I was so inspired by Susan Wennerstrom’s post about napkin rings, that I found this one that my grandfather’s widow sent to me several years ago.
It has the “D” monogram that let’s us know it’s a Duncan artifact. And it has a date engraved on it, May 24, 1866. That’s the date Thomas Cation Duncan married Emma Osborne. T.C. is my great-grandfather’s brother.
Here’s my theory about this napkin ring. When T.C. and Emma married, they didn’t have much money, so I’m fairly sure this doesn’t date from 1866. Celebrating the 25th wedding anniversary with silver dates back to the Holy Roman Empire. The Duncans would have celebrated 25 years in 1891 – this is a time when T.C. was doing very well as a homeopathic doctor and author. My guess is that it was a gift at that time to commemorate their marriage.