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X-stamp on the bottom of a Peter Wright?

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Found a neat little 77# PW at an out-of-the-way roadside stand. In extremely nice shape, this is a pre-"ENGLAND" stamp vintage. When I was cleaning it up I noticed an odd stamping on the bottom of the anvil. Not on the lower part of the foot, but actually on the bottom of the anvil, the underside of the base.

In all the PW's I've looked at, I've not seen something like this before. I can't remember seeing much of any stampings on the bottom of anvils. This a rather large stamp too, and that much depth of stamping with that large of a surface area, it really took some doing I would guess.

I haven't seen any mention of stampings like this that I can find.
....but I suppose not a lot of people bother to check the bottom of an anvil.

I haven't been able to check any other PW's than the pre-ENGLAND variety, but none of the pre-ENGLAND PW's I've looked at have anything like this on the bottom of the anvil.

Any guesses? Reject stamp? Anvil has very nice rebound and good ring, everything seems solid.


Maybe some mark below the X-stamp too? Can't tell.



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hey, Black Frog, have you replaced "our daily bread" by "my daily gorgeous anvil" in "Our Father" prayer?

:)  I travel quite a bit, and wherever I go I search around as much as I can. 

Sometimes it seems like you're almost tripping over anvils found around, other times the river runs dry.......



I would venture to say that that is an inspectors mark, done while the anvil was hot.  This is indicated by the depth of the marking.  X does not always mean reject.


Agreed that it was done hot, that is a large stamp! And deep.


My curiousity about this stamping is peaked because I've seen lots of inspector markings on the sides/ends of anvils.  All sorts of letters, numbers, symbols, etc.  Most all of which are not too large, maybe 3/4" tall at the most.  This is the first time I've seen a large surface area stamp like this on any anvil.  I didn't measure it, but guessing maybe 2" square?  First time I've seen a stamp on the bottom of an anvil, and the first time I've seen a stamp that was this deep with this large of surface area. 

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Here's an outlandish theory, I fully admit, but fun to think about.......


To me this would seem to be quite an overkill stamp for an inspector’s mark? Imagine inspecting anvils down the line, each needing an approval mark where imprinting a simple single letter/number/symbol would suffice.  That stamp being that large and that deep required some serious effort, and had to be done quite hot I would think.


This isn’t an early PW with the sharply shaped feet that are present with early models.

There is no distinct dividing line or noticeable seam between the upper and lower parts of the anvil that were evident 1852-1860.

Since there is no “ENGLAND” stamp, Postman would date this as a pre-1910 anvil.


So let’s say this would fall between 1860 and 1910.  I can’t make out if there was any circular “SOLID WROUGHT” stamp which might help dating the anvil further.


I’ve read where Postman has indicated that prior to the U.S. Civil War, Mousehole Forge dominated the English export market.   After the war Peter Wright was the major anvil brand sold until the late 1800s when several U.S. manufacturers starting making similar anvils.  Postman also notes where some Fisher anvils were produced during the war with the Eagle logo removed, theorizing that the South did not want to purchase anvils with a logo associated with the Union.  Having the eagle logo on there hurt their sales.


Could we venture to guess that PW was making an effort to promote their sales during the U.S. Civil War period?  England was officially neutral during the Civil War, but was making ships for the Confederacy.  In an effort to increase their production and sales, would an English anvil maker mark shipments of anvils directly for the Confederacy?  Could this X-stamp on the bottom of this anvil be indicative of this? 







Just throwin' ideas around....

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Not everything Postman wrote about Fisher anvils was based on facts.  He used some sources that I proved to him to be inaccurate or just conjecture.  There is no basis for the "Civil War" Fisher anvils not having logos.  The Fisher anvils made in the 1850's did not have logos.  Every 1860's Fisher in my museum has the round Eagle.  Every 1870's Fisher in the museum has the proud Eagle with the anchor.


The only Fisher anvil that I have that has a logo removed is an 1870's model that had the logo removed because it was defective and sold as a second, with no warranty.  (Fisher guaranteed their anvils for a year.  This one was sold as a second with no guarantee.)


I think you are reaching into the unknown territory with you theory about the X.

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Good to know about factual Fisher information.  All I could go on is the information I could find, can't wait for your book to be completed!



I think you are reaching into the unknown territory with your theory about the X.


This could very well be the case.  But I enjoy trying to piece together history, and why things were made a certain way.

Now I'd like to find any other PW's with this sort of stamp.  If I can make it to Quad State, I'll be looking for sure....  ;)

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I doubt many people have ever checked the underside of their PW's for any stampings.

Why would anyone have bothered?  I've never seen Postman mention any underside markings before.  Usually the undersides of anvils are caked with rust and crap, so it may take some cleaning to make them visible even if there were some stampings. I certainly didn't see this stamp until I started cleaning it....


I've never seen any marks before this, and I do look at the underside of the base to see the manufacturing methods and results.

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I have owned 1 Peter Wright with the X on the bottom of the base.  I also thought it was a "Factory Reject"...Sold it on Ebay as such and still brought the same price as a normal Peter Wright ($3-$4/LB).  The person who bought it was going to use it as is.


If I remember correctly I even spoke with Postman about it and he said its a possibility of it being a "Factory Reject".  Nothing appeared out of the norm for its condition.

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Sounds like the same vintage as the one I pictured.

Pre-ENGLAND stamp, and post-seam-line era.


Hows the rebound?  Any evidence of anything out of the ordinary?


Yours is 191#, mine is 77#.  Maybe cbl4823 will report back with the size and vintage of his X-rated PW....

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