Welsh Love Spoons Symbols
The carver of a love spoon would incorporate designs in his spoon that were meant to convey special meanings to the recipient of the spoon. In fact the spoon itself was symbolic telling the recipient that the carver wished to keep her and provide her with food and with everything else that she needed.
In English sweethearts were said to “spoon” when courting and even today a boyfriend may be referred to as “sbwner” or “sboner” in some parts of Wales.
A heart told her that he was giving his heart to her and links in a chain told her how many children he wanted. A chain could also indicate the linking of their lives together that the carver wished for.
A cage carved in the Welsh love spoon in which there were balls carved also denoted that he wanted children and the number that he would like to have. Another interpretation is that the carver or his heart (the ball), had become trapped by his love for the girl.
Intertwining hearts indicated togetherness as did a double bowled spoon.
A twisted stem to the spoon also indicated togetherness or two lives as one.
A horseshoe meant he was hoping for good luck in their union and a bell represented a wedding or an anniversary.
A diamond shape cut into the spoon expressed the hope of good fortune and wealth.
A key offered the key to his heart and a keyhole told her that his home was hers.
Celtic Knotwork carved on the love spoon indicated his wish that they be together forever or that their love last forever.
A sailor carving a spoon for his intended on a long voyage may have used nautical symbols such as a ship showing their passage through life together or an anchor to tell her how strong and steady he was or even that he had found a mooring in her presence.
Each Welsh love spoon was therefore carved to tell a story as the individual carver wished to tell it and the spoon was as plain or as intricate as he chose to make it. The final design was limited by only his imagination, skill or desire to convey a particular message.