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.
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