Linderhof


Gardening, Cooking and Decorating on the Prairie of Kansas


Welcome to Linderhof, our 1920's home on the prairie, where there's usually something in the oven, flowers in the garden for tabletops and herbs in the garden for cooking. Where, when company comes, the teapot is always on and there are cookies and cakes to share in the larder.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Silver Napkin Rings

A Red Rose and A Happy Mother's Day

If I collect anything, it is these -- these little silver treasures that I seek out and now sometimes find at Estate Sales, Antique Stores and even flea markets.
Silver napkin rings -- some Victorian and some Edwardian. Some English but most are American. But all have either a name or an initial engraved on them. I do not buy a ring without! They live on top of the Asian chest in the dining room. Like a necklace, I think, to the top of the chest.
But there are "leftovers" -- and these reside on top of the windows in the dining room. Ready to be used whenever we have company.
Three that I'm fond of -- very Victorian and all engraved with a name. I'm not particular about names although I would love to find a "Martha" ring. I do have ones with one grandmother's initials, one with my mother's name and one's with my husband's name.
I love them all although I do have favorites -- this one in particular -- with "Eva" engraved and a Christmas date. I have another just like it but with Alice engraved on it. Christmas presents, perhaps, for two young ladies from a favorite aunt?
We use the napkin rings every day -- for us and for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And we use them every time we have company.

The proper use of these engraved silver napkin rings was to make sure that your place was set with your napkin. Therefore, if the ring was engraved with your name or your initials, you knew that the napkin inside was yours. That's very important.

In earlier times, napkins were not fresh for every meal -- instead they were used for the whole week -- so you appreciated the fact that your napkin would be returned to your place!

The napkins, still in their rings, would be stored in the sideboard between meals.

These rings were often given as gifts -- graduation, wedding, special birthdays or Christmas. Sometimes that fact is also engraved on the ring. It just makes those rings even more special!

We do use our napkins for more than one meal -- and after every meal place them back in their ring.

Cloth napkins for dinner is a most civilized thing to do and having them in a silver ring only elevates the civility!

It's the second Sunday in May -- not only is it Mother's Day but it's also Silver Sunday. Join Beth at The Gypsy Fish Journal to see what fun silver their is for this Mother's Day.

30 comments:

The Lazy Peacock said...

i am in love with your napkin ring collection - i collect them too, with names or initials. yours are stunning!

The Norwegian said...

If there is one thing I love it is civility, which is one of the things I enjoy most about Lines from Linderhof. Your collection of silver napkin rings is wonderful.
Love knowing that you are using them and enjoying them!

Marilyn said...

That is a marvelous collection. Maybe I should begin one--your ideas always give me inspiration to make things more interesting! ♥♫

Sherry said...

We use cloth napkins for every meal...and use them more than once. I don't use napkin rings though. The napkins are refolded and left on the placemat. They never make the entire week though. I gave husband the 'napkin etiquette' speech...but it didn't sink in.

Rose H (UK) said...

What a fabulous collection, and it's really great that you use and appreciate them daily. I'll keep a look out for one engraved with 'Martha' for you!

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hi Martha...

My friend, you have a fabulous collection of silver napkin rings! Ohhh...and you are so right about those beautiful silver rings looking like a fine necklace on top of that pretty cabinet...love that! You know, I didn't realize that napkins were used more than once...thus the reason for engraved names on the napkin rings...so interesting! I have learned so much from all of my dear blogging friends! Thank you Martha...for sharing that little bit of info. and your fabulous silver napkin ring collection with us!!!

Have a wonderful weekend, my friend!
Chari @Happy To Design

Pondside said...

What a collection you have, Martha. Now I'll also be on the lookout for silver rings with "Martha" engraved. My name is so unusual that I'll never, ever find anything engraved or monogrammed!

Lorrie said...

What a beautiful collection, Martha. We use cloth napkins too, and reuse them a few times.

Allie and Pattie said...

beautiful, Martha! Have a blessed Mother's day!
xoxo Pattie

Carrie said...

