Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!

A Greek inspired trivet

This lovely cast iron trivet appears to depict a woman in Ancient Greek Dress. Documented on page 130 of Kelly & Ellwood’s reference book Trivets & Stands, it’s rated Rare.

Details: 8 3/4″ x 5″ with four 1 7/16″ legs; weight = 13.8 ounces. Although a few rough areas along the edges have been filed smooth, I can identify only one gate mark: at the side of the handle.

The reverse is unsigned. Note the extensive backcoping. The purpose of backcoping is threefold: to reduce the weight of a trivet; to make the trivet stronger by equalizing the weight distribution; and to make production more affordable, since less metal is necessary.

A brass version of the same design

Recently a similar trivet was shared in the Facebook group The Trivet Collectors Network. The fact that a magnet didn’t stick suggested brass or some type of nonferrous, painted white metal. However, the presence of verdigris in the crevasses indicates the metal is brass.

Details: 8 1/2″ x 4 7/8″ with four 7/8″ legs. No definite casting mark can be identified. Being one size smaller than my cast iron trivet, it’s likely a reproduction, created using a larger original as a pattern.

● One Size Smaller: The trivet measurements provided in the reference book Trivets & Stands are especially useful, since 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.

Another difference to point out is the oval impression on the center reverse, which may represent a maker’s mark. (If it were a sprue/cast mark it would be circular.)

Brass trivet images courtesy of Tom Burnheimer, Jr.


This entry was posted on January 1, 2021 by in Antique Trivets & Stands, Collecting Basics, One Size Smaller and tagged , , , .

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