In order to demonstrate affection, European royalty once bequeathed their actual hearts. They order their hearts to be cut from their corpses and buried in places near those they cared for. With a high point of fashion in the 12th and 13th centuries, this trend of heart burial coincided with Middle Ages military campaigns like the Crusades, where many journeyed far from home, and frequently died there. Rather than send the whole body back, sometimes just the deceased’s heart was transported, preserved in lead or ivory boxes, often with spices to keep it from smelling too much. Read the full article at Atlas Obscura.

L0026157 A vessel in the form of a heart held by a hand: 16th century