A trivet is an object placed between a serving dish or bowl, and a dining table or work surface, usually to protect the table/surface from heat damage.
The original meaning of trivet was “three-legged stand,” especially one used under a cooking pot in a wood stove or over an open fire.
The cast iron trivets as we know them today were first widely reproduced in the 1930s. In later decades, brass trivets began arriving from China, Japan and India.
In the 17th Century a trivet, stand or support for utensils was used in front of, or on, the fire and was usually made of wrought iron. The most common variety, stood on three legs and had a circular plate with perforated decoration, often in the form of a date. Another early type, short-legged, stood in the fire to support a cast-iron pot. Later, in the second half of the 18th century, trivets designed to be hung from fire bars were made. These were of two types: an oblong, standing trivet with a handle at one end and projections to fit over the fire bars at the other, and a plate that could be attached to the fire bar. Some of the latter were hung inside the grate supporting a vessel over the fire.