ON FEBRUARY 14TH
'The Birds and the Bees'
Begin their swarm,
May your cold winter days be fully warmed
By magical moments and soulful meetings ...
Sensing only the tie twixt two open 'HEARTS' beating :
Two 19th Century Welsh 'Love Spoons'
The left example carved with hearts and commas (soul, deep affection), 10.25" Long
The right example also with stars, champagne glasses,
wheels (lifetime support) and spade bowl (I will work for you), 7.25" Long
A Good Victorian Charles II Style Silver Tankard
William Gibson & John Lawrence Langman, London, 1898, 26.5oz.,
the handle base with the reminder of the 'base of it all' : the heart
George III Facet Cut Firing Glass, England, c1775
the unusual basal facets cut as a band of touching hearts
Should your 'HEART' (of choice) be yet timid of 'pair-lets',
Try some blue and white 'jarlets' with 'TULIPS' of scarlets :
Left : Kangxi / Yongzheng Blue & White Silver-Mounted Lidded Jug, c1680-1730
Dutch Silver Mounts, Jacob Helweg, 1798-1875,
depicting a Gentleman Bringing a 'Pair' of Woven Baskets for his Lady
Middle : First Period Beaker Gu Vase, After An Early Chinese Form, England, c1765-70
with Floral Sprays and Pomegranates (strong association with Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of Love)
Right : Kangxi Blue & White Silver-Mounted Tea Caddy, c1700
Dutch Silver Mounts, Cover & Collar,1814 Small Articles Sword & Illegible Maker's Marks
Painted with Bamboo & Parrots (Parrots often symbolizing 'Speaking from the Heart')
Such an 'UNEXPECTED' bright display
Just could make 'DELIGHT',
... as ...
'LOVE IS LIKE a BOWL of CHOC-O-LATES'
You Never Know What You're Gonna' Get!
Scarce George II 'HONEY-comb' Moulded Glass Footed Bowl
England, c1730, 3.5" High / 6.5" Diameter / 17.9 oz.
In the ancient tradition of mould-blown glass
HEARTS, TULIPS & CHOC-O-LATES
on VALENTINE’S DAY!
A FEW NOTES OF INTEREST REGARDING THE ABOVE :
Welsh Lovespoons : The earliest surviving Welsh love spoon dates c1667,
now displayed in the Welsh Folk Museum in Cardiff.
However the tradition of giving love spoons probably far predates that time.
According to folklore, these ornate "cawl" (soup) spoons were
traditionally carved from a single piece of wood (probably sycamore)
with a pocket knife by young men
- particularly 'shy young men' -
to show affection and intentions for their loved ones.
The spoon would be presented to a young lady as a prelude to courtship.
If she accepted the spoon, it would be hung with ribbon on a wall beside the fire...
and the wooing could proceed.
Each love spoon is unique, created by one suitor for his particular ‘intended’.
Some of the symbols featured are as follows :
Hearts : The universal symbol of love; a sign of passion and strong emotion,
signifying the carver's depth of feeling for his beloved.
Comma or paisley shape : Said to represent the 'soul' and deep affection.
Wheel : A vow by the carver to work hard to support and to guide a loved one through life.
Tulips, and Blue & White Porcelain : In 1593, tulips arrived in The Netherlands, probably from Turkey,
soon becoming a luxury flower sold to courtiers, country gentlemen and rich merchants.
These spectacular bulbs were often put in expensive Chinese and Delft vases,
most decorated in blue and white in the style of Chinese porcelain being imported at the time.
‘Still Life with Parrot Tulips in a Wan-Li Vase with Fly & Lizard’,
Circle of Ambrosius Bosschaert I (Dutch, 1573-1621), Public Domain
The walls of finer 17th century Dutch homes displayed still-life paintings depicting freshly
pressed damask table tops, abundantly adorned with shiny cups, fruits and flowers.
The most coveted works were colorful still-life paintings with beautifully composed
bouquets of tulips and other exotic flowers,
often in Chinese and Dutch blue and white ceramics.
The 'tulip' and 'blue and white ceramics' were popularized in England when
Queen Mary II (wife of William of Orange) returned from Holland to England in 1689,
along with her vast collection of blue and white ceramics.
It is said that Her rooms at Kensington Palace (design above by
Royal Architect Daniel Marot) (cc) were decorated with many vases,
"piling their China upon the tops of cabinets, scrutores,
and every chymney-piece, to the top of the ceilings".
(Daniel Defoe, 1650-1731)
Tulips were also the object of the world's first financial bubble.
"Tulip mania" reached its peak during the winter of 1636–37, when the lust for tulips pushed the
prices above the public's ability to purchase (sometime a single bulb being 10x's an artisan's yearly salary).
The thriving speculative tulip market suddenly crashed.
'Honeycomb-Moulded' Glass :
Many today think of 'honeycomb moulded' glass as being of the late 18th and 19th centuries.
However, 'pattern-moulded' glass vessels have existed from the Roman era,
including the familiar 'honeycomb moulding'.
Developed in the eastern Mediterranean, this glassware usually dates from the fourth century A.D. forward.
A few honeycomb moulded examples exist even from the 1st century AD, attributed to a rather
mysterious glass-blowing master, Ennion, who apparently looked to architecture for inspiration.
'Honeycomb-moulded' Roman vessels, with relief diamond or hexagonal shapes,
were considered among the most beautiful bowls of the time.
Honeycomb Beaker (300–599), CMoG 79.1.245.
Bequest of Jerome Strauss. Image licensed by The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY
(www.cmog.org), under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.
Mould-blown patterned glass, including 'honeycomb'. was continued
by 15th-17th century Venetians, particularly as cups and tazzae.
The 'honeycomb' pattern is also known in 17th century England,
a version of which led to George Ravenscroft's 'nipt diamond waies' glasswares,
in which vertical ribs (or applied threads) were 'nipped' into diamond shaped with pincers.
Below is a detail of a Ravenscroft roemer, c1676-1678, the honeycomb shape formed by 'pincers'.
George Ravenscroft, Roemer (about 1676–1678). CMoG 50.2.2.
Image licensed by The Corning Museum of Glass, Corning, NY
(www.cmog.org), under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0.
'Love Is Like a Bowl of Chocolates' :
Paraphrase of the famous comment by Forest Gump,
played by Tom Hanks in the 1994 movie of the same name) :
"My mom always said life was like a box of chocolates.
You never know what you're gonna get."
Inventory Photography : Millicent F. Creech