Napkin Ring Manufacturer: Derby Silver Company (American, 1872–1981)


American Decorative Arts

On view, 1st floor, American Decorative Arts before 1900

This napkin ring was produced by the Derby Silver Company and reflects the "Japan craze" that swept America in the 1870s and 1880s. The ring is supported by a swallow and a fan, emblems that consumers would have interpreted as Japanese. Despite the Asian references, the form was an essential feature of the Victorian dining room. Napkin rings date from the 1830s and became popular as dining equipment proliferated at midcentury. This example, executed in silver plate, would have appealed to upper middle-class consumers wishing to add fashionable exoticism to their table. 


Silver-plated white metal


3 1/2 × 3 1/8 × 1 7/8 in. (8.89 × 7.938 × 4.763 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Stephen Kobasa in memory of his wife, Vincentena, from her collection

Accession Number



19th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Vincentena Kobasa, Seymour, Connecticut; by inheritance to Stephen Kobasa, Seymour, Connecticut.

  • "Acquisitions 2009," Yale University Art Gallery Bulletin (2009): 133.

Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type

napkin rings


"DERBY SILVER CO [the "o" superscript with a dash below] DERBY CT [the "c" superscript with a dash below]/QUADRUPLE PLATE" incuse, san serif, around a circle enclosing a crown below an anchor and chain; "346" below

Technical metadata and APIs


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