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Hello all! My name is Vincenzo and I’ve recently been looking for an upgrade to my smithing setup. As of now I’ve been using a chunk of I-beam which seems sufficient enough, but leaves much to be desired. On EBay I noticed an anvil for sale that seems to be in my price range if the auction doesn’t fluctuate too much. The description states that it weighs 115lbs and is currently going for $325 so roughly $2.82 a pound. I can’t see any markings to tell what brand it is and the seller stated that they don’t know either. It also looks to be pretty rusted, but from what I’ve read that might not be the end of the world? I’ve attached some pictures below: Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!

-Vincenzo

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Welcome to IFI! If you haven't yet, please read the "READ THIS FIRST" tab at the top of the page.

Hard to say how good a price that is, without knowing where you are. Here in Ohio, it would be decent. Looks like a English wrought iron anvil with a steel face, probably from before 1830. If it's in good shape (which you really only can tell in person) and within your budget, go for it. Just read the Anvil Buyer's Guide pinned at the top of this section first.

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I also bought my anvil off Ebay from a seller that was about 5 hours away from me. I called him and ended up making the drive over so I could see it in person. He was a farrier that was retiring and selling off his (really cool) shop. When I got there he ended up having like 30+ anvils, countless vises, and various tools that he had collected over the years and he let me look around. It was really cool to see and he ended up being a really cool guy to talk to. That's where I found my 150lb Soderfors.

Not only did I talk him down on his asking price, but he threw in a bench vise, a post vise, and several other tools. Even if this particular seller is too far away from you for this to be feasible, maybe narrow your search? A 10 hour drive was worth the peace of mind of getting to see and touch the anvil prior to shelling out a couple few hundred bucks on it. Especially since it's something that I'm going to own and enjoy for a long time to come. However, if you like that anvil and you want it, then go for it, this is just my opinion. 

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I am no expert in identifying anvils, and there are members here who could give you a better estimate but I'll give it a guess. 

It looks like an old Colonial Anvil (just the period, not necessarily that it was made in the Colonies). As JHCC said it is definitely an old English style anvil made up of wrought Iron. The lack of the pritchel hole suggests its pre-1830 and the short stubby horn and lack of a table are typically found in anvils before 1780. For an anvil that is relatively old, and definitely a piece of history. If I had the choice I would buy it. If I had my copy of Anvils In America on hand I could give you a better guess. 

-Mark 

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Thank you guys! I really appreciate all the input. As for the location, it’s located in Oceanport, New Jersey: just about an hour away from me, so definitely an easy drive. I think I’ll keep an eye on it and go for it if the price doesn’t go up much higher! 

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Prices on e-bay auctions tend to rise the most in the last minutes of the auction; so if that isn't a buy it now price, I'd start looking offline for one as online anvils tend to be the most expensive ones.  You definitely need to run the ball bearing test on that anvil as it is a colonial styled one and 200+ years gives a lot of time for it to be detempered in a shop fire.  If you do any Revolutionary war re-enactment it would be fairly spot on!

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