Chessie “the railroad kitten” trivet by Virginia Metalcrafters
Today I’m sharing several related items I sold a few years ago on eBay. The first was a trivet you don’t see very often. Still in the original Virginia Metalcrafters (VM) box, it’s lacquered brass, 7″ in diameter with three 0.375″ feet. It depicts Chessie The Railroad Kitten, the endearing symbol of the Chesapeake and Ohio (C & O) Railroad. Note that the kitten image on the plate is the same as the silhouette on the trivet.
Let me apologize now for the quality of the trivet images … although this trivet was in mint condition, it was difficult to photograph because of the shiny finish. I didn’t realize until today that my reflection is visible on the trivet surface! Oops.
The only marking on the reverse of my trivet is the VM Betty Lamp logo. However, you might find other VM Chessie trivets that, as special orders, were personalized on the reverse at the time of casting. There are protective rubber caps on the feet, standard on many VM trivets.
Virginia Metalcrafters Chessie Trivet, mint in the original packaging.
Also included was a Chessie “Sleep Like A Kitten” commemorative plate dated 1983. It celebrated the 50th Anniversary of the founding of the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad Museum in Baltimore, Maryland. (B & O was acquired by C & O in 1962.)
The third item was a small Chessie advertising type block, used for letterpress printing, which is most likely pre-1950. The inscription on the wood block reads Chesapeake and Ohio Railway.
The following video Chessie the Railroad Kitten was produced in January 2014 by the B & O Railroad Museum. It shares the history of the railroad and the various advertising campaigns featuring Chessie.