Object of the Day: An Antique Silver Napkin Ring

Thursday, April 28, 2011


Though Prince William of Wales and Catherine Middleton have requested that their guests make contributions to their chosen charities in lieu of sending gifts for the Royal wedding, I’ve no doubt that some of their friends and family will nonetheless offer tokens of affection and remembrance to mark their special day.

Much as Americans do, the English have historically given gifts which commemorate the occasion and will serve as cherished mementos in years to come. For example, let’s look at this sterling silver napkin ring. Adorned with a lovely repoussé pattern of leaves, the ring is ornamented with two shield shapes which have been engraved. The first shield is engraved with the initials “MPR” and the other has been marked with the date 3 February 1929. No doubt, this was part of a set given as a wedding gift seventy-three years ago.

Such objects are often passed from generation to generation of a family and act as a reminder of the love and relationships of a family’s ancestors. Sometimes, they end up in antique shops and are purchased by people like me who help to give these objects a new life. While I don’t know to whom this napkin ring belonged, I do appreciate the sentiment behind it and hope I can, in some small way, keep the spirit of joy with which this was given alive.


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