Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!
This antique trivet design depicts the tools of a moulder (molder), a foundry worker responsible for ramming sand around a pattern, preparing the mold, then pouring in molten metal to produce a metal casting.
In addition to a moulder’s shovel and various other tools, the round object at the point of the trivet is a mesh hand riddle used for sifting foundry sand.
Description: Brass, 8 3/4″ x 4″ with three long 1 3/4″ legs. Some backcoping to the reverse. Weight = 1 pound. Although there’s an inward bend to all three legs, the trivet still sits squarely on a flat surface and displays well. There is evidence of dried polish in the crevasses and at some point in the past a thin coat of gold paint was applied to the top surface. Note that the back has been left unpolished, forming a dark patina. Although it may appear rough, the reverse is smooth to the touch. I cannot positively identify the point of casting on this trivet.
A similar design, slightly larger and in cast iron, is documented on p. 129 of Trivets & Stands (1990). I’ve also seen this same design in cast iron, measuring slightly smaller at 8 1/2″ x 4″ with three 3/4″ feet. On that trivet the letters JF are etched into the front of the shovel.
This unidentified early real photo post card captures four workers posing in front of a foundry. The sailboat stamp box on the post card reverse dates it to 1905-1908.
Casting is an interesting but complicated process. The following info will expand on your knowledge of foundry tools and metal casting.
The Internet Archive shares this catalog of moulders tools, circa 1900. Chas. Monk Moulder’s Tools
For additional information on moulder’s hand tools visit the Blogger website of Mark Stansbury. Trowel and Masonry Tool Collector Resource
This YouTube video nicely demonstrates the process of sand casting. With the exception of the pneumatic air rammer and compressed air nozzle, several of the tools featured on this video appear within my trivet design. YouTube caption: “Using a loose pattern, this video shows making a sand mold. The process was videoed at Miller Foundry, Santa Ana, California.”