spent carving the spoon. He had his pen - knife, a scrap of sharpened metal to act as a scraper, and so his labour of love had begun.

He would need to show his intended's father that he was good with his hands, vital in rural Wales, and he hoped that his love would see his carving as an indication of his desire to build a home with her; and so the carving of the lovespoon would continue.

He would carve a heart on the spoon to show that his heart was her's, the keyhole would be an indication of his desire to share his home with her, and assuming their growing together, he would carve a vine on the spoon. When the spoon was finished, he would then hope that she would accept it and his heart as well, although, he knew that by accepting his token of love, was by no means an indication that she had accepted him.

He knew several women in the village who had already amassed a small collection of lovespoons, and knew that no matter how popular each woman was, she could evidently not marry all her suitors.

And so his lovespoon, believed by many to be an extension of the Cawl Spoon, (Cawl - an early Welsh broth, and staple part of the diet) neared completion, the time for acceptance or rejection would soon be upon him.

They spent many happy years together, the lovespoon that had brought them together all those years before had taken pride of place upon the wall of their living room. Now, it had passed through the many generations that followed, keeping their love alive and everlasting.

Is it the oldest known lovespoon? That question can never be answered as love spoons are rarely dated, therefore it is impossible to accurately date them. At the Museum of Welsh life at St. Fagan's in Cardiff, the collection there has one spoon dated back to the 1660s, as well as many other fine examples. One thing is sure though, the carving of lovespoons is a part of Welsh Culture going back many centuries.

Now though, lovespoons are seen more as a memento of Wales, be that as a result of a trip to Wales, or for an exile longing for the green and pleasant land, still called Home.

Whilst the carving and giving of lovespoons has not survived the test of time, and many of the lovespoons bought today are machine made, who knows, maybe one day, the old custom of carving a lovespoon for the one you love might re-emerge from the distant past and become part of Welsh Culture again.

Welsh Love spoons are a unique Celtic Craft. They make the perfect Celtic gift

 

©2010 Paul Wadge No text or images to be copied without prior consent