Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!
Many questions received from collectors revolve around the history, age and/or value of a trivet. This is the second in a series of three blog posts to help you better evaluate the trivets in your collection.
Although there are no hard and fast rules in classifying trivets, the castings of each era have unique characteristics ~ which is why I personally find it helpful to to use the descriptive terms antique, vintage and contemporary.
● VINTAGE: Less than 100 years old. This category includes trivets produced before World War 2 as well as some unique, mid-century designs cast in smaller quantities.
A number of mid 20th century trivets were created in smaller quantities, making them quite collectible. They’re discussed in my second book The Expanded A-Z Guide To Collecting Trivets (2010). Examples are:
● The American Bell Association (ABA) trivet (blog post pending)
● Horace Strong trivets (blog post pending)
● Garrett Thew Studios (blog post pending)
Older, pre World War 2 trivets often fall in a gray area where it becomes harder to judge origin and age. The best advice I can share when collecting is to choose a well cast, undamaged trivet in a design you like. A plated finish in great condition is rare but makes a trivet even more collectible. Here are some quick pointers for identifying older vintage trivets.
1. Familiar antique designs continued to be popular.
2. Whenever a trivet is used as a pattern, the resulting trivet will be at least 1/8″ smaller due to metal shrinkage.
3. Vintage trivets were cast through the rim.
4. Machine grinding after 1900 meant the end of prominent gate marks.
5. Vintage trivets were rarely signed.
6. Sometimes a 3 digit lot number appears on the reverse.
7. Over the decades legs got shorter.
8. Popular finishes: black enamel; nickel plating; copper plating.
9. Check out vintage housewares catalogs and magazines for ads.