Set of four antique silver napkin rings

Set of four antique silver napkin rings

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Set of four antique silver napkin rings, each one beautifully pierced entirely by hand with a pretty scroll and stylised leaf design. They are numbered 1 to 4 and come in their original fitted box, retailed by Finnigans of New Bond Street.

It is said that silver napkin rings emerged at the start of the 19th century in France and rose in popularity among the European bourgeoisie from 1800. Few Georgian silver napkin rings remain so the vast majority of antique silver napkin rings found today were made after 1850.

Their primary purpose was one driven by hygiene. Napkins were not washed every day so a personalised napkin ring would assign a particular napkin to an individual.

Typically made in pairs or sets of four, six or 12, silver napkin rings provided an extra opportunity to decorate the dining table and silver was the perfect material. (Incidentally, silver also has antiseptic properties.)

Not all napkin rings were circular. Square, elliptical and hexagonal examples are not uncommon, while figural silver napkin rings were very popular in America, depicting all sorts of forms including dogs, cats and horses.

Sometimes referred to as a christening bangle, from their arrival, napkin rings have traditionally been a popular christening gift, and for weddings too.


Height 30 mm / 1 "
Diameter 46 mm / 2 "
Weight 118 g (3.79 troy ozs)