Saturday, December 7, 2013

Found Treasure - Welsh Carved Love Spoon

Searching my local thrift store for a treasures, I came across this unique wooden spoon that is clearly hand carved. I pick it up for just 25 cents and made it mine. I intend to hang it in my kitchen as a symbol of luck carrying on a tradition passed on in my family by my grandmother and my mother. Hanging a spoon (or spoon and fork set) is supposed to bring luck in to a home's kitchen. I like the idea that this little treasure will help add some luck to my magical household. It is also a nice little country touch.

As I sat here looking at it, I wondered about who carved it. The initials B.M. and '03 are carved into the back of the spoon. I couldn't resist poking around on the internet about carved wooden spoons. Imagine my surprise when I discovered I had, in fact, found a Welsh Love Spoon.

Dating back to the 17th Century, Welsh Love Spoons were tokens of love from a man to woman. The man hand carved the spoon out of a single piece of wood. Complexity and symbols carved spoke of the feelings the man had toward the woman as well as the carver's skills. The spoon I found has a single large heart and a smaller heart above it (presumably where you could hang it or put a small leather thong through to hang it). One heart carved speaks of "true and steadfast love". There are many other symbols and meanings such as:

  • Heart: True and steadfast Love                                   
  • Celtic Cross: Blessing of union/Faith
  • Horseshoe: Good Luck and Happiness               
  • Lock: Security             
  • Harp/Castle: Wales                                        
  • Anchor: Settled Love and security or Stable loving relationship               
  • Links: Lives linked together                                            
  • Bells: Wedding /Anniversaries
  • Key Hole: My house is yours/Living together      
  • Circles: Eternity  
  • Ship's Wheel: Guidance                                     
  • Balls in Cage: The number of Children or years waiting to get married   
I am very pleased to think that someone may have made this for their sweetheart as a token of their love. I will hang this spoon in my kitchen and, I am sure for many years, I will contemplate the carver of this treasure. It just goes to show you that you never know what intriguing mystery you may find in your local thrift store.

Have you ever heard of a Welsh Love Spoon? Do you know of any once popular traditions that you carry on or still embrace?