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The top appears warped, better get out the angle grinder and flatten it. You know an anvil is not usable unless the top is flat.  :wacko:   Joking.

 

That thing looks amazing.  I would love to have one in my shop.  

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I wish more was known about the underlying design logic for anvils of this sort. Is the distinctive shape to meet specific needs of French blacksmiths or did they simply have different ideas (cultural, technical) about what made an anvil useful? Interested to hear what you all have to say....

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Good Morning,

Mad Dogs and Englishmen. Trying to figure out the French? This has been part of how many Wars? Their continents are less than 20 miles apart, What could go wrong?

Enjoy your new "Baby", it needs a name, probably French. (?????) LOL

Neil

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Hah I'll leave the wars to those more sure of themselves but I like the design. Not over the German style if I had one choice but this one is really interesting. I'd sure give it a try. And who wouldn't love to use an interesting and unique anvil. 

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I LOVE this anvil!! I have seen a few pictures of them, but never worked on one. I just think the idea of the gradual slope over the sweet spot transitioning to the horn is genius. Looks like you could really do some impressive drawing out on that thing. 

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Here are shots of her feet and snout. The sculptural and artistic skill of the makers is impressive. Clearly they wanted this anvil to look rather animated. It may be that the offset stance of the feet was an accident but it gives the appearance of this little piggy taking a step forward:

CA5D905C-E0B0-40C2-B1D8-9766C97198C8.jpeg

F21595BC-DACA-41D2-AC25-203ECF0980CD.jpeg

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6 minutes ago, MilwaukeeJon said:

Indeed. The French word for aardvark is cochon de terre or “pig of the earth/pig of the ground”. Maybe that’s what this is!

Aardvark is from Dutch aardvarken: aarde "earth" + varken "pig" (by way of Afrikaans). 

3 hours ago, John McPherson said:

From wikipedia: "Bourg-de-Péage is a commune in the Drôme department and in the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region in southeastern France. The inhabitants are called Péageois."

So this is a piggy made by Peageois? I'd be Lyon if I said I was not amused!

Yes, this anvil definitely deserves to be Lyonized.

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3 hours ago, rockstar.esq said:

I'm curious about the hardy hole in the side!  

It's the exit for the hardy hole in the face.  Common for this style of anvil.  Logical if you think about it, it's a pretty easy (short) punch and drift in a big block of steel, and as long as you go into it knowing that your shanks will be curved or angled no problem!  The location also puts tooling to the off side for right handers like with German style anvils, so no worry about barking the nuckles on your hammer hand on a hardy. 

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Judson,

Thank you for the explanation.  I didn't see how the two hardy holes aligned until you pointed it out.  It's interesting to consider punching and drifting something that large.  I suppose it's also possible that it was cast in, then refined afterwards.

Just out of curiosity, I'm wondering if a bottom tool would have less tendency to bounce in an angled hardy hole like that.  It seems like it would.

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very nice anvil, I'm a great fan of the French avils. I think they have the greatest variety of shapes and patterns, while in the anglo-saxon world "the anvil" always look as a London pattern, even the new DIY fabricated anvils. I still don't understand why even those making rail anvils try to replicate the London pattern with a cutting table which no one really use, just because that's how an anvil has to look. it seems there is life beyond the London Pattern, and there are a lot of forms of life, the above "cochon" being one of them. I have a different shape of "piglet" (two horns), but still has some convexed area towards the round horn, then you have some flat area which evolves into a light dish, etc., that's very useful. the above anvil could be a specialised anvil, targeted for a special branch of blacksmithing (I'm not shure if I dreamed this or it's a true memory, but I remember that pattern being called shovel maker's). I have a small portable military double horn French anvil which has also has that transition from the horn to the face which I find very useful for my work.

anyway, generally, the french anvils are of very good quality, you don't see as much chipped edges as on american anvils (maybe also the kind use has a word to say here).

these "pig" anvils (the forged variant), I think, are the most complex to forge  anvils, and there's a lot of unnecessary complication of the process for only an "aesthetic" gain, but's how the things were done in old times.

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Matei, thanks for the great response. That idea about this possibly being a shovel maker’s anvil is intersting. Certainly would be very well suited to that kind of progressive convex shaping. Can you post pictures here of your French anvils? 

By the way, I probably should have titled this thread La Pig to be grammatically correct.....

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