Knot of Love
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Knot of Love

The design for the Lover's Knot or Endless Knot of Love is a very popular one. In America around 1760, it became customary to give handwritten and decorated letters to one's sweetheart on Valentine's Day. However love knots could be given at any time of the year. The suitor used careful handwriting, scrollwork decoration, watercolor illumination, and messages of love twisting around every loop of a labyrinth.

Intricately drawn pen and ink love knots are brightly colored and usually include birds, hearts, tulips, and angels as well as minutely written messages of love. The format shows an intricate interlacing of scrollwork and strip work, colorfully decorated in a style similar to the medieval manuscripts.

These love knots were primarily an expression of love; however, they were also used as proposals of marriage. The suitor would deliver the love knot to his sweetheart's doorstep. If she accepted his proposal of marriage, she kept the love knot. If per chance she rejected him, she returned the love knot to him. This was one way in which the romantic suitor or the bashful suitor, as the case may be, could say what was in his heart. The True Lover's Knot is a labor of love. The suitor could use his ingenuity and loving care to painstakingly create a manuscript that would be carefully read by the sweetheart. With plenty of time on hand the youth of America in the late 1700's and early 1800's literally put his heart in his work.


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