During the Victorian era napkin rings were a vital part of the dinner setting. If the wealthy were going to impress their guests they would do so with small ornaments that were used at the dinner table and the placement of napkins inside richly ornate napkin rings was the perfect way to do this. They were a symbol of wealth among the rich and were typically the types of items that were handed down from one generation to the next.
These days it is common to find beautiful old silver napkin rings that have been engraved with the name of the person whose place setting it was. Every person had their own napkin ring and it was common practice to bring out these little table items for every meal.
At about this time, which was the mid to late 1800s, a few major silver discoveries had been made and the ability to work with the metal had been developed thanks to technological advancements. Silversmiths were becoming plentiful and competition was strong.
Out of this era came the most beautifully designed silver napkin rings that are simply a pleasure to look upon today. Even the more plain napkin rings are exquisitely made and would make a very worthwhile addition to any collection.
Although napkin rings are not quite as commonly used today, it is a great way to dress a table when preparing for a dinner party. It may not feel to be appropriate to go out and hunt down a set of antique napkin rings but they are still being produced by modern companies today and the purchase of a fine set of napkin rings should serve you well as a simple way to turn your napkins into a fine display.
Figural Napkin Rings
One of the more fascinating styles of napkin rings that came out of the Victorian era were figural napkin rings. The children of the time also had to eat at the dinner table and were provided with napkin rings as well. Rather than the more boring simple rings their place settings were often adorned with these napkin rings featuring images of children at play or repose or animals carrying the ring on their backs.
The detail that was put into these napkin rings is really quite incredible and it was chiefly done for the amusement of the children at the table. While the adults were in discussions that the children had no interest in they could be amused by the various figural napkin rings that were in use around the table.
Today, it is possible to find some quality examples of figural napkin rings that are more likely going to be put out on display as decorative items rather than used for their original purpose. Go here to find a selection of figural napkin rings for sale.
Some of the companies responsible for some very nice examples of silver napkin rings from the mid-1800s include: Meriden Britannia, Rogers, Smith & Co., Towle Silversmiths, Derby Silver Co., Reed & Barton, Barbour Silver Co., Knickerbocker Silver Co., James W. Tufts, Simpson, Hall, Miller & Co. and many other silver plate companies.
As decorative items, napkin rings, whether they are sterling silver or silver plated, would make particularly beautiful displays in the house. Using them to create a beautiful dinner setting would be a wonderful way to adorn the table.
Take this opportunity to browse the vintage sterling silver napkin rings for sale.