Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!
I love cats, and this heavy brass trivet has always been one of my favorites! Inscribed GOOD LUCK, it measures 6 3/8″ x 5”, has four 1 1/4” cleated legs and is unsigned on the reverse. Note the horseshoe and the 7 diamonds around the edge, both symbols of good luck.
Yesterday afternoon, searching on eBay using the words brass-cat-trivet-good-luck, I found seven of these brass cat trivets advertised, all being sold from the UK. They appear to be fairly common and are most likely vintage castings, probably from the 1940s to 1960s era. But was there an earlier trivet that served as their inspiration? Yes, there was!
Hazel Mitchell, in her book British Iron Stands (1991), documented a cast iron version with an Rd number. I searched for this rare trivet for years, finally adding one to my collection in 2012. The trivet measures 7 1/8″ x 5 1/2″ with two 1″ front cleats and an adjustable firebar support. It bears the registered design number Rd 727536 (for 1927) on the reverse.
Let’s take a closer look at the reverse of this older trivet. The angled firebar firebar attachment extends out 4″ and can be repositioned or removed by loosening the nut from the permanently attached 1 1/2″ screw.
Note also the little bell around the cat’s neck, extending below the bow towards the middle right (on the older cast iron version only). That made me wonder; why would a cat wear a bell? The Telegraph describes the bell as an age-old technique to warn birds of a cat’s approach. However, despite a bird lover’s best efforts, apparently cats are able to learn how to adjust their stride so their bell doesn’t ring.
Keep an eye out for these two trivets! To learn more about Registered design numbers, check out English Registry Marks at the Phoenixmasonry website.