Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!
Lantz #1: cast iron, 5 5/8” diameter w/4 PAW feet & 2 gate marks along edge.
Lantz trivets are among my favorite trivets! So delicately cast, they’re a testament to fine metalwork. Collectors identify Lantz trivets by the intricacy of their circular design, a size of 6” or less in diameter, and their paw feet. A few other circular trivets of a similar size, but with pad feet, have been grandfathered into this definition. Store catalogs of the mid to late 1800s offered them for sale, listed as Coffee or Tea Stands.
Since most of these antique trivets precede 1890, when machine grinding came into favor, check your trivet for evidence of a gate-mark along the edge. Other Lantz trivets, with a sprue or wedge mark on the center reverse, are even older … dating back to the early 1800s. Check out my earlier blog post that describes and pictures the various casting marks.
Lantz style ~ cast iron, 5 1/4″ diameter w/4 PAD feet. Cast through edge.
The relatively small size of Lantz trivets means a collection can easily fit in a corner or atop a table. Here’s an example of how I once displayed mine, tucked in a small alcove by a bookshelf.
Lantz #9: cast iron, 5 1/2” diameter w/6 PAW feet & a wedge mark on reverse.
Several of the paw foot designs were reproduced in the early to mid 1900s. For that reason, any Lantz style trivet without evidence of a cast mark, or with lot numbers on the reverse, is suspect and possibly a reproduction. Also keep in mind the rule of One Size Smaller: when a cast iron trivet is used as a pattern, the copy will be 1/8″ smaller overall due to shrinkage of the metal during cooling.
Dick Hankenson identified these six Lantz trivets as being reproduced in his 1972 book Trivets: Old And Reproductions, Book 2. How can you differentiate between old and repro? Observe the quality of the casting; check closely for casting marks; and measure for size (reproductions will most likely be one size smaller), comparing measurements with a published reference.
● ONE SIZE SMALLER: Antique trivets were often used as patterns. Any resulting reproductions would be slightly smaller, due to the shrinkage of molten metal after cooling. Cast iron shrinks 1/8″ (2/16″) per foot; brass and copper shrink 3/16″ per foot.