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British Military Anvil Identification

Sven Lüken

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Hey there, I'm new here. Like many others, I too bought an anvil and need help identifying it.

It may (or may not) have a little bit of history in it that could be interesting (or not). I am located in Germany and the anvil i bought is definitely British. The shape is a classic "london pattern", just like a Brooks with a relatively thick heel.
I'm pretty sure it's cast steel since the only hole is from the bottom straight up and the ring is fairly high pitch and long lasting. The only markings i could find are stamped on the opposite side of where you would normally expect the makers mark. They read as follows:

1 1/4 cwt

So far I found out that the cwt is the weight (around 63.5kg) and 1945 is the manufacture date. The broad arrow denotes it was owned by the British military.

No idea what RH means. I could not find a manufacturer with those initials. Maybe it means Royal Hussars but no idea if those even used anvils; and then the question of who manufactured it would remain.

Would be interesting to find out where it was made, who made it and how it ended up here, especially because of the manufacturing date.







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From what I can find, the only English anvil maker operating in 1945 was Brooks. Being wartime production it's not surprising it's not marked.  The RH may be a foundry identifier. I have never seen an anvil with the broad arrow mark, and I'm a little jealous. B)


Welcome aboard!

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Thanks for the warm welcome :)

Brooks is also the closest match for shape. How did you go about finding out anvil makers from that time? When i search for that i mostly get results that are not even related to actual anvils.

I'm guessing it's pretty good quality then? Is it cast as one piece or could it have a face plate welded on? I can't seem to find a seam :D

I hope it's good because I paid about double from what I initially planned to spend on an anvil of this weight. Once my shop is all set up it's finally time to transition from pure stock removal knife making to forging as well... and down the spiral of sandwich steels and damascus probably ^_^

Oh yeah about the broad arrow mark. Apparently, when military items were sold to civilians, they doubled up the mark with another inverted arrow and made it look more like an X with an extra line to signify it's no longer military property. This one definitely does not have that *thinking*

Edited by Sven Lüken
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Yes indeed, that book is the only book of its kind!  And there is a lot of information it leaves out, especially for Continental anvils.  But if the anvil is English or pre-1999 American, it is probably in there.

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They are indeed addicting. But he lives in the right area to find good BIG anvils. I'm buying my anvils from over there and shipping them here to the states. :mellow:

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In my part of the USA without the broad arrow stamp you could expect to pay $400 - $600 for a Brooks of that weight in that condition.  The stamp adds another $100-$200.  

Should be a bit less where you are. But not much.

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That makes me feel a bit better about my impulse decision to buy it. I paid 300€ for the anvil, a small forge without burner made from an old propane tank, 2 small blacksmithing tongs, a hardy tool, punch, chisel and some scrap.

All I need now is a propane Venturi burner for the forge and getting the shed into a condition good enough to work in.

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Sounds like a pretty good score really. Welcome aboard.

"The way we win matters" (Ender Wiggins) Orson Scott Card


Nos, qui libertate donati sumus, nes cimus quid constet.

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