Browsing Category


    Antiques Collecting Cottage Design Romance

    Antique Tea Trivets: Too Pretty to Hide Beneath Your Teapots

    October 17, 2017

    Antique and Vintage Tea Trivets, once hidden beneath the dainty teapot, embrace a beauty all their own.

    The art of taking tea in the afternoon developed into a social event around the late 1830’s and early 1840’s.  Only the wealthiest could afford this fashionable affair and their tea was served in the finest porcelain and china sets.  The tea sets of yesteryear were quite small with each teacup just large enough to hold a few tablespoons of the luxurious brew.  Each piece had to complement the other and be of the highest quality, from the tiny teacups to the teapot to the waste bowls.  The tea set was born.

    Manufacturers of fine china and porcelain produced many lovely tea accoutrements.  Tea trivets, also called tea tiles, had a singular purpose:  to serve as a resting place for a hot porcelain teapot.   They were approximately 6 inches across, made with raised edges to frame the accompanying tea pot and were much sturdier than their delicate counterparts.  Some trivets were beautifully hand-painted with delicate florals in soft pastel colors and glazed, while others were decorated with equally lovely transferware techniques.

    From Wedgewood to Rosenthal to Limoges, tea trivets were every bit as beautiful as their complimentary counterparts.  They were utilized more than any piece of china, yet rarely seen.  Collectors are changing that by displaying these unique and beautiful pieces alongside other antique and vintage porcelain.

    It is rare to find a trivet that looks untouched by time and use, and those in pristine condition sell for top dollar.  Most trivets show years of wear comparable to that of older Ironstone pieces; fine crazing, faded gold gilding, minor discolorations and, very frequently, small hairline cracks.   A trivet’s thickness, durability and ability to disburse the tea pot’s heat evenly prevented them from being broken or cracked.

    Trivets were made to sustain abuse, and therefore do not need the gentle care and hand-washing given to most vintage and antique china pieces.  Use them for your sturdy cappuccino mug instead of a matching saucer.  Put them on the table to use for hot foods instead of your conventional oven mitt or potholder.  They make charming coasters for beverages and add non-traditional beauty and vintage appeal to your bar or beverage cart.

    Collect and display these beauties with your vintage and antique china.   Tea trivets may be a thing of the past, but their beauty and usefulness lives on and on.

    I love each and every one of my trivets, but here is a collage of my favorites.



  • Cottage Design Floral Garden

    The Summer Porch

    We have a fabulous screened-in porch attached to the back of our home. It is accessed by double French doors off the breakfast nook, and all of the materials are eco-friendly (most do not…

    June 14, 2017
  • Cottage Design Home Decor Styling

    Charm in Colorado

    I was so fortunate to be able to write about my amazing and sweet friend, Victoria Hayden, for the September issue of Romantic Homes Magazine. I hope you enjoy her story as much I…

    August 12, 2016
  • Cottage Design Home Decor

    The French Cottage

    I am returning to my Cottage series about the many ways of styling your home (aka cottage). Here are the links to my previous posts: The Modern Cottage The Colorful Cottage The Black and…

    June 3, 2016
  • Cottage Design Home Decor

    Easy Cottage Style

    Crave a fresh cottage look for your home but unsure where to start? Add soft textures, fresh florals and a few vintage pieces, and watch your cottage blossom.  Every home has an element of design to…

    August 20, 2015
  • Cottage Design Home Decor

    Rethinking Pink: The Pink Cottage

    Pink is a versatile color. Light pink is soft, relaxing, light and airy. Bright pink is vivacious, modern. classic and sexy. Pink evokes feelings of happiness and says “look at me.”. We notice people more when…

    June 24, 2015