Medieval Love Tokens
Giving the perfect gift is always a tricky business. Now and in medieval times, giving a gift which says too little or too much might be fraught with peril.
Helpfully, medieval author Andreas Capellanus included a list of things might give to the medieval women without creating issues, although, he warns, these must be done in the correct spirit.
Looking down his list, it seems a little more complicated than first meets the eye. A circlet of silver or gold is an extremely expensive present. A mirror seems an extremely personal one. A ring? Really? A comb might seem a bit of a lack-lustre idea compared to other items on his list, but a hand-carved ivory comb with carved figures or a boxwood comb with sliding compartments for cosmetics is not a tiny gift at all.
Today as frantic men and ladies hit the shops in order to find that perfect gift, uncertainly still affects our choices. Flowers? Daisies or roses? What colour roses? The nuances of the flower colour code still lives today and can cause untold awkwardness if the incorrect colour is selected.