Jump to content
I Forge Iron

Anvil ID and value please

Recommended Posts

Howdy folks, absolute noobie here. 

The short version...

Just getting into blacksmithing and don't know hardly anything. :unsure:  A friend is moving into a new workshop and the owner is moving out (mostly). He's got an anvil that he supposedly wants to sell but I don't know how much this anvil may be worth. I was able to visit the shop and get some pictures which I will post below. In my estimation it's about 100 lbs. and noticed all the edges are pretty chipped/rounded over. I hit it with a chunk of steel and it had a good ring to it, no dull thud or funky vibrations that I could tell.

 Any information you can provide as to it's general condition and value would be greatly appreciated. I have a feeling this guy is going to want to sell it real soon so I'd like to know if it's something I should pounce on or let it go.




Anvil - 3.jpg

Anvil - 7.jpg

Anvil - 2.jpg

Anvil - 6.jpg

Anvil - 5.jpg

Anvil - 4.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

141 LB Peter Wright in good used condition. Has a lot of life in it if you can do a rebound test, even better. Worth what you are willing to pay for it. i hear there are lots of anvils in texas (no ida really) but since it is a smallish anvil even when very adequate, don't go overboard. Try $200 to start? 

PW are the most abundant anvil around and some rate them very high. I tend to think of them as working horses and not racing studs, so sort of middle range in quality. That anvil would be a God sent for most beginners.


Don't get any ideas of "fixing it", take it or leave it ... I can't even make a joke about fixing anvils and my joke gets deleted :P :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, old english anvils are weight stamped in the CWT or hundredweight system:

Left most number x 112 (hundredweights)

middle number x 28 (quarter hundredweights and so should only be 0-3)

Right most number(s) residual pounds and so it can be 0-27

So 1 1 1 in an american anvil is 111 pounds. In an old english anvil its 112 + 28 + 1 = 141 though anvils typically are a bit off from their stamped weight

New english anvils are marked in KG.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

13 hours ago, Allen Corneau said:

By the way, how can you tell it's 141 pounds?  Is the "1 1 1" some kind of weight code?

I remember once we were all trying to guess the weight of an anvil using a bucket as reference and we got pretty close :)

In your case it was easy. It is written down in a very old weight system.

So did you actually pay $200? 

Now get going with a nice steel stand, first project :)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Don't hate me, but the guy asked for $100 so I took it at his asking price.

We've got one stump on standby, a cut-off from a new telephone pole, but it may be a little too small for the whole footprint of the anvil. We were expecting to start off with a smaller ASO which would be just about right for the stump.

There's also a tree in the neighborhood that came down recently due to Hurricane Harvey, we may be able to get a bigger stump from that. If all that fails we will look at welding up a steel stand for it. 


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Price wise I say not bad. I picked up a 138# PW for $100. But yes, you did good for being in Texas where anvils normally go for a LOT more than that . The only thing that I might do is to smooth the rounded edges with a flap wheel on a 4.5" grinder to prevent further chipping and leave less marks in a workpiece, A few different radii will be beneficial. Other than that don't touch anything else with the grinder.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Stump ... mm ... sure it may work but you will get the wobbly all the time unless you bury your stump in the ground. Metal tripod for me anyday. Box with sand is also a good base. Anyway enjoy.

Price ... Lots of people ask this question every day. How much is my anvil worth (after buying it mind you, not like you ha ha. ) I answer, it is worth what you paid for it. (Usually I get no answer. I wonder why :) )

In your case, you paid what the owner asked for it. It is called offer and demand. Nothing to be ashamed of.  Anvils are overpriced by a factor of two or even three, so you got a flat rate. Good for you. 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'd say the telephone pole would not be big enough for a 200 lb plus anvil.  Don't skimp on the anvil stand.  I burned my finger really bad starting out with an undersized anvil stump.  I had a little 75 pounder and the stump was too small.  As I hammered away the whole anvil tipped and the hot steel just touched my finger but almost burnt it to the bone.  Now I'm somewhat of a freak when it comes to making sure your anvil is secure.  You don't want that anvil to tip on you and they do "walk" when you used them even if they are heavy.  You can even build a good stand out of wood from the hardware store.  There are several threads on the different anvil stands people have made.

Nice score on the anvil.  It's in usable condition and you didn't make the newbie mistake of overpaying for it.  I'm not that far from the newbie stage and I remember wanting an anvil really badly but waiting for a good one to come my way.  Looks like you got yours for about 1/3 of what it is worth given that weight.


Looks like it could be a Peter Wright - the writing looks like I can make that out.  I could be very wrong.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

11 hours ago, BIGGUNDOCTOR said:

Marc1, it depends on the size of the stump and flooring. Mine are stable sitting on the sand and gravel we have here. Back home in CA we had a eucalyptus stump that lasted a few decades outside under the 260# Fisher before the bugs and rot made it firewood.

Sure, nice large stump, properly cut flat and on a surface that doesn't bounce like dirt or gravel or sand, no worries. The best anvil stump is ... a real stump, that is a tree still in the ground and cut to size. Now Allen, don't get any ideas and stop eying those trees in the back ... :)

8 hours ago, MC Hammer said:

Looks like it could be a Peter Wright - the writing looks like I can make that out.  I could be very wrong.

Definitely a patented PW made in Pommy land :) 

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...