A few days ago I wrote a piece about wooden spoons. Well today I’d like to talk a little about a very special type of wooden spoon, and that is the lovespoon. Here is some brief information about the origins and symbolism of lovespoons.
A lovespoon is a wooden spoon decoratively carved that was traditionally presented as a romantic gift. A spoon is normally decorated with symbols of love, and was intended to reflect the skill of the carver. Due to the intricate designs, lovespoons are no longer used as functioning spoons and are now only considered as decorative items.
The lovespoons are a traditional craft that dates back to seventeenth century Norway. Over generations, decorative carvings were added to the spoons and they lost their original practical use and became treasured decorative items often to be hung on a wall.
The earliest known dated lovespoon from Wales, displayed in the St Fagans National History Museum near Cardiff, is from 1667, although the tradition is believed to date back long before then. The earliest dated lovespoon worldwide originates from Germany, and is dated as 1664.
The lovespoon traditionally was given to a young woman by her suitor. It was important for the girl’s father to see that the young man was capable of providing for the family and had good skills in woodworking.
Sailors would often carve their lovespoons during their long journeys at sea, which is why anchors would often be incorporated into the carvings.
Certain symbols came to have specific meanings: a horseshoe for luck, a cross for faith, bells for marriage, hearts for love, a wheel supporting a loved one and a lock for
security, among others. Caged balls indicated the number of children hoped for. Other difficult carvings, such as chains, were as much a demonstration of the carver’s skill as a symbolic meaning.
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 when it comes to the lovespoon.
Today lovespoons are given as wedding and anniversary gifts, as well as birthday, baby gifts, Christmas or Valentine’s Day gifts.
Many years ago newly married Norwegian couples ate with linked lovespoons to symbolize the bond of their marriage. The spoons were sometimes referred to as wedding spoons. These spoons and chain were often carved from a single piece of wood, demonstrating the groom’s wood carving craftsmanship.
Wikipedia The Free Encyclopedia
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