Horseshoe Plaque Trivets

"The majority of horseshoe plaque trivets date from the late 1800s through the early 1900s, paralleling a period when fraternal orders were at their peak of popularity." The Expanded A-Z Guide To Collecting Trivets, page 54.

German-American Fraternal Horseshoe

An Eagle Horseshoe bearing the Coat - of - arms of the German Duchy of Wuurtemmburg and the motto: "Fruchtlos und Trew". Translation: Fearless and loyal. Note the tip of the eagle's beak appears to be missing. More often than not this was due to the molten metal not quite reaching that area, rather than being broken off.

I suspect that this trivet may have been associated with some German-American Fraternal group. This example does not appear in any reference book. However, Kelly & Ellwood (A Collector's Guide To Trivets & Stands) picture a variation illustrating the Wuurtemmburg crest on Pg. 245, top center. Kotrba collection

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. 

Horseshoe Plaque Trivets share similar attributes. They were:

  • manufactured from the late 1800’s through the early 1900’s.
  • cast in a basic horseshoe shape, without feet.
  • topped with a spread eagle.
  • most commonly made of cast iron; less commonly of  brass or bronze.
  • created during a period when fraternal crders were most popular.
  • sometimes given as carnival prizes, lodge favors, commemoratives or gifts.