The Public Paperfolding History Project

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The Lover's Knot
This page attempts to record what is known about the origin and history of the 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.

The Lover's Knot is developed from the form known as the Seedpod (which in turn is developed from the Salt Cellar). It is characterised by the final move in which a waterbomb base is flattened to a square, trapping other layers of the design behind it.

There is also an index page containing information about Lover's Knots in general rather than about this specific design.



Vol 5: Issue 2 of 'The Origamian' for Summer 1965 included an article by Fred Rohm, 'On Bases', which mentions that he remembers learning the 'Lover's Knot' from his Aunt Mary, who called it a 'German Bow Knot' when he was six years old. Since he was born in 1907 that would make the year in question 1913. If this recollection is correct this is the earliest known evidence for the existence of this paperfold.



A patent for a puzzle based on the Lover's Knot (the puzzle is simply to fold it from a blank sheet of paper given a folded example) was applied for by Hilary Coughlin in 1934 and granted as US2007421A in 1935. (Information from Edwin Corrie)



The simpler Lover's Knot design appears in 'Paper Toy Making' by Margaret Campbell, which was first published by Sir Isaac Pitman and Sons Ltd in London, probably in 1937, although both the Foreword and Preface are dated 1936, which argues that the book was complete at that date.



Diagrams for a design called 'Bow Knot Money' (an adaptation by Mitchell Dyszel of the Lover's Knot from a dollar bill which places Washington's face in the knot) were published in 1940 in the magic magazine 'The Jinx' no 106 on page 636B (the rear of a resubscription advert). Information from Edwin Corrie.

Gershon Legman's 'Bibliography of Paper-Folding' incorrectly suggested that publication was in 1942. (In fact 'The Jinx' ceased publication in December 1941.)



The Lover's Knot also appears in 'Paper Magic' by Robert Harbin, which was published by Oldbourne in London in 1956



The Lover's Knot also appears in 'The Art of Origami' by Samuel Randlett, which was published by E P Dutton in New York in 1961.



The Lover's Knot appears as the base of a design called the 'Husky' in 'Secrets of Origami', by Robert Harbin, which was published by Oldbourne Book Company in London in 1964.