Welsh love spoons date back to the 16th or 17th century and are carved wooden spoons that young men gave to their beloveds, much like we would send flowers today. They were made from a single piece of wood and the intricacy and delicacy of the decorations were used to showcase the carver's skill and dexterity.
The symbols on each spoon varied according to the message the giver wanted to send.
Heart - Love
Key and Keyhole - Home & Security
Bell - Weddings, Anniversaries, Marriage
Vine - Love Grows
Ball - Love held safe or number of children.
Flowers - Affection.
Double spoon - Togetherness
Heart-shaped bowl- Full & bountiful life
Wheel - Work
Diamond - Wealth, good fortune
Oak leaves - Strength, Love Grows
Horseshoe - Good luck
Cross - Faith
Ship - Smooth passage through life
Knot- Everlasting, together forever
Dragon - Symbol of Wales, protection.
It's usually the handle of the spoon that is decorated, and sometimes it's expanded to form fretwork or relief.
Today, love spoons can be given for almost any occasion, and not just as a courting gift.
To celebrate Valentine's Day I'm giving away a signed copy of The Spirit Guide - a love story from beyond the grave - and a yummy chocolate love spoon. The giveaway is only open to those wonderful readers who subscribe to my newsletter, so if you want to be in with a chance to win a similar prize in the future, then join my elite readers here.