These napkin rings are not family heirlooms, although perhaps they might become one since I purchased them back in the early 1970's. When I was first married, I was an antique fanatic. Granted we didn't have much additional cash to spend on items as frivolous as antiques, but to be fair, before there was an antique collecting craze in the states, many nice items were selling back then for amounts that would be considered relatively cheap on today's market.
At that time, I didn't even know what a napkin ring was. I was introduced to them by my then, brother-in-law, who had the most extraordinary sterling and silver plate napkin rings collection I had ever seen.....including to date! He had the regular, ordinary round bands that would hold an individuals table napkin securely by their plate at the table. And then there were the remarkable ones.....3 dimensional sterling silver horses rearing up off the table with the ring portion down near the hoves.....wagons and ox carts with the rings down near the wheels.....various wild animals with the rings near their legs or feet.
Whenever I saw his collection, I was full of envy.....how I wished to have one of those spectacular rings! Now, I did mention that many antiques back then were were not as expensive as today; however, the extravagant ones, if you could find them, were WAY out of my price range.
I didn't purchase too many as I quickly tired of napkin rings and moved on to another collectible. The ones above are probably the best of my collection. First, because it is a pair and second, because they actually have marks on the inside of the ring.
My rings have somewhat simple ornamentation engraved around the entire outside. They are two toned--gold and silver. The marks inside are still a mystery to me, although I have tried to identify them. I have always thought that they were sterling since there is the capital "S"; however, I now wonder if that is the maker's mark instead.
The marks inside are--
Perhaps a reader might direct me to the answer.
© 2010, copyright Linda Hughes Hiser