What a neat collection.

Happy Mother's Day!!

benchwarmer said...

happy mothers day martha! what an enjoyable story and beautiful rings. i had no idea about the history behind the rings but one i'm sure not to forget. so glad you share your beautiful collection. i too will be on the lookout for a silver martha ring!

Gypsy Fish said...

Martha what beautiful collection!thanks for participating see you next month! Have a wonderful week.Happy Mother's Day!
{{gypsy hugs}}
Beth

Mimi said...

Wow, you have a serious collection of silver napkin rings, Martha.
We do use cloth napkins 99.9% of the time...I actually enjoy ironing them...Happy Mother's Day!

Dee@FrenchBleuVintage said...

That is really interesting ~ I love that bit of victoriana knowledge. More please ~ but honestly, what I love even more ~ is that sweet little corgi on your sidebar ~ too cute.

Karena said...

Martha this collection is wonderful. I love seeing tham all lined up in a row and that you use them everyday!

Karena
Art by Karena

Sarah said...

Martha, what a treat to see all your napkin rings. I like your thought about the rings forming a necklace for your chest. I, too, have collected silver napkin rings through the years. I've found all of mine at antique markets and shops in France. Some of my rings are engraved with names or initials, but some are not. I don't have a Martha, but I do have a Madeline. :-) We use ours as well, but I don't keep all of them out. I like that you see yours everyday. A friend keeps her group in a large bowl.
Thank you for sharing these treasures.
Happy Mother's Day!

Tallulah's Antique Closet said...

That is a nice collection of napkin rings. Thank You for stopping by today...Julian

Johanna said...

We use for the family also silver napkin rings and use the napkins in the way, as you described. I prefer cotton napkins for use, although the wide range of very nice patterned paper napkins allows nice accents for the tablescape. I enjoyed your information and the nice collection of beautiful napkin rings very much. Greetings, Johanna

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

Love your napkin ring collection and I love that you use them everyday! I think that is so wonderful and classy!
HPS!
Debbie

Maggie B said...

What a fabulous collection you have put together, I use cloth napkins for Mr B & myself every day and we have lots of napkin rings but not a single silver one!!
~Maggie~

Cheryl~ZanyMayd said...

What a Beautiful Collection & Loved the History of Napkin Rings ~ Thanks for Sharing on this Silver Mother's Day....

Mary said...

What a lovely collection, Martha. The best thing is that they are used and loved. I hope you have a wonderful Mother's Day. Blessings...Mary

Diann @ The thrifty Groove said...

Your napkin rings are just beautiful! I love all the monograms and names on them. It just adds a history to them,

Happy Mother's Day!

Bernideen said...

Lovely post - hope you find that special "Martha"!

Susanne said...

What lovely "civility" but I am surprised about the laundering of the napkins. Whenever I read a historical novel I'm always struck by the mention of the frequency of their laundering. I like to use cloth napkins and have quite a few but they eventually run out and my problem is getting around to the ironing again!

Happy Mother's Day, Susanne.

clustres said...

I absolutely love this idea!
Pam

podso said...

I love this post as we are also napkin ring users, and use ours at every meal (and yes, re use our cloth napkins). My parents' have used theirs for years, engraved with their initials, and silver, from their wedding 67 years ago. Ours are from our wedding, pewter, and we have many more, including some odd silver ones from resale shops. I should send them to you! I love how you have them on the windows!

jayayceeblog said...

I never knew that they re-used their napkins for more than one meal ... makes perfect sense to have your own napkin in your napkin ring. Love the history lesson!

jayayceeblog said...
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A Haus to Call Home said...

Martha,
Am enjoying going through your past posts since I recently discovered you! We started collecting silver napkin rings after we were married. My husband's family in Germany all have the same practice of using the same cloth napkin for a few days, until it needs to be laundered, and each family member has a different ring to remember which napkin is theirs. My collection is much smaller than yours, but I enjoy finding rings with pretty names or initials too!
Michelle