Brodgz

need help identifying old hornless anvil

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Hi all, 

I'm new to this forum and just came across an old hornless anvil in the house i bought in Pennsylvania. USA. If anyone could give me an idea of what brand or era this anvil is i'd appreciate it. It hasnt been wire brushed yet and dont see any marking anywhere on it.

Thanks,

Bob

weight is 125.6 lbs

top is appox 5" wide

12 1/14" long  and 9 1/2" height.

anvil1.jpg

anvil3.jpg

anvil2.jpg

anvilbase.jpg

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Nice find Bob. I'm sure an anvil guru will be along shortly with an idea. 

Have you read about not grinding or milling the face? Will ruin it. 

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Thank You. I do know about no grinding etc. Have been hesitant to clean it up but want to test for bounce and tone so after a while i'll get the wire wheel out.

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It i clean enough to test, that appears to only have a patina on it, not flaky rust.

Now, are you looking to keep and use it, or sell it?  If you are going to sell it, just leave it as is.

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Didnt want to but selling it due to and expensive head gasket car repair. Thats aluminum for ya. 

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Welcome aboard Bob, glad to have you. Please slow down, your last post doesn't really make a lot of sense. I'm old and don't text folk on my phone. I'm looking at my laptop and use a keyboard. Hmmmm? I have to assume you have a pretty major car repair and may have to sell the anvil. If you aren't a blacksmith or collector the money makes it tempting. Am I close?

I'm no anvil guru, I don't have THE book, "Anvils n America," that is the current reference manual for identifying and dating anvils. . . In America. B)

What I can say is that old lady looks like she was made that way and is probably DARNED old. Maybe colonial or older. Possibly a sawyer's anvil or a similar specialty anvil.

I'd leave her just like she is. I'd dust it with flour and wipe the surface off to bring out surface features like stamped marks and photograph it with oblique lighting; ONE light at a shallow angle to bring out features. Id take several photos from several angles of each side. Yeah, I'd be taking probably 40-50 pics. 

If she's what I think she may be worth a pretty penny. So please don't try to pretty her up, no grinding, heck I wound't take a wire brush to her. Wipe her down with an oily rag maybe but that's about it.

Frosty The Lucky.

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I'd have a hard time selling something that old and cool, being a blacksmith or otherwise! I'm not saying that you shouldn't, but I would recommend thinking it over for a while before you do.

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Great advice. I will post more photo's and leave it alone. It's a lively anvil and i could only do the hammer swing test with it on it's side. Nice rebound and ring but not a long duration ring. 

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It was a standard model back when; just like there were London Pattern and Birmingham Pattern and a slew of others.  I've seen them in catalog reprints.

What size is the hardy hole?

Needs must when the Devil Drives; I once sold off a swiss army crossbow to put 5 more feet onto my shop building. Being able to turn loose of *NEAT* *STUFF* when you have to is a boon; good luck.

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Thanks, Yes it does hurt. The hardy looks like it's 3/4". After swinging a hardwood flooring mallet for years my right arm has seen better days.

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3/4" is loosely correlated with earlier dates for some anvils. I'd "guess" antebellum too.

(an exception: Vulcans used a smaller hardy hole even fairly recently to strengthen the heel)

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I have a hornless about the same size, but there are remnants of a horn on one end. Hard to put a name on it without a stamp but maybe someone might recognize it.I'm in Bucks Co, in Q-Town. If you want to see what this heating and beating thing is all about, shoot me a PM. Maybe you can put that old lady to work.

Steve

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Brodgz , your anvil looks like it's in pretty good shape. It would be hard for me to let it go. As frosty said though if you aren't a smith or collector that would make it a much easier decision. If you don't sell it are you going to use it? It'd be a shame for such a great old anvil to be put into early retirement. Looks like she still has a lot of miles left in her. 

As far as I D I couldn't say with certainty except it looks like other colonial anvils I've seen, but it's just a guess. 

You may want to take frosty's advice about the flour and oblique lighting. If there's any markings that will help make them more visible. 

Good luck and update us on the outcome. 

Pnut (Mike)

There is a similar example in the greenwood collection. Also try looking up Alsop colonial anvil.

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I'm not going to use it. I'd rather see someone bring it back to life and put it to use. Hopefully some wants it before i name it and i become attached to it.  I'm open to offers.

Any idea on where it would be marked if at all?

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Yes; one of the 200+ English anvil makers that have been identified so far.  Unfortunately anvil patterns were freely shared in earlier times and so general styles can be determined but not specific makers without stampings.  You can get people who say: "It looks exactly like my XYZ that is stamped"  unfortunately it DOESN'T mean it was made by the same manufacturer.  It could have been made by someone who learned the craft in their shop and then went on and made anvils in their own shop.  (Why we often say anvils look like a Mousehole or like a Peter Wright; two of the largest anvil makers and so produced a lot of trained people who went on to open their own shops and did similar work.)

In more recent times various "improvements" were patented and so narrow things down a bit.  (Like the Buel patent).

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About 1830 the pritchel hole was added to anvils.  Yours doesn't have a pritchel hole so we do know with certainty that this anvil is older than 1830.  I do not believe this was made as a sawyer's anvil but that it is colonial.  It lacks the 5th foot which some believe is a trait of the oldest colonial anvils.  I'm not sure I can subscribe to this 5th foot idea.  The closest I can say is that this anvil could date from the 1600's to the mid 1700's based on what I read in AIA by Postman.

I think I'd keep it if it were me.  At this point it's an artifact and there aren't too many of them left that are this old.  Let's say that this anvil was made in 1750....That thing has been through the Revolutionary war, Civil War, both World Wars, and so on.  She deserves to be taken care of well.  You could sell it to some idiot who decides to grind the top flat and make it all pretty and silver again with an angle grinder & flap disk.  You are the latest caretaker of this anvil and all the others before you took great care of her.  It's now your responsibility to honor all the men who fed their families, possibly produced goods that freed our Country, and who loved that anvil like a friend.  

 

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Wow that's a lot of weight on my shoulders. Well said. You can actually feel the energy coming off of it. But.... it's time to pass it on to someone who will take care of it. Hopefully the right person will come along.

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Many times when I can't make out writing on something, I take my phone and take a good picture of whatever it is and then zoom in to make out what it says. It has come in handy many times, and I say this for as I zoom in on picture #2 on my phone, it looks to me there is something and a TM written a little right of center and up a bit, and as well what looks like a something XX in the upper right. Just might be my eyes or other variables, but you might investigate it further. 

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Still for sale. For local pickup.  Make an offer. Will post more pics asap.

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You may want to post a for sale notice in the tail gate section.  

More people will see it.

Pnut (Mike)

I wish I was a little closer.

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Listed in tail gait. $600.00 obo. Pick up in Quakertown, PA 18951

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Wish I was still up that way. It's a very cool old piece. Hit fredricks at the mart and have some beef jerky for me. :)

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On 4/24/2019 at 3:15 PM, ThomasPowers said:

Vulcans used a smaller hardy hole even fairly recently to strengthen the heel

Or more precisely, to avoid weakening the heel any more than necessary.

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