Sailor's Valentine by Fred Winey. All of Fred's work is created using handcrafted wooden boxes and shells or other things from the sea. 10" Diameter.
These delicately handcrafted works of art made of many small shells glued into an intricate pattern became popular in the 1800's. Sailors returning home from months or years at sea would gift these beautiful octagonally-framed shell designs to their loved ones.
Originally it was believed that these works of art, which came to be known as sailor's valentines, were made by the sailors themselves while out at sea, but in the 1960's it was discovered that these gorgeous valentines were likely handmade by women in Barbados and sold there in a shop at the last port of call for many ships returning home.
Today, the craft is kept alive by several artists who still make sailor's valentines, among them Fred Winey, a Massachusetts-based artist who locally collects shells and other items from the sea to create these lovely works of art by hand.