TRIVETOLOGY

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

Virginia Metalcrafters trivet in white brass

Recently a younger relative got married and asked for a trivet as a wedding present. I wanted to gift them something contemporary and practical, yet well made. The metal trivets currently being manufactured leave much to be desired; so I searched on eBay for a vintage Virginia Metalcrafters (VM) trivet, hoping to find one Mint In Box (MIB).

There were several mint examples to choose from in cast iron or polished brass. Then I stumbled upon this auction: a MIB Colonial Williamsburg Cypher in a finish described only as “Silver.” I couldn’t resist buying it!

Upon delivery the trivet was indeed MIB, shrink wrapped within its original box. The end tag identified the casting as White Bronze. I’d never seen a VM trivet like this before!

  • Measures 6″ x 6″ with four short feet (covered with rubber caps).
  • Weight: 14 ounces.
  • On face: the W cypher.
  • On reverse: CW 10-14 COLONIAL WmSBURG CYPHER COPYRIGHT 1950 and the VM logo.

I did a quick Internet search on White Bronze. It’s composed of 55-60% Copper, 20-25% Tin and 15-20% Zinc. The result is a finish similar to stainless steel that’s non-magnetic, scratch resistant and wears well.

Then I posted my silvery trivet on the Virginia Metalcrafters Facebook page and received the following comments.

  • Yellow brass was more popular, but white bronze coordinated nicely with sterling silver.
  • Anything in shrink wrapped packaging, if not cast iron, was most likely lacquered.
  • The square of cardboard the trivet rests on has a punched number 8, indicating that it fit in a #8 box. (That makes sense, as the original box is 8″ square.)
  • Virginia Metalcrafters produced another finish called “Silvertone” which may have appeared in some of the earlier catalogs. Members were unsure if it was white brass, white bronze or some other metal like aluminum.

Although I can’t determine the exact years of production, the presence of a Zip Code on the label indicates it was produced after July 1, 1963 (when Zip Codes were first introduced in the USA).

My 1969 Virginia Metalcrafters catalog advertised the Colonial Williamsburg Cypher trivet in several metals and finishes. Note that White Bronze was the most expensive. These retail prices at that time were:

  • Polished Bronze $7.50
  • Black Cast Iron $3.00
  • Verdi Cast Iron $4.00
  • Polished White Bronze $8.50

I love the look and feel of Virginia Metalcrafters’ White Bronze! I’m hoping to locate another vintage White Bronze casting for myself ~ but they appear to be quite scarce. This Williamsburg Cypher trivet was the only product offered in White Bronze in my fifty page 1969 VM catalog.

Gallery

Shared below are images taken during the unboxing of this item. Clicking the first image will open a Slideshow. Controls at the bottom of each screen can enlarge the image to full resolution. Click again (+) to zoom in.

 

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This entry was posted on April 16, 2021 by in Contemporary Trivets, Foundries & Distributors, trivet and tagged , , .

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