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Ken Scharabok
Posted on Friday, February 25, 2005 - 7:57 am:   Edit Post

Mousehole Forge anvils can be dated from their logos: (These are all cicra - about - dates and the words would be stacked):

1780 - 1795: MOUSEHOLE
1795 - 1820: C&A MOUSEHOLE
1820 - 1835: M&H ARMITAGE MOUSEHOLE
1835 - 1854: HENRY ARMITAGE MOUSEHOLE
1854 - 1875: M&H ARMITAGE MOUSEHOLE FORGE
1878: BROOKS & COOPER MOUSEHOLE FORGE SHEFFIELD WARRANTED (with the outline of a mouse and HOLE for the first time)
1879: M&H ARMITAGE MOUSEHOLE FORGE SHEFFIELD WARRANTED (mouse) HOLE PATENT
1880: M&H ARMITAGE MOUSE HOLE FORGE (mouse) HOLE WARRANTED
1895: M&H ARMITAGE (mouse) HOLE SHEFFIELD
1896: M&H ARMITAGE MOUSEHOLE FORGE SHEFFIELD WARRANTED PATENT (mouse) HOLE
1911: M&H ARMITAGE MOUSEHOLE FORGE SHEFFIELD ENGLAND WARRNANTED (mouse) HOLE PATENT
1927-1933?: OWEN-THOMAS THE OLD FORGE SHEFFIELD ENGLAND

Notes:
- C&A = Cockshutt & Armitage
- M&H = Morgan and Henry
- Mousehole Forge is the only known manufacturer to use dots/periods between the weight numbers, such as 1 . 3 . 14. Sometimes all which remains of the logo is the dots.
- Weight markings are in the British stone system to where the first represents multiples of 112 (1/20th long ton), the second multiples of 28 and the third remaining pounds. Usually off from scale weight a bit.
- Mousehole Forge was one of the last British anvil makers to change from the old style to the modern (more blocky) feet. They did so cicra 1895.
- The origins of the name of Mousehole is not certain. The square handling holes in an old anvil are called mouseholes. In England a bend in a river with a deep spot is known as a mousehole and Mousehole Forge was located at such as spot. There is a coastal English town named Mousehole and it was well known as the site of a brief French invasion about the time the forge was started.
- Mousehole Forge contined to use water power (heave or tilt hammers) long after other manufactures switched to mechanical hammers. All Mousehole anvils are pretty well 'handmade'.

Source: The Mousehole Forge by Richard A. Postman (with John and Julia Hatfield)
Ken Scharabok
Posted on Saturday, February 26, 2005 - 12:37 am:   Edit Post

P.S. If you have a Mousehole anvil and want this book on their history you can purchase one directly from Richard Postman at 320 Fisher Court, Berrien Springs, MI 49103 - 269-471-5426. I believe the cost is around $25 postpaid, but check first.
shawn meeks
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, September 12, 2005 - 1:24 pm:   Edit Post

Can anyone tell me anything about this anvil?
Ken Scharabok
Unregistered guest
Posted on Monday, September 12, 2005 - 2:39 pm:   Edit Post

Yes, you have a Mouse Hole Forge anvil cicra 1879. Weight is around 129 pounds. 1879 and 1896 logos were similar, but the words were stacked a bit differently. Will have a wrought iron body (which is the WARRANTED part) and a steel plate top. I would put value at $1.25 to $1.75 pound.
Shawn Meeks
Unregistered guest
Posted on Tuesday, September 13, 2005 - 5:40 pm:   Edit Post

Thank-You! The info is greatly appreciated! Shawn
owen blackman
Unregistered guest
Posted on Friday, December 02, 2005 - 5:15 pm:   Edit Post

I have an anvil that I purchased recently. I knew nothing about it, but I had been wanting one and bought it approx.$2 per pound.I can see the words "mouse Hole Forge" and below it :
1,1,14. I was told ir weighed about 153#. Is the anvil all steel? I'm not sure I can find this posting again but I would like any info. such as , is this American made? Date ???? Where can I get more info?
Thanks for your time Owen Blackman
odb@brazosnet.com
Ken Scharabok
Unregistered guest
Posted on Saturday, December 03, 2005 - 2:55 am:   Edit Post

You have an anvil made at the Mouse Hole Forge in Sheffield, England. Construction would be a body of at least two, perhaps up to seven, pieces of wrought iron with a steel plate of one or more pieces.

From what you said, probably cicra 1854-1875. Above MOUSE there may have been M & H (for Morgan and Henry) over ARMITAGE.

The numbers you see are more accurately 1 . 1 . 14. That is the weight in the English stone system to where the first represents multiples of 112 (1/20th long ton), second multiples of 28 and third remaining pounds. Usually off from scale weight a bit. Although other examples have been found, Mouse Hole Forge was essentially the only anvil manufacturer in England to use the punch marks between the numbers. Sometimes all which remains of the markings are those two punch marks.

On value, if it is in REALLY good condition, price was about right.

