I don’t know much about this trivet, but I am assuming it was made sometime early in the last century, or even during the end of the 19th century. The sentence you just read is the same way I started the description of my other trivet, but that is where the similarity ends. Yes, both trivets have signs of usage and wear, as you would expect from an item that, while maybe not used EVERY day, was certainly used regularly. Scratches in both the glass and silver are typical for items like this; just keep in mind how much bigger than reality my images are.

I will start right off with the scratches in the glass. I am trying to show them to you with my use of a blue background, but my images are very much brightened from what the trivet looks like under ordinary light. Even more than the brightening, my contrast is really high, in order to show you the scratches in the glass clearly. I would say that the contrast of all my pictures is heightened, not just the blue ones. There are more scratches than those that I have managed to show you clearly, and they occur on both sides of the trivet. But, as I say, unless an item like this was used for display (as a modern-day silver overlay collector—like me—would do), scratches simply go with the territory.

The cause(s) of the scratches and other imperfections in the silver, are harder to assign. Some of them are also obviously owner caused, but some may be little flaws from manufacture. I am showing you several small areas of missing silver—Again, remember the size. If you want to get a good idea about the lack of significance in any of these, just look at my first image, in which any flaws are shown in their total context. I have yellow arrows pointing to the little areas of missing silver. I don’t THINK there are others; in fact, I only saw some of these as I was working on my photographs. I always examine an item like this very closely when it arrives, or, if I see it at a show, I examine it closely in person before deciding whether to buy it.

Notwithstanding my diligence, and, as an experienced collector, I know, in advance, what things to look for—like cracks in the necks of perfume bottles—there are still going to be things I miss. Two things on this trivet I did not see on my thorough initial inspection are the two tiny areas. on either side of my third image. Again, they may look horrific enlarged and in isolation, but they are really inconsequential. The missing tiny leaf tip on the right side of the image is interesting to me, not because it is so tiny, which it is, but that the image depicted appears to be an ear of corn—something I don’t think I have ever seen in silver overlay before. Also, not being conversant in botany, I don’t know what flower is depicted in the left panel of that image, and, comparing it to the other flowers elsewhere on the trivet, you can see that part of a petal is missing, but, by itself, and not GROSSLY magnified, like the corn leaf, it, too, is no big deal.

On other thing, which I am certain is from the manufacture, that I missed at first is the short THINNNN line of separated silver that occurs as the silver bends over the edge of the trivet. I am showing two views of that to you. The length of the slit in the silver is about an inch, under half the length of the outside of that octagonal segment of the trivet. The other tiny segment of missing silver shown in that same composite is the small segment missing from the corner of the adjacent octagonal segment. I did see that upon my initial examination of the trivet, but, not because it is so big—which it isn’t—but because I was intently searching along the edge for markings, which is where the maker and silver content of such items tend to be identified.

My intense scrutiny of the edge yielded results! I must say that I am even amazed at myself for being able to find them! Alas, what may have contained a maker’s mark is now just an empty segment of silver. But the remains of the fraction denoting almost pure silver are almost complete, although VERY worn. You can see the “99” of the three original “9”s in the numerator and the complete “1000” of the denominator. While “sterling” silver is 925 parts per thousand of pure silver, the verbal identification of this 999/1000 fraction is “fine” silver, and indeed half that word is still barely legible, stamped just to the right of the fraction. You can no longer see the entire word, “FINE,” but you do see the “NE.” To the right of the silver content marks is the design number, and, interestingly, it is printed not only at an angle relative to the other marks, but also upside down! I am showing you that part of the image right side up, and although, like the rest of the marks, it is very worn, I believe you will agree that the number is “0561.”

The trivet is six inches in diameter from flat side to opposing flat side of the octagon, and it is about 1/4 inch thick.

I can’t think of anything else to tell you, but please write if you have a question. Whether you want a trivet to use in its intended function or an interesting cabinet piece for your silver overlay display vitrine, this would be an unusual addition to your collection. Its shape and especially the silver artwork are different from what you typically see for this type of silver overlay object.

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Art Nouveau
Coasters, Decorator Plates, Plates, Tableware
Late 19th Century

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Rosalie's Steiff & More

Antique FINE (more than Sterling) Silver Overlay Trivet Thick Detailed Silver Unusual Design


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