The Manley-style trivet with a handle
I have a circular E R Manley trivet in my collection and it’s a lovely, intricate design. You can read about it in my previous blog post E R Manley Trivet.
From studying Kelly & Ellwood’s 1990 book Trivets & Stands I knew there was a similar handled version but I’d never found one … until recently. I noticed the following trivet on eBay in June 2022. It appeared rusty and dirty in the auction photos but without structural damage. I decided to take a chance and the Seller accepted my BIN of $45.
I shared my find with fellow PITCA member and trivet collector Brian Bean who responded “Oh, I would have bought that in a heartbeat also … might need a E-tank to really clean it up. I’ll gladly take care of that for you.”
Cast iron, 6 5/8″ diameter and 11″ long with four 1 3/4″ legs. As documented in Trivets & Stands on p. 114, rated Very Rare. This trivet has a faint sprue mark on the center reverse. No gate mark(s) identified along the edge.
When the trivet arrived from the seller it was most definitely in need of an intensive cleaning. Electrolysis seemed the only way to dissolve the years of rust, so I took Brian up on his offer and shipped it to Maryland. Brian’s comments as he restored the trivet follow.
Really looks like it was a extremely beautiful trivet at one point …
Received it yesterday and after 12 hours it’s cleaning up nice. I’m just going to leave it in the tank for a day or two. The only mark I see is in the center looks like a sprue mark.
I mailed your stand back yesterday, I seasoned it 3 times in the oven but I believe it needs more to turn it really black.
It’s amazing how much better this trivet looks after processing in Brian’s E-tank! It’s not as finely cast as the circular E R Manley but I believe that’s due to loss of surface detail from years of rusting, not to poor craftsmanship.
I decided to apply a coat of Glorifying Antique Polish. This citrus and beeswax formula is designed for wood but it’s also great for polishing and protecting decorative cast iron. Just clean a trivet, apply polish, let sit for about 15 minutes, then wipe off and buff the to a beautiful shine. It’s especially useful for cast iron trivets with enamel or japanning, finishes that could bake off if seasoned in a hot oven. WARNING: Never use this product on cast iron used for cooking.
Another rare trivet preserved to display and enjoy. Well done, Brian!