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getting more info on an anvil

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I recently bought this anvil and someone I see here has helped with some info about it ( many thanks ) but I thought I would post the details here too in case I can find out a bit more.


it has only 2 marks on it as far as I can see, both like an upside down T, one of them has the upright going to a point.
it is probably made in england, is quite old and is very roughly made.
the flat part on top is infact convex across the width and the edges are rough rather than straight and square.
I did not want to grind them square just yet but will try it as it is at first.

it is 21 1/2" long, 9 1/2" tall and the top is 3 3/4" wide
weight is 99.4 lbs 45.1 kg

handling holes etc
two holes in the front, one near the base and the other half way up
one half way up the rear, all of those about 3/4 square and the larger one in the base with quite a taper.
top is not delaminating or detempered as far as I can tell.

apart from the hole in the base the base is reasonably flat though I have not put a straight edge across it but the top of the anvil is definatly convex, mostly at the front ( I would say about 3/16 higher in the middle than the edges at the front end and just about flat near the hardy.
have some more pix to post soon.

the casting has a very rough surface ( worn smoother with age but still uneven ), like it was moulded in clay using your hands only.

the hardy hole is not square to the centerline of the anvil but is twisted at least 5 degrees anticlockwise IIRC.
the pritchel is 1/2" diameter


I like it and will use it, in fact it will probably be in use this weekend as I have some small items to make that I dont need the quarter ton monsters in the workshop for ( that are much to high for me as the owner of them is over 6' tall )

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I'm guessing it's a Peter Wright, made in Dudley, England. Yours appears to have small ledges on the tops of the feet (often used as an identifying trait of Peter Wrights). Many of them had inspector's marks stamped on the front of the feet. That might be what you are seeing.

As for the roughness of the surface, Peter Wrights were all forged anvils, not cast. The forging would leave the surface a little rougher if care was not taken to finish the forging (i.e. with flatters etc.).

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From the waist down it looks like a Peter Wright, but the heel seems too long compared to the other PW's I've seen. Also I've never seen a Peter Wright anvil with such a rough finish. I could definitely be wrong though. It is certainly forged not cast, that's my opinion anyhow.

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I agree that most of the Peter Wrights I have seen have been finished better than that one.

I have a Buckworth anvil that I THINK was made by Boker. It has the ledges on the feet like Peter Wrights, but it is also a little rougher. That is another possibility as to the manufacturer.

Edit: it is the one sitting directly on the metal stand on the right hand side of the picture in post #11 in this thread:

The anvils sitting on top of the Buckworth and the Brooks in the centre of the photo are 88 pound and 100 pound Peter Wrights for comparison.

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under the horn and heel it looks even rougher.
this anvil as it is suits my needs.
at a few reenactment events, mostly private training weekends I take a solid fuel forge along and help a few newbies have a go at a little forgework as a little taster, often there are other with me who are a lot more experieced than me who also help with anything more advanced.
it is by appearance not a modern anvil made in the last few years though I understand it is not that old due to the pritchel.
it is also small and light enough to go in my van with everything else I have to take but big enough to use.
any idea of date it was likley to be made?

is there a reason for the top being convex rather than flat, it does not look like wear to me.
most of the marks on the top and horn are not as bad as they look in the pix and im hoping that after a little use it will look better

thank you all for the help and information
I hope that I have also added a little to the info as to what is out there and I will report back if I find out more.

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If there was a lot of work done on the edges of an old wrought iron body forged anvil, it is possible to sag in these areas of heavier work, causing the convex surface. It is fairly common to see forged wrought anvils with a dip in the face where heavier/more work was performed. Is it convex the whole length of the face, or just in a couple locations. Is it possible the edges were ground down a bit to get rid of some edge chipping in the past?

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at the end nearest the horn it is greatest, maybe 1/4" higher in the middle than the sides and as you towards the heel it slowly levels out until it is nearly flat by the hardy, will check it tommorow.
it does not look as if it has been ground down.
looking at it now after looking at the other pix in the anvilitis thread the heel looks long and maybe added on to include a pritchel ( dont know if this is likley but will examine it more closely soon and in just under a month at an event where it will be in use I should be able to get a few opinions about it ).

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It's very unlikely that the heel was added onto as VERY few people have the ability to to this (IFI member stewartthesmith has a Hay Budden that was repaired by a friend of his, but a successful repair of that nature is VERY rare).

Your anvil is likely not old enough to not have a pritchel as the feet are flat on top. The older anvils that did not have pritchels usually had sharp ridges on the top of their feet. I would guess your anvil is late 1800's to early 1900's, when pretty much all anvils had pritchels.

We have to remember that most anvils were forged, therefore there are no two identical. It wouldn't surprise me if the slightly longer heel on yours was because it was forged with open dies.

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Also looks like the hardy hole is further back than normal. Looking under the heel. Is there evidence that the hardy hole was relocated ? Normally the Hardy hole would be tucked back closer to the body of the anvil. Also the photograph shows a notch on the side of the anvil a few inches from the end of the heel that would be about where I would normally expect the heel to end.

Maybe an old repair ? Interesting anvil. For sure a keeper.

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