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

Horseshoe plaque trivet styles and acronyms

The majority of horseshoe plaque trivets date from the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s, paralleling a period when fraternal orders were at their peak of popularity. All share a basic horseshoe shape, and most were topped with a spread eagle. Beyond that, designs will vary according to theme. Besides fraternal commemoratives, some horseshoe plaque trivets were carnival prizes and still bear traces of glitter. Others were intended as gifts. 

Although the Odd Fellows/IOOF FLT design is a commonly encountered horseshoe plaque trivet, this one is unusual because it’s in mint condition and in the original box!

Details: cast iron with a gold wash and the original black, white and gold enameled accents. Measures 6 1/2″ x 4 1/2″. On the face are the letters I.O.O.F. (Independent Order of Odd Fellows) and FLT (their motto: Friendship, Love and Truth). Unsigned on the reverse. Finally, notice how the nose of the eagle is blunted (explained later).

This IOOF horseshoe was discovered wrapped in tissue paper and enclosed within its original cardboard box. Measuring 7″ x 4 1/2″ x 1 1/8″, the box shows wear commensurate with age ~ but it protected the trivet well. Of special interest is the listing of the “Beautiful Emblematic Ornaments” produced by T. Jones & Sons of New York.

These are the company’s “Beautiful Emblematic Ornaments” as printed on the box top. Knowing the style name is useful when searching the internet for a collectible horseshoe plaque trivet.

Casting: gate marks and potential filling defects

Gate marks on the GUOOF variant.

Horseshoe plaque trivets were cast through the ends, as evidenced by these two gate marks. If molten iron didn’t fill the mold completely, the wing tips and/or beak of the eagle (at the opposite end) would be unevenly cast. Those minor filling defects, if present, don’t devalue an otherwise intact trivet.


Letters were often incorporated into a horseshoe plaque trivet’s design. Being able to translate an acronym is a key to successful research.

AO of F Ancient Order of Foresters 

AOF of A Ancient Order of Foresters of America 

AOH Ancient Order of Hiburnians 

AOUW Ancient Order of United Workmen

BLF Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen

CHF Charity, Hope, and Faith (motto of F&AM)

CHP Charity, Hope, and Protection (motto of AOUW)

CMBA Catholic Mutual Benefit Association 

EMBA Elks Mutual Benefit Association

F&AM Free & Accepted Masons

FCB Friendship, Charity, and Benevolence (motto of Knights of Pythias)

FLT Friendship, Love & Truth (motto of IOOF)

FO Fraternal Order of Orioles

FOE Fraternal Order of Eagles

G Geometry (Masonic term)

GAR Grand Army of the Republic

GCO God, Country, and Order (motto of POS of A)

HP Home Palladium

IOF Independent Order of Foresters 

IOOF Independent Order of Odd Fellows

IORM Improved Order of Red Men

JR. O.U.A.M Junior Order United American Mechanics

KGE Knights of the Golden Eagle

KOH Knights of Honor

KOP Knights of Pythias

KL or K of L Knights of Labor 

LBC Liberty, Benevolence and Concord (motto of Foresters)

LOOM Loyal Order of Moose

OUAM Order of United American Mechanics

OUF Order of United Friends

POS of A Patriotic Order Sons of America

SOMA Secrecy, Obedience and Mutual Assistance (motto of KL or K of L)

SOV Sons Of Veterans (of the Civil War)

TOTE Totem of the Eagle (motto of IORM)

UBC Unity, Benevolence & Concord (motto of Foresters)

VLP Virtue, Liberty and Patriotism (motto of JUOAM)

YMCA Young Men’s Christian Association

Related information

Volunteer Firemens Association NYC horseshoe plaque trivet

Merry Christmas 1888 horseshoe plaque trivet

Happy New Year horseshoe plaque trivets

YMCA horseshoe plaque trivet

GUOOF ~ a rare Oddfellows variant


This entry was posted on February 1, 2021 by in Antique Trivets & Stands, Horseshoe Plaque Trivet and tagged , , .

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