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A sailor’s valentine

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Tradition has it that sailors have a woman in every port, but what if that was not always the case? Apparently, even the mightiest seadogs have a softer side…

A sailor’s promise enclosed in a box coming straight from Barbados. This is how sailors tried to conquer their girlfriends’ hearts when they were off to sea. These caskets, studded with shells and known as “Sailor’s Valentine”, were designed in a shop in Bridgetown by two English brothers, George and B.H Belgrave.

Sailors would purchase these pledges of love for their sweethearts before making their way back home. These boxes are handmade and decorated by craftsmen with complicated seashell patterns and heart warming messages. Today, these works of art have a significant economic, cultural, and aesthetic value and their demand is very high.
These ancients gifts of love can cost up to 25,000 euro, but there are cheaper models as well. A word of advice: if you opt for the expensive set, they must have been handcrafted between 1820 and 1880. So, if you’re engaged to a sailor, what are you waiting for? Ask for your own personal “Sailor’s Valentine” for Valentines Day!  


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