I’ve had this little brass acorn-shaped treasure in my collection for a few years. It has the properties of a trivet, with three splayed feet and a 5 1/4″ flat surface. An internet search provided the following information:
♥ On Ancestry.com: a Harrison Ditzler was born on 7 February 1859 and died 17 March, 1906 in Lititz, Pennsylvania.
♥ Also on Ancestry.com is an ad reading: HARRISON DITZLER, Makes Cement Pavements, Walks, Steps, Coping, Curbs and Floors, and all other kinds of CONCRETE WORK at short notice, guaranteeing satisfaction in all work. Give him a trial. FRONT ST., LITITZ
♥ On LiveAuctioneers: a similar brass piece was sold on LiveAuctioneers.com on 5/31/2008. It was listed as “Harrison & Ditzler & Co. Brass Cement Marker. Lititz, PA., 6″ t., (Very Good).” It sold for $110.
Sidewalk markers were popular in the late 1800s – early 1900s. However, all the metal markers I’ve seen picture a straight center post for anchoring. If Ditzler marked his concrete work with metal plates, he may also have commissioned some shaped as a trivet, as advertising for the Ditzler Company.
I received an email reply from Cory Brookhoven, the President of the Lititz Historical Foundation. He offered the same internet links I found and concluded “This seems to be a cement marker of some kind.” I asked if he knew of any existing sidewalks in the Lititz area with this marker and he replied “I don’t remember any offhand, but will certainly keep my eyes open now!”
This casting is now in the collection of Jim Ellwood (co-author of Trivets & Stands). He wrote me saying “It is an advertising trivet. I had a lot of dealer friends who lived in Lititz and I bought a lot of great stuff there, including chocolate and pretzels. Great little town.”