history and meanings

The history of the Welsh love spoon

According to Welsh folklore, these ornately carved spoons were traditionally made from a single piece of wood by young men as a love token for their sweethearts. to show his affection and intentions for his loved one.

The earliest surviving example, displayed in the Welsh Folk museum in Cardiff, is dated around 1667, although the tradition probably dates back long before that.

The love spoon originated from the “cawl” (soup) spoon.  Over generations decorative carvings were added to the spoon and it lost it’s original practical use and became a treasured decorative item that would be hung proudly on a wall. Over decades certain symbols came to have different meanings, (see the list below).

Sailors would often carve love spoons during their long journeys, which is why anchors would often be incorporated.

 Today,  love spoons are requested from all over the world. They are given as gifts for weddings, engagements, christenings, birthdays and anniversaries or as a love token and as a souvenir from Wales.

Although the Welsh lovespoon is the most famous there are also traditions of lovespoons in Scandinavia and some parts of Eastern Europe, which have their own unique styles and techniques.


    Wheel                            Supporting a loved one.

    Leaves                           Love grows

    Stork and baby              New baby.

    Ring                                Together forever.

    Knot                                The entwining of lives and together forever.

    Key and keyhole            Home together, my house is yours and security.

    Horseshoe                      Good luck and happiness.

    Hearts                              True love.

    Harp                                 Traditional Welsh symbol.

    Flowers                            Affection

    Dragon                             national symbol and strength/protection

    Diamond                           wealth and good fortune

    Daffodil                             National symbol and sign of growing love

    Cross                                faith and marriage

    Birds                                  Two lovebirds

    Bell                                     wedding/ wedding anniversary

    Anchor                               security and the desire to settle down