Friday, June 19, 2009

Sailor's Valentines

Well, this month's blog has turned out to be all about shells! They have place in yesterday's as well as today's world. On their own they are special but put together in a grouping they can become even more fabulous. I find that there is a fine line between tasteful and kitschy...after all~ beauty is in the eye of the beholder!


The story of Sailor's Valentines bring thoughts of romance and of sailors aboard majestic ships on a long voyages to new wolds and new adventures. Dreaming of loved ones left behind...

It was told that these sailors had many idle hours about and set about making these valentines with shells collected from their travels, but in reality most of the Sailor Valentines where actually purchased though cottage industries on the Barbados island to bring home to their missed loved one. Sailors would buy or trade items for these special treasures.

Vintage Valentine 1850's

An authentic valentine was said to have a heart, a flower design such as a "compass rose", and a special sentiment such as "Forget Me Not", "To My Sweetheart", or "Think of Me". The Valentines were made in octagonal shaped box that were two sided and hinged with a glass cover. When closed, usually with a heart shaped-clasp, the delicate work inside was protected.


Original Sailor's Valentines can be rare and collectible. There are "new" Sailor's Valentines, crafted by contemporary artist, in today's market that are quite beautiful. And there are kits for you to make your own special treasure!

Valentine by S. Morgan

During the Victorian era, making Sailor's Valentine was a popular past time. It is believed many of the shells used in these were brought home to beloved ladies by their sailors.

Small Valentine we made in a class at ROotie


Here are some links:
nantucket sailors valentines
shannon webster valentines
stephanie strange valentines
wendy marsall valentines
pocket watches by bill jordan
other shell uses
book on sailor's valentines

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