Collecting, cleaning, displaying, researching, and appreciating TRIVETS and related go-withs!
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 around the world. At first glance, this horseshoe plaque trivet may appear to be an ordinary Independent Order of Odd Fellows (IOOF) horseshoe plaque trivet. It shares much of the same symbolism: the “all seeing” eye; FLT for friendship, love and truth; and the fraternal handshake.
But there’s an important difference: this plaque is not topped with an American eagle. Instead, a maple leaf and beaver, symbols long associated with Canada, grace the top of this trivet. This is the only Canadian fraternal horseshoe I’ve ever seen. Adding to its rarity is that this trivet is likely cast in bronze. Details:
● Bronze, circa late 1800s to early 1900s. (A magnet does not stick.)
● Measures 7 1/8″ long x 4 1/4″ wide with backcoping to the reverse of the horseshoe.
● Weight: 1 pound 2.4 ounces.
● Condition: Wear and patina commensurate with age. No cracks or other damage.
● Front: IOOF, fraternal symbols, and the Canadian Maple Leaf and Beaver.
● Reverse: Unsigned. No feet, as is the norm for horseshoe plaque trivets. The area at top center marks the spot where an easel or mounting ring once attached.
● Cast marks: Two smoothly filed gate marks, one on each end of the horseshoe.
In my second book The Expanded A-Z Guide to Collecting Trivets (2010, p. 66) I identified this trivet as brass, but after further consideration I’ve concluded it’s more likely bronze. Why? The color of this trivet is a darkish brown, while brass is typically has a yellowish hue. Also, brass forms verdigris with age while bronze is more likely to resist corrosion.
The history of the Canadian branch of the international IOOF is quite interesting. Established in Montreal 1843, the order spread rapidly throughout Canada. Perhaps too rapidly … by 1854, with various lodges defaulting on their financial responsibilities, the solvent lodges were absorbed into the Grand Lodge of the United States. From there the timeline of Oddfellows in Canada gets complicates, so please see Oddfellows: History in Canada. PS: Oddfellows lodges are still active in Canada today.
● Horseshoe plaque trivet styles and acronyms
● Merry Christmas 1888 horseshoe plaque trivet
● Happy New Year horseshoe plaque trivets
● YMCA horseshoe plaque trivet
● GUOOF ~ a rare Oddfellows variant