Breathes there a man, et cetera, who has never been caught forgetting Valentine’s Day? Pity the poor guy who remembers at the last minute, calls the florist, and is informed that they’re all out of roses and orchids, but would he like some nice chrysanthemums. Beware, friend: Chrysanthemums are what you send to the bedside of distant, unpleasant, and impecunious relatives.
It doesn’t do any good to argue that the custom of exchanging love tokens on February 14 has nothing to do with St. Valentine, who may or may not have been two different Roman priests martyred in the third century. Or that it probably originated in a pagan Roman fertility festival called the Lupercalia, and we all know what happened to Rome, don’t we? Or that it may also have something to do with medieval nonsense about the birds choosing their mates on February 14. Or even that it’s really just commercial hype designed to enrich the greeting card industry, already fat from Christmas.
Face it, you have to remember your Valentine. Women have to remember men, too, now that we have equal rights and all that. So to help jog your memory and stir your imagination, we sent out Sam Meador, one of the city’s most industrious collectors of bagatelles and bibelots, to find the most heart-warming Valentine tokens available. Here they are.
The beribboned satin top is an original design by Cynthia Moon, $29; black Spandex jeans, $28 at Judy’s; “Sweetheart of the Rodeo” boots, with ostrich-skin heart insets, $195 at Cutter Bill Western Wear.
TOP ROW: Antique metal cookie cutter, $3 at The Samplers. Alabaster snuffbox, $10 at The Paper Handlers. Handmade petit-point box, $20 at The Paper Handlers. Handmade Swiss copper mold, $14 at The Pan Handlers.
BOTTOM ROW: Satin and velvet rainbow pillow, $25 at The Artifactory. Red ceramic heart box with candle, $3 at The Paper Handlers. Antique beaded pin cushion, from The Samplers’ private collection. Small ceramic coeur a la creme mold, $4.25 at Williams-Sonoma.
Antique magazine cover, from the Copper Lamp’s private collection.
FIRST ROW: Antique mother-of-pearl dance card, from The Samplers’ private collection. Lucite paperweight, $2.50 at the Market Hall Antique Show and Flea Market. Aluminum cookie cutter, 30 cents at Williams-Sonoma. Satin broken-heart pillow, $90 at Under Arrest and Crystal Connection.
SECOND ROW: Hand-painted ceramic heart, $9, made to order at Over the Rainbow. Big cookie, 40 cents, made to order at The Cakery. Hanging heart, hand-made of jeweler’s bronze, $6 at Scandinavian Shop. Original soft sculpture in brass box by Susie Cox, $15 at One Beautiful Day.
THIRD ROW: Hand-made redwood box, from a private collection. Lead crystal paper weight, $9 at Under Arrest and Crystal Connection. Jasminescented candle in tin box, $2.95 at Wood ’n Wicks. Hand-made Swiss copper mold, $6 at The Pan Handlers.
FOURTH ROW: Hand-painted ceramic pin, $6 at The Original Edition. Handmade Swiss copper mold, $18 at The Pan Handlers. Brach’s large candy conversation heart, 49 cents per two-ounce package at Cohen Candy Company. Satin-and-lace pillow, $25 at The Artifactory.
FIFTH ROW: Brach’s needlepoint-look box with one pound of mixed chocolates, $5.95 at Cohen Candy Company. Fitz and Floyd divided-heart ceramic box, $7.50 at The Paper Handlers. Straw basket, $2 at The Samplers. Antique ceramic box, $14 at Yesterday’s Corner.
Straw box, $5 at The Samplers. Bronze and enamel beaded snuffbox, $10 at The Paper Handlers. Godiva chocolate heart, with chocolate cream and cognac filling, packages from $1.50 at The Coffee Company. Enamel barrette, $5 at Cynthia Moon.
Hand-painted ceramic sweet-hearts necklace, $85 at The Original Edition. Jim Dine lithograph in chrome frame, $92 at The Poster Place.
The Paper Handlers 5946 Royal Lane 692-6372
The Samplers 6615 Snider Plaza 363-0045
The Artifactory 5940 Royal Lane 363-7360
Williams-Sonoma 8405 Pickwick Lane 696-0348
Cynthia Moon 3212 McKinney 522-9686
Cutter Bill Western Wear 5818 LBJ Freeway 239-3742
The Copper Lamp 4534 McKinney 521-3711
Under Arrest 3833 Cedar Springs 528-3380
Crystal Connection 7001 Fair Oaks, Suite 512 363-8881
The Cakery 2535 Cedar Springs 748-3903
Scandinavian Shop 5500 Greenville Ave 691-9270
One Beautiful Day The Quadrangle 2800 Routh 748-3948
Wood ’n Wicks 857 Richardson Square Mall 783-1260
The Original Edition 1520 NorthPark Center 363-2731
Cohen Candy Company Inc 171 Howell 741-6426
Yesterday’s Corner 2416 McKinney 742-9689
The Coffee Company The Quadrangle 2800 Routh 748-1183
The Poster Place Olla Podrida 12215 Coit Road 661-3383