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.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Napkin Keepers

Napkin keepers . . . or really napkin rings are a collection of mine. It started with a gift from Husband Jim of two silver napkin rings one Christmas. . . . .Florence Dalrymple and one with initials.

And that is a criteria for my collection -- it has to have a name (my first choice) or initials.

And it has grown . . . . for it covers the top of the Chinese chest in the dining room.
I think of it as a silver top -- the napkin rings all lined up in a row, but . . . .
Soon, I had more than would fit on the top of the Chinese chest and so . . . I moved them to the top of the single window in the dining room . . . .
But then when I had more than that window would accomodate, I moved them to the top of the double window in the dining room. I still have space for more!
The napkin rings "ring" the room -- from the top of the Chinese chest to the top of the windows.

I do, alas, have four more in the breakfast room (for I have and need only four out there) -- they're not exclusive to the breakfast room for they do rotate -- when I polish, I just make sure that there are four out there.

And the last time we visited Daughter Sarah in Minneapolis, what did I bring home . . .

From different antiques shops in Stillwater, Minnesota. One with a name, Rose, and the other two with just initials.

Most in the collection are Victorian but a few are Edwardian. In those days, a napkin (cloth) was used for the whole week -- not just for one meal and you wanted to make sure that you got your napkin back at the next meal . . . so you had your own special napkin ring to put it in.

They were often Christmas or wedding gifts and some that I have also have a date on them which makes them even more special. I have a few "pairs" -- three with husband/wife name on them (which I am sure were wedding gifts) and two with Christmas dates on them -- Mary and Eve -- sister's, I'm sure for the rings are alike. A special Christmas present that year, I'm sure.

We do use our cloth napkins for more than one meal but it is just the two of us and we do keep them in napkin rings between meals.

A table, I think, looks very attractive with freshly ironed real linen napkins in the silver napkin rings.

We always use them for company and sometimes, we'll play a game (especially when all of the rings have names on them) that you're that "name" for the meal! It's fun . . . and you sometimes really get into that persona!

I'm always on the look out for them. Estate Sales used to be good hunting ground but after several shelter magazines did articles on them, the price skyrocketed (my early rings were less than $10 each). And whenever, I've went somewhere, a ring was always my remembrance of choice -- easy to bring home and one didn't have to worry about breakage!

On my last trip, I was estatic with Rose, but the plainer SMS was only $10 -- it's English so home with me it came as well. The other, husband Jim found for me -- how sweet for it was his gift that started it all!

It's Tuesday and although I have far more than three, I'm joining Tam at The Gypsy's Corner for Three or More Tuesday. Please join her and see what everyone's Threesies are this week!


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Oh how I do love your gorgeous silver napkin rings. I love the use of cloth napkins too. They just seem to make even a salad feel like it's a meal. I really love them displayed in the windows too. What a great idea. Hugs, Marty

Allie and Pattie said...

Martha, I've always loved your silver rings. We use cloth napkins for every meal- my grandmother insisted on it
xoxo Pattie

Pondside said...

Cloth napkin users here too, but our rings are far less elegant - mine is a hen, then there's a pineapple, a teapot and a squash - what a confused collection I have!

Becky said...

Martha, I just love your napkin rings and the way you have them about the dining room. What stories those rings would be able to tell. I'm glad you rescue them and give them a wonderful home.

Haden News said...

I love your silver napkin rings! What a great collection you have, you have me thinking I need to have a small collection of them:)

Sarah said...

I always enjoy seeing your napkin rings. You've got quite the collection. I have but a fraction, but like you, they are a favored collection. I started mine on a trip to France. I brought back several that trip because they were easy to transport. Than subsequent trips yield more of these little treasures. I like the idea of displaying them about your home. Clever! ~ Sarah

Denise Marie said...

love, love, love this post!! so glad I spotted it!!

Peg said...

I think napkin rings make such a nice collection. I can tell you enjoy yours. I liked seeing the rest of your dining room too. I am still trying to find just the right color to paint mine... such a major decision for me! Most people would just pick a color; I tend to stress over getting it just right. Once it's finished, I might have to look for some napkin rings AND Blue Room dishes too!

Linda Q said...

Fabulous collection, I bet it is fun to look for them everywhere you go.
I always enjoy seeing your antiques and your beautiful home!