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I Forge Iron

early English Boker Trenton? 111 lbs

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I feel a little guilty about what I paid for this one, but I'll get over it.  This beauty popped up on the Austin craigslist in the free section (said if you can pick it up you can have it for free!) amid all the ridiculously overpriced anvils that frequently show up.  The ad said no holds and I was out of town so I hoped the person would be enticed by money and offered $100 if she'd hold it for me.  The next day while doing last minute preparations for a Christmas party I got an email back saying she'd gotten over 400 emails inquiring about the anvil but my subject line, offering to actually buy it had gotten her attention.  My girlfriend is the best as she released me from my chores to make sure I sealed the deal.  A few txt messages later the seller was having seller's remorse as she was beginning to get an idea of the actual value, but to her credit she didn't back out or try to renegotiate.  The next challenge was to borrow $100 cash as I'd just paid my rent, bills and credit card, fortunately I have an understanding roommate who loaned me the money.

Still worried the seller might bail on the sale, I made the earliest arrangements I could Monday morning to pick it up.  As she said she couldn't move it or read any markings on the anvil I had no idea the size or weight but based on the ad in the picture I knew it was going home with me.  To be on the safe side I brought along a friend and a dolly.  When I got there I realized this was going to be the perfect replacement for the 101 PW that I picked up years ago for $50 (yes, I stole that one too!)  My initial impression was that this was a very nice 111 lb Trenton, rebound is at least 90% or greater!  The PW has 80-90% rebound with minor edge damage, it's been perfect for blade smithing.


Yes, I know it's an anvil, bring it home, put it to use and don't worry about the history or value...but I'm going to do whatever research I can and this forum is invaluable.  First thing I noticed is there was no serial number like so many of the Trentons seen here.  Then I wondered about the PW like foot ledges, the Solid Wrought circle stamped on the side, flat bottom and un-Trenton like shape. 




The research I did leads me to believe this is an early H. Boker Trenton that's fairly uncommon, probably made in England due to the circular "Solid Wrought" stamp.  I found a post regarding a German Boker that was stamped "Made in Germany", no such marking on this one.  The ledges on the feet indicate a Peter Wright influence on the wrought iron base.  "According to Anvils in America by Richard Postman this is likely a Boker TRENTON, rather than one made by the Columbus (OH) Forge & Iron Co. Hermann Boker was a broker for the Trenton (NJ) Vise and Tool Company and had TRENTON brand anvils made in both German and England. This one could well have been made for them in England by Peter Wright as it has the classic PW feet and the SOLID WROUGHT in a circle. Anvil lately dates to the last quarter of the 1800s"

Sorry for the long rant but I'm very excited about the newest (or oldest addition) to the family.  She's in good company with a 200 lb Peter Wright that dates back to the same time period.  The little PW pictured above will now eventually find a new home.  No fears about any further cleanup, I hit her last night with a wire brush and linseed oil, it's time now to forge on and make beautiful things!



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Yep, I'm over it.  Just goes to show know what you're selling or buying before you pull the trigger.  She was covered in rust and dust (not that that'd ever hurt wrought iron) and dying of neglect.   Just glad a scrapper didn't find her and send her to the recycle yard, though those guys are pretty good about spotting something of value and setting it aside.  She's definitely in a better home now, I'll chain her down and beat her with hot metal!

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  • 5 years later...

I'm doing a bunch of research on Trenton Anvils and think what you actually have is an anvil made by Ribon and March for Trenton Vise and Tool Works.  I believe they manufactured Trenton branded anvils from roughly 1881-1891. 



I'm also in Austin Texas and just filmed a short video on 3 1910-1915 Trenton Anvils.  If you're still in the area and would be up for it I'd love to do a little video on this anvil as well and talk about the history.  

You seem to have a very rare anvil. 

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