Antique Silver Napkin Rings – Beauty and Value

Tiffany Co. Silver Napkin Ring c1890

Do you know a single napkin ring can bring up to $5,000? But be careful, because there are reproductions. Napkin Rings were fashionable from about 1860 to 1900, and no formal table would have been set without them. Where did the days of the formal table go, now that we are in the disposable age where everything goes into the trash as soon as the meal is completed?

Several years ago at an auction on the far west side of Chicago, I found 25-30 silver plated napkin rings from the late 1800’s. I was new to buying silver then, because my first love had always been pottery, so I was a little reluctant to buy these. But, I did buy half a dozen of them at prices from $75-$100. Soon after this purchase, a man approached me and asked if they were for sale. He was more familiar with silver than I was, so I declined to give him a price, and took them home instead. Then, I listed them on eBay.

My money doubled the first they were listed. You see people back then thought that a snipe was a bird, and they didn’t wait until the last 30 seconds to bid on something they wanted. The best of the bunch closed at over $500, and the rest were not far behind.

You must be sure of what you are looking at because some are still being produced today. The figural rings are usually the most expensive, and in Kovels Price Guide, some of these go up to $4,000. A silver plated 3 ½ “ ring with a Conquistador on top made by the Toronto Silver Plate Co. sold for close to $5,000. I would suggest that any older silver or silver plated napkin ring would fetch at least a hundred or two.

You will find all kinds of of Napkin Rings, and often, they will be round with just a letter engraved on them. Even these simple one can sell for $100 or more. But if you find ones with children, oriental figures, Lads and Lassies, animals or Samurai’s, then you have found a treasure. It might seem strange, but it doesn’t seem to matter if the napkin rings are sterling or plate and the maker seems to be the most as it pertains to price. And although napkin rings are made in many different materials, only the silver ones shine.

Often you will find napkin rings in box lots. Some of the time you really have to look thoroughly through the entire box to find where people have hidden them during the preview, hoping that no one else would know these valuable ones are there. If you locate a set of these in a house and can negotiate a price for them all, you should come out smelling like a rose when they are sold individually. These may not get you to the million, but they are definitely more than pocket changes.

Some of you wrote about yesterday’s blog, and you are right. Cindy did correct me. There doesn’t seem to be any Key Ring Clubs but she did point out to me that Key Rings and Key Chains are the same and there is a Key Chain Club. However, as I studied it, I found they aren’t offering what I had in mind.

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Today’s Photo: Antique Tiffany Co. sterling silver childrens napkin ring c1890 is offered at OneOfaKindAntiques.com for $900