A Short History of Silver Napkin Rings

A Short History of Silver Napkin Rings

Napkin rings are believed to have originated in the European aristocracy during the 18th century. Initially made from materials like wood, ivory, or porcelain, they were primarily used by the wealthy to distinguish their personal napkins from those of other diners.

They rose in popularity during the Victorian 19th century. As silversmiths developed their skills, napkin rings began to be made of Sterling Silver and have intricate designs such as engraving, embossing or filigree work.

Shiny napkin ring with elaborate sides and EDAG in the centre on a plain background

They were often personalised with initials, family crests, monograms, or dates. Some families have considered them as heirlooms to be passed down through generations.

During the early to mid 20th Century silver napkin rings became popular gifts for the birth of a baby, special birthdays, weddings, or anniversaries. They were treasured due to their timeless appeal and association with longevity, and they could be personalised to make a gift more thoughtful and special.

Vintage silver napkin ring sitting on a brown gift box

Most of the napkin rings we have sold in the past at Beeches Vintage have been given as gifts. This is because silver napkin rings have a classic, traditional appeal as well as being made of a material that is both valuable and durable. They also have a practical use for table settings and are versatile enough to suit a range of tastes and preferences. Whether the recipient has a modern or traditional style, silver napkin rings can fit into any aesthetic.

Check out our current selection of napkin rings for inspirational gift ideas:


Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.