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Lovespoons (Museum of Welsh Life)

A selection of lovespoons from the collection of the Museum of Welsh Life, St. Fagans.

A selection of lovespoons from the collection of the Museum of Welsh Life, St. Fagans.

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Lovespoons are the most famous of the Welsh love tokens and it is believed that they were given by suitors to their sweethearts from the seventeenth century. The custom died out in the nineteenth century but they continued to be carved especially in some country districts. Making lovespoons became something of an art form and they were often produced for woodwork competitions and Eisteddfodau.

 

The lovespoons shown here are from the Musem of Welsh Life and represent one of Wales's finest collections. The designs are numerous, although symbols such as hearts, horseshoes and chains, are commonly seen. The earliest surviving love spoon dates from 1667 and is on permanent display in the Museum of Welsh Life, St. Fagans.

 

[Source: D. C. Perkins, 'Lovespoons from Wales' (Swansea, 1989)]