Little information is available on the manufacturing history of firms that produced these plaques. Collectors estimate 150 to 200 different Eagle Horseshoe variations were manufactured between the years 1880 and 1920, a period when fraternal orders were most popular. Some were given as carnival prizes, lodge favors, commemoratives or gifts.
This rare example measures 6 1/4" x 4 1/4" with traces of original paint. On face: Y.M.C.A. and MIND SPIRIT BODY. On reverse: DESIGNED BY Y.M.C.A. NORTHAMPTON (Massachusetts).
✽ Learn more at Trivetology: Horseshoe plaque trivet styles and acronyms.
A sad iron stand supported a pressing iron. Many were generic, while others promoted a business or product. Most had an elevated rim, a scalloped edge, or cleats around the edge to prevent a sad iron from sliding off. Some were nickel or brass plated, which protected the cast iron underneath from rusting. Although many irons & companion stands were sold in sets, other sad iron stands were produced as a premium or a gift with purchase.
This mint condition, nickel plated cast iron Cinderella sad iron stand measures 5 3/8" x 4" with four 5/8" feet. It was likely a premium or gift with purchase from the Pittsburgh Stove & Range Company of Pittsburgh, PA.
✽ Learn more at Trivetology: Cinderella collectibles
✽ Kevin Talks Irons video: #13 Sad Iron Stands
Most early wire trivets were individually hand crafted by tinkers- men who worked with tinned wire. Books on Victorian Wireware show early photographs of these men working with bolts of wire and pliers. Wireware items were also made by peddlers or gypsies.
A number of catalogs from the late 1800s contain wireware. In addition to trivets, there were elaborate serving pieces and other decorative household accessories fashioned from wire. But customers lost interest in wireware in the early 1900s and it gradually went out of production.
This intricately fashioned trivet measures 7 1/2" x 5 1/2" with 6 bent metal rings that serve as supports.
✽ Reference: Slesin, Suzanne and Rozensztroch, Daniel: Everyday Things Wire, 1994. The history of wireware is discussed and both trivets and sadiron stands are illustrated.
ABANA: The Artist-Blacksmith's Association of North America
Local affiliates of Abana have knowledgeable members who can be helpful in differentiating old/antique from new forged/wrought iron.