Most dictionaries define a trivet as a decorative pierced-metal or wire stand that is used as a base for hot kettles, skillets, and pots. The three or more legs on the trivet are there to keep it from directly transferring the heat of the object on top of it to the surface it is designed to protect.

But tile trivets are also favorites of kitchen collectors. Tile trivets have insulating properties that metal trivets do not (thus they don't need legs), which is why some people like to place decorative ceramic squares rather than dark ironwork on their dinner tables before supper is served.

Everyone from the Homer Laughlin Company to Pfaltzgraff made tile trivets. The former’s Fiesta trivets are brightly colored discs that match the Fiesta family of teapots, dinnerware, and other objects. Pfaltzgraff produced trivets with patterns that recalled its early salt-glazed stoneware; other trivets were more pictorial or featured friendly floral patterns.

Makers of fine china and porcelain also made trivets, from Wedgwood to Rosenthal to Limoges. These trivets often had raised edges to frame the bottoms of whatever was placed upon them. Some were beautifully hand-painted and glazed while others were decorated using equally eye-catching transferware techniques. There were also majolica style trivets designed to nest within wrought iron or metal bases.

Metal trivets, of course, have legions of fans. In the 19th century, it was not uncommon to make a trivet out of a horseshoe, sometimes with a solid piece of decorated metal inside the shoe’s arc. Wire was used when relatively light objects such as coffee pots or small pots needed a stand, but cast iron was employed for heavier loads.

Many antique cast-iron trivets have long handles since they were used in fireplaces—often such trivets have a hole or holes at their ends where long-gone wooden handles were once attached. Some 19th-century trivets designed for use around a hearth have upright pieces that were designed to support pan handles, which tipped upward for the convenience of the cook.

Hearts, spokes, scrollwork, and star designs set within circular trivets were hugely popular, as were trivets that resembled lacy doilies. Such trivets often have short handles o...

Those who cook with and collect Griswold skillets often seek out a rugged Griswold trivet designed for the skillet’s diameter. Griswold also made (and continues to make) trivets for it oblong or rectangular roasting pans.

One final category of trivet worth mentioning is the electric trivet, which was popular in the 1950s. Paragon was one of many companies that made electric trivets, which were designed to support a pot that had just been removed from a stove, and then keep it warm thanks to the small hot plate at the trivet’s center.

About our sources | Got something to add?

▼ Expand to read the full article ▼

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Feeding America

Feeding America

This archive of 76 influential American cookbooks from the late 1700s to early 1900s, assembled by the Michigan St… [read review or visit site]

Tupper Diva

Tupper Diva

Kristian McManus’ fresh, airtight collection of Tupperware catalogs and related ephemera from the 1950s and 6… [read review or visit site]



