Wednesday, December 3, 2008

"Porcelain & Pottery Tea Tiles"

My friend's Christmas gift of two unmarked, vintage tea trivets prompted me to pull out a 1994 book I found on eBay this summer, "Porcelain & Pottery Tea Tiles" by Ralph Moore with photography by Dinah Tanner. According to this book, tea tiles are sometimes called "trivets" and in Scotland are sometimes called "teapot stands."

The author says tea trivets were made as long ago as the 1700s, mostly of iron, and porcelain pieces became popular in the 1800s. "Many tea tiles have no marks as to manufacture or country of origin," the book says. "Two reasons for this can be stated: the tiles could have been made before the McKinley Act was in force, a law requiring that all imports be marked as to country of origin; or the tiles were made for local use and not for importation."

I enjoyed seeing all the photos, which give a good idea of the variety of trivets that are "out there," but most helpful were the photos of the backs of trivets and the markings some of them have. The book also includes a price guide, and the trivets at the time of printing ranged in value from $18 to $85. I believe I paid $5 for my most expensive one, so I think I'm doing OK!


  1. Facinating! Thanks for sharing! Once again you have shown something I must find for myself!

  2. I'll be on the lookout for the book and checking for tea trivets at flea markets, antique shops etc. from now on.

  3. Angela, that book would be a really nice addition for my book collection. I never knew about trivets until your previous post this past summer. I have been on the lookout for them, but to no avail. :-(
    Thank you for remembering mom.

  4. That book looks so interesting! I had never heard of a tea trivet before I read your post yesterday. Pretty soon you will become a tea accessories appraiser!

  5. Oh, what a great resource - thank you!


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