One of the reasons why Welsh lovespoons are so inherently meaningful to the people who give and receive them as gifts is due to the meaning of the different intricately carved symbols that adorn each spoon.

Most of these are symbols of love, connection, sustenance and marriage, but one of the most fascinating symbols often carved into lovespoons is that of the horseshoe.

Horseshoes are commonly known as a good luck symbol and have been since not long after the horseshoe was invented.

Part of that is the iron they were made with, which is a material that has long been connected with protection. However, there is one particular story that has led to the modern interpretation of the lucky horseshoe.

The Test Of St Dunstan

Before he was the Archbishop of Canterbury and long before he was canonised as a saint, Dunstan I (circa 909AD – 988AD) was a blacksmith who was very skilled at shoeing horses.

According to legend, Dunstan was working in his workshop when the Devil walked in, asking him to shoe his horse. Dunstan, recognising it was was the Devil but pretending not to, agreed to what the Devil asked him to do.

However, when he got the shoe ready, instead of nailing it to the horse’s hoof he nailed it to the Devil’s cloven hoof instead, causing the Devil to be in excruciating pain.

After the Devil begged Dunstan to remove the shoe, he agreed, but only as long as the Devil would promise to never enter a house with a horseshoe nailed onto the door.

Because of this, nailing a horseshoe to the door or wall is seen as a symbol of good luck, with a range of traditions emerging from that.

Sailors believed that a ship could avoid storms by nailing a horseshoe to the mast, they were often affixed with seven nails due to the number symbolising good luck, and there is a debate about whether a horseshoe should be pointed up or down.

Visit our online store to find out more about the Two in God’s Favour Forever Welsh Love Spoon which is beautifully hand-carved and made from genuine FSC-certified Welsh Hardwood.

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