Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!
A panel trivet is defined by its trowel-shaped design and an oval, square or rectangular plaque bearing advertising or an inscription. Many of these trivets were likely a promotion with a foundry purchase during the mid to late 1800s. Most panel trivets you’ll encounter will be cast iron. Fewer were made in brass or bronze; those are more valuable due to their scarcity.
Several basic designs have been identified. The first features curlicues, a rope edging and a little acorn finial found at the apex. Because this delicate embellishment was easily broken off, be sure to check for the acorn on any curlicue panel trivet before purchasing. The panel trivet below was produced by Ives & Allen Manufacturers of Montreal, Canada.
From its history, we know this panel trivet predates 1874. Hubert Root Ives and Roger N. Allen were Americans who relocated in Canada; Ives was from Farmington, Connecticut and Allen was from Greenfield, Massachusetts. In 1859 they established the first foundry and manufacturing business in Montreal; in 1868 they added the production of stoves. Unfortunately, in 1870 a massive fire destroyed the bulk of their manufacturing facilities. They rebuilt and expanded their business, becoming one of Montreal’s top employers.
In 1874 the partnership between Ives & Allen was dissolved and Hubert Root Ives continued on alone, continuing to make similar panel trivets labeled H. R. Ives & Co Manufacturers Montreal.
This second design is both simple and elegant. Produced by the American Butt Company, it features a narrow rectangular panel on an openwork design. It has no finial and is unsigned on the reverse.
Dating from the mid 1800s, the American Butt Company was one of three cast iron butt hinge factories located in Providence, Rhode Island. (The other two factories were the New England Butt Company and the Union Butt Company.) A butt hinge is used to mount and operate doors.
Prior to 1880, butt hinges were made of cast iron and they were heavy! The smallest butts made were 1″ square when open, and weighed 12 ounces per pair. The largest were 7″ x 12″ in size and weighed 11 pounds per pair! This 1870s era newspaper clipping advertises cast butt hinges. (After 1880, cast iron hinges became obsolete when butt hinges of thinner, pressed metal came into favor.)
There’s a third design variation that’s occasionally found. The pattern twists from top to bottom, with a rectangular panel in the center. Note the shallow side rails and the two rough gate marks along the edge. There is no finial. This trivet was produced by Fox & Company of St. Louis, Missouri.
For a complete discussion of these and other panel trivets, see my second book The Expanded A-Z Guide To Collecting Trivets (2010), pages 130-135. And don’t miss these two related Trivetology blog posts:
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