The napkin ring, occasionally called a serviette ring, was originally used to identify the napkin 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 motif.
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.
century napkin rings were made of silver or silver plate, but others
were made in bone, wood, pearl embroidery, porcelain, glass, and rhinestones. In the 20th century bakelite was introduced.