They were traditionally a betrothal gift from a suitor to his sweetheart and each of the symbols carries its own meaning.
Love spoons containing caged balls (like this one) usually indicate the number of children hoped for.
Hearts mean love
Entwined hearts mean love is returned
Horseshoes mean good luck
Locks indicate security in the home
Bells symbolise a marriage
A harp means the music of love
A daffodil symbolises both Wales and affection
A double bowled spoon indicates togetherness
A knot symbolises the thread of life
Most times the spoons would combine symbols to give different messages.
I’ve gathered quite a collection of spoons over the years, given to me by my husband – some received as an apology after an argument! I’ll summarise the meanings for you.
This one we bought after we were together first. The vines and grapes indicate a hope for love to flourish.
This one my husband bought me after one of our first arguments. It’s a double heart and a horseshoe and, in his words, it means “I love you very much and I need a bit of luck”! It traditionally means I wish you love and luck!
This one, with the double heart and the lock also contains a Celtic cross. The meaning of this spoon is wishing the receiver love, faith and security in their home and marriage. The double heart also means love is returned.
These small ones are tokens. The larger of the two was given to me after an argument. He said it means “I’m sorry, but not that sorry”! The smaller of the two was one of the wedding favours we used.
My favourite is this spoon, the one we bought to celebrate our marriage. The lock, heart, horseshoe and bells on this symbolise our hope for love security and luck in our home and in our marriage.
At 47, I don't expect to receive one containing caged balls!!