Clubs & Associations

Most watched eBay auctions    

Griswold #10 Trivet #208Sterling Overlay 8" Round Trivet By WebsterVintage No.247 Wagner Ware Drip Drop Footed Trivet Le Creuset Silicone Pink Heart Pot Holder Trivet Rare! New!! Aprx 7 3/4Le Creuset Warming Trivet - Cast Iron - France - Flame OrangeAntique Trivet Slow Cooking Cover For The Top Of A Wood Burning Stove #m13 Vintage Antique Masons Pink Vista England Kettle-shape Teapot + Its Trivet!Keeler Brass Zodiac Trivet (1965), Sun DialPfaltzgraff Yorktowne Made In Usa Flower Floral Basket Motif Trivet No ReserveWedgwood Black Jasper Trivet/teapot Stand 17cm New/unused - Made In EnglandBeautiful Rookwood Pottery Yellow Bird Trivet 1929: William Mcdonald Very Nice!!Antique_depos-art_lenox_silver_overlay_teapot_w_trivet_and_creamer_set_art_decoSuper Antique Glasgow Art Nouveau Silver Plated Teapot Stand Trivet 1890 VgcWapak Cast Iron Silvered Finish Sad Iron TrivetCleo Teissedre Handpainted Decorative Wall Art Tile Trivet Coaster HummingbirdRoyal Albert English Bone China Petit Point Trivet Virginia Metalcrafters Trivet Rubber Foot CoversVintage European Charcoal "box" Sad Iron W/ Trivet And Wood Knob Coimbra Portugal Pottery Hand Painted Trivet Vintage Cast Iron "rooster" Trivet ( Pot Holder) Kitchen Hot Pot HolderVintage Cousances Cast Iron Trivet, Green Enamel, France, Le Creuset Butterfly Meadow Expandable Trivet Lenox Retired Vintage Vintage 8" Mexican Artisan Felix Tissot And Marked Taxco Trivet Tile Hot Plate Antique / Vintage Old Childs Toy Salesman Sample Sad Iron Handle W/ TrivetVintage Brass Pineapple Trivet Copyright 1979Pfaltzgraff Yorktowne Made In Usa 7.5" Square Trivet No ReserveVintage 1939 Golden Gate International Exposition TrivetPresto 6 Quart Pressure Cooker Model A617a Unused Condition W/ Gasket & TrivetDove Blue Transferware Trivet Hot Plate Crown Ducal Bristol England 782055 As IsAntique Cast Iron Trivet Celtic Knot "ober" (1087) Antique Original Brass Range Fireplace Kettle Trivet Pan StandKokopelli Clay Trivet Tile Art Coster 6x6 Southwest Earthtone Tucson Indian KritVintage Frankoma Pottery Sequoyah Cherokee Alphabet Hot Plate Trivet BrownFrankoma Pottery Trivet "as For Me And My House, We Will Serve The Lord" Berggren Swedish Tile Trivet , Trees Be Fruitful, No. 140Vintage Cast Iron Painted Trivet With Hearts 270 HVictorian No.2 Size Cast Iron Flat Iron Trivet C.1880 [1491]Pfaltzgraff Pottery, Yorktown Pattern, Trivet, Gravy Boat & Soup Bowl Vintage Mid-century Modern Serving Trivet-cool House-warming Gift!Mid-century Denmark Pottery Tulip Trivet Handled Three Footed Signed Ras ModernVintage Fire King Sapphire Blue Philbe Glass Trivet/hot Plate With Casseroles1997 Arthur Court 7 1/2" Crab Nautical Trivet - Item # 04-0504Antique Cast Iron Tapered Iron With TrivetQuimper TrivetMid-century Denmark Pottery Bird Trivet Handled Four Footed Signed RasRowe Pottery Heart Spoon Rest Hanging Trivet!!Joe Wilson Tribal Hummingbird Tile Wall Art Or Trivet, Artist Crafted In CanadaPfaltzgraff Blue Isle Butter Dish And Plastic Trivet/kettle Rest - ExcellentSet Of Two Wood Ceramic Trivet Wall Plaques GeeseBenaya Art Ceramicstile Trivet 6"x6" By Artist Michael Menashy. New With Box Pfaltzgraff York Town Collection The Kettle Settle Trivet Hot Pad Fleetware SaleBronze Brass Asian Kitchen Trivet China Japan Chinese Engraved Leaves FlowersVtg Mccoy Pottery Usa Pink & Blue Stripes #1052 Trivet Hot Plate Footed1930-1967 'rosalinda' Trivet Heinrich & Co. Selb BavariaSudberry House Solid Wooden Trivet For Cross Stitch Or Needlework 5"x5"6 Scottish Items Book "scotland In Colour" 1954 , 3 Booklets & Vintage TrivetVintage Walt Disney Mickey & Minnie Cast Iron TrivetColonial Williamsburg Brass Cypher Trivet Cw10-14 By Virginia Metalcrafters 1950Vintage Brass Flat Iron Trivet - Early 20th C [1492]Copper Cast Iron Cow Trivet Plate Rest Made By Odi 1995