Elizabeth ‘Betsey' Braun
Sailor's Valentines have long intrigued Nantucketers - and they continue to do so today. Local Nantucket artist Elizabeth ‘Betsey’ Braun draws her inspiration from the sailors of Nantucket’s whaling heyday. The myth is these intricate art pieces were made by sailors during their long voyages at sea as gifts for their wives and loved ones back home. Historians believe they were in fact souvenirs purchased during their travels.
Today, sailors valentine's are collectors items and Betsey, an expert in the craft, has been making them for more than twenty years. Many of the shells used in her creations have been collected on Nantucket beaches or in Florida and Mexico during her travels. We love Betsey's work because she is carrying on the sailors valentine craft alive in such a true and traditional way.