Monograms have been around for a very long time. They have been traced back to the Greeks who used them on coins. After that, artists and guilds used them as a creative signature or authorized mark.
Then royalty got a hold of the idea, and finally individuals. I founded Anichini sourcing and selling antique textiles, and my collection of old monograms (all done by hand) are dear to me. There is a genuine feeling of history being handed down with these items -which is exactly why they are dear!
Recently we had a party in our L.A. store. Monogrammed napkins were then presented to the honored guest after the event as a keepsake. The date was also embroidered (very small) into the corner.
I am now designing a series of monograms based on the Illuminated Manuscripts.