There are many types of love and different couples value very different aspects of the love they have for each other.

Many of the symbols seen on Welsh love spoons represent that fact, with bells representing weddings and marriage, anchors representing security, horseshoes representing good luck and dragons representing a strong protective love.

One of the most interesting pairs of symbols is the lock and key, which is amongst the most unique, layered and complex symbols commonly seen carved into the limewood, sycamore and walnut used to make a love spoon.

What a lock and a key practically do has been clear ever since the Assyrians used keys over 6000 years ago. A lock closes and secures doors or valuables and a key is used to open them.

In some cases, this is also what a lock and key mean on a love spoon. They represent security, protection and shelter, commonly associated with buying and owning a home together.

However, what makes the symbol so fascinating is that it can represent a more literal aspect of love or something more abstract.

Keys are often connected to revelations and knowledge, and so a key and a lock can symbolise the beginning of a new adventure into the unknown with the person you are closest to and care for the most.

A key is often used as the ultimate symbol of trust, which is usually represented with the idea of the key to the heart. A key symbolises freedom and power over someone, which you would only give if you believed that they would not use this power to hurt you.

In certain traditions, a key is a symbol of safety, security and protection in other ways. In older Jewish cultures, midwives would give a key to a synagogue to a woman in labour to help them safely deliver the baby.

In Eastern Europe, a key would be hung over a bed upside down to protect from nightmares, whilst in other cultures, keys are a symbol of the afterlife or eternal life.

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