Sunday, March 20, 2011


English needlepoint trivet for hot dishes to protect your table.
     It is Sunday morning in our  little sleepy town of Clarksville,Mo. Located on the Mighty Mississippi River Banks, about  70 miles from  St.Louis. The sun is trying to shine, there is still a cool chill in the air. When I walked Sissy Dog this morning we saw a few flowers trying to bloom and welcome spring. Jonquils and Forsythia  are among my favorites. I am going to make a mid night run and get a few brances. I don't have any in my yard and I feel the need to have a vase full in the kitchen to make me smile. Winter has been long and hard here, as it has in many places around the country. We have had over 30 inches of snow and we usually only get around 10. All this has nothing to do with todays post, but I just wanted to share with you.

My neighbors house, she might have a late night visitor as I think I need a big bokay for my kitchen.

   How many have ever had a family dinner and was on the way to the dinner table with a very hot dish or platter and you yell, get something to put under this, it is HOT STUFF? Well I know I have heard it many times and I ususally grab a t-towel or pot holder.In Edwardian England (the Edwarian period was when Ewdard was King of England,periods of English history were always named after the ruler on the throne at that time)., they would have never used a pot holder, but would have reached for a fine trivet to place under the hot dish.  So today I am sharing with you my Needlepoint Trivets. Some of these may be a little older than the Edwardians and could really be called Victorian. Victoria reigned on the throne of England till 1903 and everything during that time was known as Vistorian. So if I was to guess the age of these trivets I would say, later part of the 1800's and very early part of the 1900's.The English took great pride in there homes, especially if you were of the upper class. They entertained with very high style. The ladies did needlework as a form of pass time and made everything under the sun. These trivets  were among those items. Beautiful maghogany frames were made and sold to hold the ladies needlepoints. Glass was placed on the top so the needlepoint would not get dirty or burn. The frames came in all different styles and shapes. They were mostly custom made to fit the needlepoint. The bottoms came off. The craftsmen were very clever and made  wood screws on the botton, so the bottom could be removed. An inner board was placed inside and the needlepoint would have been strtched to that and inserted into the frame. A fancy Passementere cording would  finish off the edges. Often the needlepoint inserts would be very elaborate and have bead work and some times gold and silve wire inserts.I am very fond of needlepoint, I have a vast collection. And I love it with the bead work. A needle with a thread would be pulled up from the bottom of the needlepoint canvas, a bead threaded through it, and then the needlewould be pullled back down and repeated till the desing was done. I can not imagine doing this, especially then, when the only light they had was an oil lamp or candle. So many of the beads were black and shades of gray,making them even harder to see.

The frame is mahogany and inlaid with walnut.

This one is all beads and made in black and grays.
     The first time I saw one of these was at a fancy antique show in Chicago. There was a wonderful dealer there from England. She had lots and lots of old beautiful English needlepoint. Pillows, firscreens, bell pulls,tea caddys and trivets. I was in love. They were way over my head as far as the prices went. Starting at $500 and going up. Well I didn't get one that day, but I was patient and have found several since then that had a better price. Just like most antiques the popularity of these needlepoint items has fallen off and so has the price. I have bought a few on ebay and sold them. I guess it was good to make some money, but, I would rather just look at them at My Old Historic House. Please come by any time for a tour. I will leave the lamps on and Sissy Dog will meet you with a jump and a KISS! Happy Sunday. Happy  first day of SPRING!

Close up of the needlepoint with black and white beads.

Notice the beautiful workmanship of the mahogany frame.

You can see the in-laid wood trim on the frame here.

The needlepoint on this one is all black and shades of grays. I can just imagine how hard it was to see these tiny beads.

Bottom has a wood screw so it can come off to change the needlepoint insert.


Divine Theatre said...

They are so lovely it would be a shame to put anything on them and cover their beauty!
I am so very happy for you, Richard! You are going to be FAMOUS!
Kisses for Miss Sissy!

ornamentsbypink said...

These are so pretty! Richard you must have a sampling of everything ever made in your shop.
Have a nice day!

LydiaO said...

I positively covet the red trivet. (My inner raccoon loves all red and/or shiny things.) I love reading your blog. I learn something new every time I visit :-)

lvroftiques said...

They are really cool Richard! Funny thing I was out tiquin' yesterday and ran across a really beautiful big one for $260...Should I have bought it? They're not common here in my neck of the woods at all. Vanna

Heirlooms by Ashton House said...

These are most intriguing and beautiful, Richard! I have never seen them before. You have the neatest collections.

Anyes K. Busby - Studio Vignette Fine Art said...

Hi Richard,
So late, but I'm catching up.
The hours of work that went into those lovely pieces! And like you say, working under poor lighting at best. The Victorian never cease to amaze me. Their sense of design and purpose was outstanding.

Marcia said...

Really wonderful trivets! I'd hate to use them for food, too. I would have them all 'foody' I'm afraid. Thank you for this blog!