Sunday, February 14, 2010

Sailor's Valentines

In honor of Valentine's Day, I thought I would post a few examples of what are known as sailor's valentines ~ these are handmade shell mosaics that were made by sailors for their sweethearts ~ according to folklore. Actually, it is believed that few were made by sailors, but rather bought as souvenirs in the Barbados. The craft originated in the mid 1800's ~ original valentines are highly sought after by collectors and command high prices. Below are just a few examples ~ I don't own a single one ~ although I do have a copy of the blue octagonal book shown.

As you can see, many of the sailor's valentines are made in octagonal shaped boxes. Some include sentiments or photographs. Those shown below with the lilac background are available as kits here.

Here are some contemporary pieces fashioned in repurposed pocket watch casings by Bill Jordan ~ to see more of his work, click here.

Some other contemporary boxes made using shells in a Martha Stewart magazine feature several years ago as noted here.

Happy Valentine's Day!

1 comment:

Penelope said...

I find things like these so endearing, when compared especially to sentiment these days where men are almost pathologically secretive about their emotions. I recently discovered love tokens that were made by polishing smooth one side of a coin and re-engraving it with the two lovers' initials, and I wonder where that sort of love has gone these days. Not all lost I'm sure, but certainly not as evident. Perhaps it has something to do with how much more restricted romance was back then, when a simple kiss was never simple.