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.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Reprise - Napkin Keepers

First posted this summer, my silver napkin rings are a special part of Linderhof. A collection started by Husband Jim.

And we use them -- daily!!! And I polish them -- when needed!!!!!

They're really fun to use whenever I have ladies for luncheon -- for I tell them that at the table at Linderhof they have a new identity -- they must use the name on their napkin ring -- and if it is just an initial -- they must think of a name beginning with that initial -- it's a great ice breaker!!

It's Sunday which means that it is:

Sunday Favorites with Chari at Happy to Design

Silver Sunday with Beth at Gypsy Fish Journal

Seasonal Sunday at The Tablescaper

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...

Great post. I love all of your napkin rings, and they look fabulous on the top of the chest and the windows. Such a great collection. Wonderful history too. Hugs, marty

Rose H (UK) said...

Martha, I love your collection and the fact you use them. You can certainly imagine what a special gift they were when presented to the original owners. They look so pretty diplayed as you do.
I'm still on the look out to find one with your name on....if I ever find it you'll be first to know!
Best wishes
Rose H

Anonymous said...

You display the rings beautifully! It is wonderful too, that they are used. A cloth napkin really is a wonderful thing. We've recently changed over to them, and they add a simple pleasure to each meal.

Unknown said...

What a neat thing to collect.

The Tablescaper said...

What a wonderful collection! I love the stories behind a good collection. Displaying them around your home is such a unique way of displaying them.

Thank you for sharing your seasonal spirit with Seasonal Sundays!

- The Tablescaper

Pondside said...

I love the idea of the rings 'ringing the dining room'. How they must glow!

Ordinary Hiker said...

I agree with everyone, that is a really unique item to collect!, and I totally feel you on "hunting" these days for certain unique items, it can be a challenge with the price skyrocketing sometimes.

I love the story and how you display them!

(Found you off Silver Sunday!)

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

This is a wonderful collection, and really beautiful and interesting rooms! Jacqueline

D.B. said...

Thanks for sharing this collection. Beautiful. I love the idea of being "that person" throughout the meal.

Diann said...

All of your napkin rings are just beautiful! What a great collection!

Johanna Gehrlein said...

Hello Martha,
I admire your wonderful napkin ring collection. Those are beautiful. I could imagine that they also look nice lined up on a nice string like pearls. I love the idea to play with the names of the rings. Great fun, I am sure. Thank you for showing your treasures.
Greetings, Johanna

Maureen said...

Oh I love this collection. I never come across them in my travels.

Pam Kessler said...

How fun. Love this post. And what a unique thing to collect.

Keetha Broyles said...

What a fun collection!

Jenny @ Simcoe Street said...

What an incredible thing to collect. I adore this! You've made me wish I could start my own know what, one day I just might!

On Crooked Creek said...

What a gorgeous collection! While out this past year, I've looked for silver napkin rings to no avail. I was able to find a set of silver candlestick holders similar to my Mothers. . .I plan to use them on New Year's eve. The light from the windows makes your collection so regal! Thank you for this inspiring post!

Dee@FrenchBleuVintage said...

Wow!!! What a fabulous collection. They look gorgeous around the windows. I have a newly acquired napkin holder in my post as well. They are intriguing aren't they:) Thanks for sharing.

Chari at Happy To Design said...

Hi Martha...

My friend, you have a fabulous collection of silver napkin keepers! I loved getting a peek around your gorgeous dining room once again! I just love this room! Ohhh...and your Chinese chest...simply breathtaking!!! Thank you so much for sharing your pretties as well as your beautiful home with us this week for Sunday Favorites!

Warmest autumn wishes,
Chari @Happy To Design

podso said...

I remember this post from the may be one of the most or maybe the most favorite post I've ever read. I love napkin rings and what you have done to display your collection!

Suzanne said...

Amazingly beautiful! I love your rings and how you display them. Makes one (me) ;-) want a collection.

Sarah said...

Martha, I'm late getting to all the Silver Sunday posts so am trying to catch up this evening before the next one rolls around. I fondly remember when you posted about your napkin rings. I've enjoyed viewing this again. You have a wonderful collection. ~ Sarah