Origami Heaven

A paperfolding paradise

The website of writer and paperfolding designer David Mitchell

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The Lover's Knot
 
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the traditional design known as the Lover's Knot. Please contact me if you know any of this information is incorrect or if you have any other important information that should be added. Thank you.

Despite the name there is no evidence that this design was originally, or perhaps ever, folded to enhance or conceal the contents of a love letter.

Diagrams for this design first appeared on page 731 of issue 814 of the Boys Own Paper published on Aug 18th 1894 under the title 'How to Fold a Chinese Love-Letter.' The title does not necessarily imply that the design is of Chinese origin since it was commonplace to ascribe an oriental origin to magic tricks and other novelties at that time in order to make them seem more exotic.

Eleenore Heerwart's 'Course in Paperfolding - One of Froebel's Occupations for Children' published in 1895, contains a drawing of a design that looks very like the Lover's Knot, but pictured from the back.

'Diversions and Pastimes' by R M Abraham, first published by Constable and Constable in 1933, contains a design called the 'True Lover's Knot'. I have not been able to access a copy of this book to confirm that this is the same design.

This design appears in Margaret Campbell's 'Paper Toy Making', first published in London in 1936, under the title 'Lover's Knot'.