Steve Heseltine

Can anyone help with any info on my newly purchased anvil please?

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Can anyone help with any info on my newly purchased anvil please?

i can make out “Mountford” “homer” on one side and 1 3 20 on the other side, one thing I’ve noticed different about mine to other anvils is there’s no “Can anyone help with any info on my newly purchased anvil please?

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The weight should be close to 216 pounds, I can't help with the manufacturer though I'm sure the anvil experts will be able to.

Good looking anvil and if you have read much here you already know to not grind or weld on the face of it.

BTW: Welcome to the forum, if you edit your profile to show your location you may be surprised how many members are close to you and some answers are location dependent.

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Homer and Moundford was, I believe, an anvil manufacturer in the West Midlands of England. Note the absence of a step between the horn and the face; this is known as a "Birmingham pattern" anvil (as opposed to a "London pattern", which does have the step). Homer and Moundford went bankrupt in the 1880s.

The Black Country of the West Midlands was known for chainmaking, and it's quite possible that the grooves in the horn and the little divot on the edge are modifications made by the smith specifically for that kind of work.

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It's just a bit of an open ended question with no straightforward answer. 

 

It's same as trying to sell anything old: it only worth what someone is willing to spend, and there are a lot of factors involved. 

The recent resurgence of blacksmithing has driven demand up, and as such general prices rise due to scarcity in certain regions.

The same can be said for certain vintage cars and motorcycles... the value at one point was the cost of manufacture + a percentage profit. People want rare items, so depending on the level interest at a particular point in time, and location, the value changes.

 

 

Simply put: you paid what it was worth to you, so that's the value. 

You claim to have no intensions of selling, so why bother ask?

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18 hours ago, JHCC said:

Homer and Moundford was, I believe, an anvil manufacturer in the West Midlands of England. Note the absence of a step between the horn and the face; this is known as a "Birmingham pattern" anvil (as opposed to a "London pattern", which does have the step). Homer and Moundford went bankrupt in the 1880s.

The Black Country of the West Midlands was known for chainmaking, and it's quite possible that the grooves in the horn and the little divot on the edge are modifications made by the smith specifically for that kind of work.

Wow, you know your stuff

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29 minutes ago, Gdawg said:

Wow, you know your stuff

No, but I fake it well!

3 minutes ago, MilwaukeeJon said:

JHCC is indeed a most impressive font of knowledge! 

Mostly just knowing where to look.

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The horn modification would come in really handy for making hooks and I think the depression in the face would also come in handy for all sorts of things once you get using it.

I get where you are coming from wanting to know the value.  If you've ever watched PBS's Antique's Roadshow people with no intentions of selling things come to find out what their family heirloom is worth.  You just have to realize that there's quite a few "one and done" posters here who join the forum just to get a free opinion on how old their anvil is and what it's worth so they can turn around and sell it then you never see another post again from them.  Let us know how your new anvil works and what you are making with it. 

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Thank you mc hammer, I’m looking to start bladesmithing in the new year as a hobby but still have quite a few things to buy first before I can start making things. I will more than happily post a pic of my first blade that I make whenever that may be. 

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Anvil price depends on a number of factors: condition, location, collectibility, size, and the current state of the market, just for starters. Your anvil looks to be in good shape overall, so that would bring the value up. However, it's had some specific modifications, which might bring the price down. You're in the UK where anvils are somewhat more plentiful, so that would tend to lower the price. There might be people collecting this particular manufacturer, but its value to a collector would probably be more on account of its size, use, and slightly unusual pattern. The size is quite desirable, so that would bring the price up. The market in the US is (as noted above) somewhat inflated, as TV shows have popularized bladesmithing in particular, and everyone and their dog thinks they should buy an anvil.

In short, you got a good deal on a good anvil. Well done, you.

6 minutes ago, Steve Heseltine said:

I’m looking to start bladesmithing in the new year as a hobby but still have quite a few things to buy first before I can start making things. 

Couple of things on this: first, you can get started smithing with comparatively few tools and build up from there. If you're going to spend money, spend it on TONGS. You can get a decent hammer for practically nothing at a boot sale, you've already got the anvil, and you can make a perfectly good forge for almost nothing if you go with solid fuel (see the threads about the JABOD and 55 forges) or comparatively little if you go with gas (see the Forges 101 and Burners 101 threads). The one thing that people never seem to grasp is that holding the workpiece is just as important as what you hit it on, what you hit it with, or how you heat it. Trust me, when you lose your grip on a piece of red-hot steel and it goes flying through the air, bad things can happen.

11 minutes ago, Steve Heseltine said:

I will more than happily post a pic of my first blade that I make whenever that may be. 

I don't know how much smithing experience you have, but I (and others here) strongly recommend that you get your forging technique down before you start trying to forge a blade. Learning how the metal moves under your hammer is something that you can read about, but you'll only understand when you've done it. Take some time on learning basic hammer control and forging technique on some simple non-knife projects; you'll thank yourself later.

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I have had a brief look online at forges and they aren’t cheap so I was wondering if it was possible to make something that works, I’ll have a look through the threads you’ve recommended if I can find them lol

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ya first thing i thought of when i saw that face notch was an arrowhead maker must have owned this anvil. i could of course be wildly off it's just what popped into my head. 

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Just now, Charcold said:

ya first thing i thought of when i saw that face notch was an arrowhead maker must have owned this anvil. i could of course be wildly off it's just what popped into my head. 

I'm wondering if it has something to do with scarfing the ends of the rods for chain links. Heat the end, put the tip in the divot, and give it one or two hard blows to "smear" the scarf to one side. I'd like @jlpservicesinc's take on that, as our resident chainmaking guru.

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2 minutes ago, JHCC said:

I'm wondering if it has something to do with scarfing the ends of the rods for chain links. Heat the end, put the tip in the divot, and give it one or two hard blows to "smear" the scarf to one side. I'd like @jlpservicesinc's take on that, as our resident chainmaking guru.

that seems like a good call also! Interesting looking at all of the different techniques for making chain, from scarfing on the corner to those nifty chain making hardys. That would make sense on this anvil in combination with the horn modification as well i'd say. 

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This all sounds really cool as my initial thought was that the notches were just damage caused to the anvil at some stage in its life! I’m super excited to use it and am currently searching google etc for ideas on making a forge rather than buying one and if it’s something I could do or not.

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If I were to hazard a guess, I'd suppose that the modification to the horn and the possible scarfing divot were made by the smith after purchase. As I understand it, most of the chainmaking in the Black Country was cottage industry, with lots of small shops doing piecework. In such a context, it's not hard to imagine a small shop modifying an existing anvil rather than investing in a specialized chainmaking anvil. But again, this is all supposition.

2 minutes ago, Steve Heseltine said:

currently searching google etc for ideas on making a forge rather than buying one and if it’s something I could do or not.

Seek no further: here are the original JABOD thread and the one where I documented building my own.

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