A SMALL COLLECTION OF ANTIQUE SILVER
AND OBJECTS OF VERTU
THE WHAT IS? SILVER DICTIONARY

NAPKIN RING

A circular, elliptical or hexagonal band used to enclose a rolled table napkin and identify the user of the napkin.
Such rings are variously decorated and sometimes bear the engraved name, initials or monogram of the user.
Silver napkin rings were created in different styles and techniques including bright cut, niello and enamel (cloisonné, champlevé, plique á jour).
Napkin rings are a European invention and the first examples appeared in France around 1830.
According to the Oxford English Dictionary, the first known appearance of the term "napkin ring" in literature was on page 275 in a book entitled Workwoman's Guide, published in London in 1838. This handbook of needlework, knitting, etc. contained directions for knitting "checked napkin rings" to be stiffened with wire or buckram. Although the appearance of napkin rings in literature does not prove the date of their origin, it might be a clue as to the period in which they came into general use.
In the United States napkin rings appeared later and the first patent for this item was granted in 1869. Many subsequent design patents were registered until the early 1900s.
An American specialty, unknown in Europe, was the figural napkin ring. They were made in silver plate rather than sterling and accompanied the ring with a sculpture depicting animals, children and a variety of characters. Antique figural napkin rings are items highly researched and valued by collectors.
The tradition of giving napkin rings as presents at christenings (single item) and weddings (pairs) began in the 19th century and continues to present days.

silver napkin ring silver napkin ring silver napkin ring

silver napkin ring silver napkin ring silver napkin ring
silver napkin ring silver napkin ring silver napkin ring




silver napkin ring silver napkin ring silver napkin ring



silver napkin ring silver napkin ring silver napkin ring


silver napkin ring silver napkin ring silver napkin ring

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