Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Wedding Spoon

Hi Friends, its Irish Heritage Thursday!  Today we will explore the "Wedding" Spoon.

Some years ago, my crazy Aunt K gave me a silver necklace with an intricate spoon attached.  It was very unique and I loved it at first sight.  Yes it had a spoon on it, but this is an aunt that enjoys spending her free time training women how to survive in the Adirondack mountains (alone and without makeup or hairdryers), carries her own Maple syrup in her purse (imitations just won't do), and picked up a full sized canoe on a bus trip to the LL Bean store in Maine.  I figured that she just liked the necklace and was thoughtful enough to buy it for me.  Crazy, right?  I was wrong...

The lovespoon dates back to 17th Century Wales.  A young man would carve a spoon from a single piece of wood and present it to his sweetheart.  It came to be regarded as an engagement token and would signal the seriousness of his affection.  The handle would be carefully carved with birds, hearts, wheels, and balls.  Each signifying good luck, the blessing of children, wealth and good health.  The more intricate the detail the greater the skill in carving it.  The greater the carving skill, the more distinguished the artist.  (And the greater the catch.)  If you accepted the lovespoon, a serious courtship would follow.  Your final destination?  Domestic bliss where you might put your spoon to good use in your cottage kitchen.  Or for those of us that can't cook, what a great conversation piece. 

Being unable to cook might not make you such a great catch in the 17th Century.  Luckily, we find ourselves in the 21st Century.  Where people that are special to us still present us with tokens of their affection.  Thanks Aunt K.  I wear the necklace often.  I believe that it brings me good luck.  And though I never intended to marry you, I love you just the same!


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