Love spoons

Love spoons, hand carved, 19th century. The origins of lovespoon making in Wales is unclear, but the first examples of love spoons date from the 17th century. They were given as a token of affection to loved ones and each spoon was unique.

There are many love spoons in Storiel’s collection and they reflect the delicate craftsmanship of local workers. The early love spoons include romantic symbolism such as hearts, diamonds and wheel motifs.

The process of making lovespoons has continued but by today they are used more as gifts to commemorate events.

The feast day for the Welsh patron saint of lovers, Dwynwen, is the 25th January. In the Middle Ages many pilgrims visited her shrine and church on Llanddwyn Island, Anglesey. Lovers also visited to foretell their future – they looked down Saint Dwynwen’s Well to study the movements of the eel or fish that lived there.

These love spoons are displayed in the life rituals case in Gallery 4.