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?