{mosaic of shells an expression of love}

While in Key West, I picked up a beautiful souvenir. Sailors' valentines were made in Barbados between 1830 and 1880 by the natives and sold to English and American sailors. This was a port of call for the ships coming home. The sailors bought these souvenirs as tokens of love to their wives or girlfriends.

The valentines were octagonal boxes made of cedrella (Spanish cedar). They contained mosaic designs created from seashells often including a message of sentiment. A glass was placed over the design to protect the delicate shells.
You can beautiful ones at the following site: http://www.lyndasusanhennigan.com/ Photo copyright M.Barnes 2009

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