- For the plant species known as napkinring, see Eriogonum intrafractum.
The napkin ring
, sometimes called serviette ring, was originally used to identify the napkins of a household between weekly wash days. The standard napkin ring is a simple ring made from skewers. The figural napkin ring is an American specialty in which the simple napkin ring is part of a small figure or sculpture that may take any shape and show any motive. Napkin rings appear as single items with the name or initials of the owner, notably given as christening presents, or pairs often given as gifts at weddings and silver weddings. In the English speaking countries, numbered sets of 4, 6, 8, 10 or 12 napkin rings are found. Napkin rings are an invention of the European bourgeoisie, first appearing in France about 1800 and soon spreading to all countries in the western world. Most 19th century napkin rings were made of silver or silver plate, but others were also made in bone, wood, pearl embroidery, porcelain, glass, etc. In the 20'th century bakelite and other new materials were used. Napkin rings are increasingly popular with collectors, yet only magazine articles and no books exist on the standard napkin ring and very few internet sites are totally devoted to napkin rings.
Silver, September-October 1980: Ole Lachmann, European Silver Napkin Rings.
Victor Schnadig: American Victorian Figural napkin Rings