Take a look at this beautiful salad plate. It's around 100 years old and has a hand-painted monogram. The letters are SAS, presumably with 'A' being the initial of the owner's surname. This is part of a set of 6 that I purchased at a local shop for less than $25 - all are in perfect condition. What a deal - of course, these are not my initials, not even one letter! But, that's the great thing about vintage monograms, they work regardless of the initials. And if these were a family heirloom there's a strong chance the initials would not match mine anyway. Here's a closer look at the initials - see how the letters loop around each other?
How about the monogram on the sterling salt spoon below?
I enlarged it a great deal so you can see the intricacy - it's impossible to decipher. There are four letters, maybe even three Ms and an N - perhaps the original owner's name was something like Mary Margaret Newcombe Mason? Keep in mind that the whole salt spoon is around four inches so these letters are very small. The point is, it's a lovely item with a hand-engraved monogram. New silver usually has machine monograms and they just don't have the warmth and creativity of the old hand-engraved pieces. And, monogrammed items like these plates and silver are much less expensive than their unmonogrammed counterparts. The same goes for table linens.
Often monograms on linen were created by the owner. This damask cloth is a perfect example; you can tell the embroiderer was an amateur, but it's still lovely. Monogram patterns were available for the home stitcher and a large number of monogrammed items were created by young brides and matrons alike. The result for us is a ready supply of antique monogrammed linens - with a little patience you can even find your own monogram on eBay. If we didn't have electronic diversions today, perhaps we'd all be monogramming napkins or sheets right now? Oh well . . . no need to unplug, you can create a beautiful table with vintage monograms and you don't need a thimble or needle.