Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!
Are you a new collector, or have you been collecting for awhile? Either way, as a fellow triveteer I welcome you; trivet collecting is such an interesting hobby! But if you find yourself yearning for more, maybe you’re feeling the urge to evolve as a collector. What steps can you take to reach your goal?
1. Collect the best you can afford, then upgrade as possible.
Whenever I see an unusual or rare trivet I’ll buy it, regardless of condition, as long as the price is reasonable. It is displayed and becomes a place holder until replaced by another in better condition. Advanced collectors have been doing this for years; now you know why their collections contain such wonderful examples.
2. Keep an accurate record of each trivet.
The sooner you start, the better. You’ll want to record details such as seller, price, provenance, description, weight and measurements. It’s also helpful to take photographs. Records can be kept manually or computer software can keep you organized.
3. Clean, season or polish, then display your trivets.
Incorporating trivets into your home decor allows you to enjoy their beauty everyday. Avoid packing trivets away where they are easily forgotten and neglected.
4. Create displays that are simultaneously attractive & educational.
Consider displaying your trivets in groups by age, type of metal, country of origin, manufacturer, or theme It’s also interesting to display trivets/sadiron stands with “go-withs” such as their companion irons or other laundry day items.
5. Never stop researching the items in your collection.
Take every opportunity to refer to reference books written by other collectors. Search for old catalogs or advertisements that feature trivets and sadiron stands. Make it a practice to regularly visit auction sites like LiveAuctioneers and eBay; keep track of the variety of trivets for sale and the prices realized. And take full advantage of the Internet. Military, fraternal, census and death/cemetery records; patent information; foundry records; all this and more is searchable online.
6. Share your knowledge with others; the possibilities are endless!
Join an online public forum and participate in the discussions. If your public library has a locked display shelf, volunteer to create a display. Or take a few trivets and sad irons to a local nursing home and present a program; I can almost guarantee some of the oldest residents used them to iron. Most cities in the USA had electricity by the 1920s but some remote or rural areas didn’t connect to the grid until after WW2.
7. Join a real world collecting club and network with fellow members.
As a member of Pressing Iron and Trivet Collectors of America (PITCA) I’ve learned so much over the past 10+ years! I’ve been fortunate to attend several annual PITCA conventions in the Midwest. It’s a unique opportunity to meet and socialize with other collectors, attend informative presentations, view displays, and buy and sell. And in years when the convention site happens to be near a member’s hometown, a tour of their collection is an unforgettable bonus. You can visit the PITCA website at www.pressingironandtrivetcollectors.com.
The image below is of a trivet display I presented at the 2016 PITCA Convention in Columbus, Ohio. I’m teaching fellow PITCA members how to differentiate antique trivets from newer castings. Handling the trivets, locating the casting marks and observing the differences in size and design is the best way to learn.
In conclusion: as long as you continue to evolve as a collector, trivet collecting will remain fun and rewarding. Your collection becomes a testament to your dedication and passion as well as an inspiration to others. And you will make some very interesting friends along the way!