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I Forge Iron

German Church Window Anvil

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Although I'm still a young man, this anvil I picked up today (literally) will be the last I attempt to load without assistance!

I brought home this East German anvil today, weighing in around 270lbs. It was imported by the seller in 2011, the importer acquired it in Germany, although I am unsure where exactly.

I have no reference for the weight other than the seller, a wonderful gentleman whom I was glad to make the acquaintance of.

It is marked FB&C (although I doubt it stands for Facebook and company), and 921 on one side.

Does anyone have expertise in German manufacturing of anvils? I previously thought that only Austrian Anvils had the church windows, but this beautiful anvil has rich, deep ones.





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  • 1 month later...


I'm afraid I cannot tell you anything new about the maker of your anvil, the abbreviation doesn't ring a bell. The tradition of marking or inscribing every anvil with a companies name or logo is not as old in German anvils compared to for example French anvils. It could also be the markings of the recipient of the anvil, although the marking on the front and back and the additional (serial?) number might suggest otherwise. 

This anvil form is pretty common in Germany though. There seems to be a development in the "church windows" and style of the center "nose". The older anvils seem to have a much thinner nose and very often the feet are not protruding very much, if at all, on the backside, which makes it possible to lay the anvil flat on its back and actually use the windowed front. Later this feature seems to be at least diminished, as the feet protrude to the same amount on both sides - and the shapes become more symmetrical as well - and the nose grows thicker and the whole thing becomes more of a decorative feature, which also might provide a little more stability (5th foot).

If I'd have to take a rough guess, I'd date it somewhere in the later 19th to very early 20th century.

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I have seen a video by Joey van der Steeg about church window anvils, but he has since deleted the video, I will try to stay true to what he said about functional and non functional church window anvils.

What Julian mentions about the "nose" being thinner is indeed a characteristic that appears on anvils that have less protruding feet on the opposite side to allow the anvil to lay flat, and to allow the thin "nose" to be used as a bottom fuller, and the indentations to be used as swages for shovels and curves. Your anvil has the thick "nose" that is not functional as a fuller. Now comes the realm of speculation as I don't recall what was exactly said about your style. But I know that flipping the anvil on its side is not very practical whenever you want to use a bottom fuller, while the indentations are really useful, and you don't need to flip the anvil to use them. therefore I think the thinner nose is left out while the indentations are still present in later models.

I have pictures of my anvil, which is an example of a "functional" church window. here to can clearly see that the feet on the opposite side of the church window are sticking out a lot less to allow it to lay down flatter when you want to use the church window as a fuller. I have done this once. It is a bit more useful in my case because the hardy hole broke off at some point in this anvils life. The year stamped on this anvil is 1778.

I'm in no way an expert on anvils, but if I recall correctly this is some of the info Joey gave in the video.

IMG-20200715-WA0003.thumb.jpeg.42b6348ac913089d2469ed59ba82e185.jpeg IMG-20200716-WA0000.thumb.jpeg.cbc2a7cee282dbeb1de87787e6628650.jpeg


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