Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!
Identical brass trivets were sometimes sold as pairs. Even more unusual were pairs designed as a mirror image: identical in form to each other, but with the structure reversed, as in a mirror.
In her book British Iron Stands Hazel Mitchell illustrates and describes several pairs of antique brass mirror-image trivets. She refers to them as “handed pairs, in other words left-handed and right-handed versions of the same design.”
● Mitchell, Hazel: British Iron Stands (1991). This spiral bound book was assembled for the 8th International Congress of Iron Collectors. Only 100 numbered copies were printed; finding a copy can be challenging. I’m fortunate to own Copy #87.
With Hazel Mitchell’s information serving as my guide, I recently found my first pair of mirror image trivets, purchased from an eBay seller in England. Note the subtle differences in orientation of the stems and leaves in the left-handed and right-handed versions. I will proudly display them with my other Victorian era trivets from the United Kingdom.
Each brass trivet is 9 3/4″ x 4 3/8″ with three 1 1/4″ legs and they weigh 18 ounces apiece. There is evidence of age: slight damage to the ends of the legs, fine surface scratches from use and polishing, and traces of dried polish in the crevices. However, the surfaces are flat (not warped) and the legs are straight. The backs most likely were never polished and have developed a lovely, dark patina over time.
Now keep an eye out for mirror image trivets!
PS: Pressing Iron and Trivet Collectors of America (PITCA), the national organization for iron and trivet collectors, has one copy of British Iron Stands in their Lending Library ~ another reason to Join PITCA!