Dating back from as early as 1664 in Germany and very likely beginning before that, Welsh lovespoons are handmade gifts that were carved and given as a sign of romantic intent which showcased a persons skills at carving and artistry. This was also a way for their fathers to see that the suitor was capable of caring for his daughter. These spoons often had symbols relating to love (heart), togetherness (twisted stem), willingness to work for their partner (wheel) and security (lock), but also occasionally featured anchors due to sailors often carving lovespoons during their long journeys out at sea.
Lovespoons are meant to be more of a decorative item with elaborate and symbolic patterns incorporated into the spoon itself rather than being a practical spoon. They are often seen as prized pieces to be displayed on the wall of a home and have some sentimental meaning for their owners. While Welsh lovespoons are the most well-known, there are also similar crafted lovespoons seen in Scandinavia e.g. the Norweigan wedding spoon and Eastern parts of Europe, with the oldest dated lovespoon originating from Germany.
A stained Welsh lovespoon produced by Paul Curtis in Wales.
In more recent times, lovespoons are often given as a wedding favour, Valentine's Day gift, birthday present, Christmas present or just as a souvenir from a trip to Wales. They are no longer specifically a gift given from men to their romantic interest and are the perfect gift for a friend or relative as a decorative item with sentimental value. Lovespoons can also have laser engraved personalisation to include names, dates or words in the design, which adds an additional layer of meaning for their recipient.
The most well-known crafters of Welsh lovespoons today are Paul Curtis and Huw Jones. Both of which have a large range of lovespoons featuring many different symbols and finishes...
When looking at a lovespoon, you will notice a series of carved motifs. Each of these symbols represents a particular meaning which can be found accompanied with an example image in the gallery below. While the most common symbols are shown, lovespoons are not limited to these symbols and can be carved with any symbol that is desired. An example of which may be of a musical note or instrument, which may simply indicate the recipient or owners affinity towards music.
Settled love, or signifies sailor origins.
Love held safe, or used to show a number of children.
Signifies a wedding or anniversary celebration.
Love birds or flying away together. If a single bird e.g. dove, represents peace.
Two people together forever or linked together.
Faith in Christ or relating to a wedding.
Relating to wealth, prosperity or good fortune.
Symbolises togetherness or the phrase 'Let us be together'.
Strength, or often used to represent the Welsh Dragon.
Symbolises a loving relationship. In the case of a daffodil, used as a symbol of Wales.
Angelic themes or shows an affinity towards music. A symbol of Wales.
Symbolises steadfast love or the phrase 'I love you'.
Often used to symbolise luck, and wishing good luck to their recipient.
Two souls intertwined, tied together, or an eternal love.
Symbolises security or two souls locked together with the phrase 'I shall look after you'.
Used to specify milestone celebrations, e.g. birthday or anniversary.
A symbol representing protection, or the phrase 'I will protect you'.
Celebration of a newborn baby or pregnancy.
Symbolises togetherness and being united in eternal love.
Signifies someone who will work for their significant other.
We sell a large collection of lovespoons at Welsh Gifts in all shapes, sizes and materials including wooden lovespoons, pewter lovespoons and mini lovespoons; which are great for wedding favours. Several items in our collection of welsh lovespoons can also be personalised to include names and dates in the design (products by Huw Jones). A touching reminder of a special day such as a christening or wedding.
On our website, we stock lovespoons expertly crafted by two of the most talented woodcarvers in Wales: Paul Curtis and Huw Jones. Additionally, we also have a smaller collection of pewter lovespoons that have been crafted A.E. Williams, who specialise in pewter crafting. You can find a small selection of our small Welsh lovespoons below, along with a link to the full gallery.