My complete monogram is JSL or just S for short. A recent monogram etiquette conversation offered several opinions about monogrammed silverware so I googled the topic and found differing and interesting views. First, if you believe that Europeans were the first to own monogrammed silver, then you would correctly monogram the “back” of the handles so as not to interfere with any decorative embellishments on the “front”. However, when setting a classic table, forks are placed tines down (monogram showing) but I’ve never seen spoons placed bowl down and we could go on for days about which direction the knife blade faces! So not all pieces would display the monogram. If you believe that Americans improved on European traditions, you would monogram the front of your silverware, embellishments be danged and fork times facing up. The monogram would show off on every piece (the knife controversy still exists) but wait-there’s a hitch! Think about someone whose monogram is M. When looking at the pieces on the table, it looks like an M. However, when you pick up the spoon to use it, voilà, it’s a W. Which led some people to monogram their initial on the “front” but upside down. My S would look like a snake on the table but an S when held in your hand. So, modern engravers started monogramming initials sideways on the handle but that look was too weird to become fashionable. Isn’t this fascinating? At the brocantes, I’m going to be on the look-out for a silverware service engraved with an S on the backside and then determine which side my knife blade will face. End of argument.