Museum logo

Object Record

  • Email This Page
  • Send Feedback
Object Name Ring, Napkin
Date 1868-1878
Description Round silver napkin ring with scalloped edge, with engraved inscription "Mary Cole" surrounded by scroll decoration. Accompanied by a white cardboard box (probably original) with paper label on lid: "BENEDICT BROS. / Jewelers / 691 Broadway".
(Keyword: Victorian)
Acquisition Gift of Virginia (Pardee) Cutting
Ownership and History Napkin rings were often marked with names or initials. They were typically used for family meals rather than formal dinner parties. While they could be quite decorative, the primary purpose of napkin rings was to identify napkins so they could be reused by the same person in between laundering. This one belonged to Mary Cole (1835-1920), a schoolteacher who lived on Arthur Kill Road in Rossville, Staten Island.

Benedict Brothers jewelry store in Manhattan was founded in 1819 by Samuel Ward Benedict and remained under family ownership for several generations. Samuel's son Read, who took over the business in 1860, lived on Manor Road in West New Brighton, Staten Island, in a home named "Ravenhurst."
Earliest Date 1868
Latest Date 1878
Material Silver
Subjects Names
Table settings & decorations
Lexicon Sub-category Food Service T&E
Associated People Cole, Mary
Benedict, Samuel Ward (Ist)
Catalog Number F09.0031
Support Acknowledgment Online Collections Database record made possible by the Efron family in memory of Dr. Meryl Efron, November 2014.
Legal Status Images and text in this database are copyrighted by the Staten Island Historical Society unless otherwise noted. Items represented here are from the collections of the Staten Island Historical Society. Materials reproduced for personal non-commercial use must credit the Staten Island Historical Society. Commercial licensing is available.