Richard Postman has published Mouse Hole Forge, a paperback, spiral bound book on its history. It is available for him for $24 plus S&H (send $28 to be on the safe side) at 320 Fisher Court, Berrien Springs, MI 49103.
Steve Vining (Stevev)
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Post Number: 1
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 1:28 pm:   Edit Post

I have an anvil that has been in my family for many years and would like to find out it's age. I noticed in the notes (top of page)you have discussed the dot between the numbers on anvil that have the word "Forge" on them. Mine has dots centered between the numbers but doesn't have the word "Forge" So I am not sure of the year. anvil
Ken Scharabok (Ken_scharabok)
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Username: Ken_scharabok

Post Number: 93
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Thursday, November 09, 2006 - 3:32 pm:   Edit Post

Your anvil dates 1820-1835. After Morgan & Henry Armitage bought out their other partner to own Mouse Hole Forge the first ones were marked M&H MOUSE HOLE, as your's does. Morgan died in 1835 and Henry took over operation, putting his name on their anvils. He died in 1854. His children were not old enough to operate the forge so it was run by a caretaker-type management. They reverted to M&H but added FORGE to the logo.
Richard Worton (Sheffieldson)
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Posted on Monday, January 21, 2008 - 1:03 pm:   Edit Post

Hi
To anyone interested my GGGGG grandfather was John Armitage anvil maker at Mousehole forge and my gggg grandfather Johns son and all his brothers were anvil makers at the same forge.
Let me know if it is of any interest to anyone
Regards
Richard
Sheffield U.K
Ken Scharabok (Ken_scharabok)
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Username: Ken_scharabok

Post Number: 285
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Tuesday, January 22, 2008 - 8:16 am:   Edit Post

If you are not familiar with it check with the folks living in the house at the old forge site on where to obtain a copy of Mousehole Forge by Richard Postman. Contains a good bit of history on the site and prior ownership. Perhaps you can add to his knowledge.
Mike Schmoker (Wolfe6558)
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Post Number: 1
Registered: 5-2008
Posted on Saturday, May 03, 2008 - 5:01 pm:   Edit Post

Hello, Thanks to the previous posts, I have been able to identify my anvil as an M&H Armeritage Mouse Hole anvil with the numbers 1.2.2 meaning 170lbs. It has a reenforced hardie hole and no other marks that I can distingish. Can onyone tell me anything more about this anvil? How old is it,etc., Any information will be most helpful. Mike
Francis Cole (Trez)
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Post Number: 30
Registered: 3-2007
Posted on Saturday, May 03, 2008 - 6:49 pm:   Edit Post

there is a book on mousehole forge writen by Mr Postman It is a great book And glad i took the time to read it
Ken Scharabok (Ken_scharabok)
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Username: Ken_scharabok

Post Number: 297
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Sunday, May 04, 2008 - 8:19 am:   Edit Post

Mike: If that is all of the logo, then using the information above it would place it in the range of 1820-1835.
Mike Schmoker (Wolfe6558)
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Posted on Sunday, May 04, 2008 - 8:57 pm:   Edit Post

Thank you Ken, I will look it over somemore but I don't believe that I'll find anything. Do you have any idea of the value? Am I ruining a treasure by using it? Are there many that old that are still around? Mike
Ken Scharabok (Ken_scharabok)
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Username: Ken_scharabok

Post Number: 298
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Monday, May 05, 2008 - 6:00 am:   Edit Post

Mousehole Forge was the leading British exporter to the U.S. from the early 1800s to about the U.S. Civil War. (After then, Peter Wright pretty well dominated the British anvil export market.) There is nothing particularly rare or unusual about your anvil. Definitely a user.

On value, really depends on condition. Might be $1-3 per pound.

By the way, your anvil may look like one solid piece. In that period they were build-up. They started with a core block/billet of forge welded wrought iron scrap and shaped it. To the block were added the feet, horn, heel and top plate - sometimes in two or three sections. Some manufacturers became so good at blending in the forge welding seams it is virtually impossible to see them.

Even the wrought iron scrap used varied between anvils. Some manufacturers used whatever their supplier provided. That may have included some iron with a higher iron carbon content, such as perhaps scrapped tools. Peter Wright was known for using only pure wrought iron. As such, their anvil bodies were a bit softer and more subject to sagging in the middle of the plate from heavy usage.
Ernie Tebeau (Ramtruck)
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Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Tuesday, July 08, 2008 - 12:51 pm:   Edit Post

I'm new to this forum and appreciate any help. This past weekend I picked up a mousehole anvil with the weight "1 0 10" stamped above the word "mousehole". I have reviewed a previous post dated 2/25/05 showing the dates 1780 - 1795 with "MOUSEHOLE" next to those corresponding dates. There are no other words on the anvil. Most mousehold anvils I've seen have their weights stamped below the name. Does anyone have any knowledge of this weight vs letter layout?
Ken Scharabok (Ken_scharabok)
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Username: Ken_scharabok

Post Number: 301
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 10, 2008 - 8:01 am:   Edit Post

There have been a number of variations of the logo and weight stampings. Sometimes stamps are even applied upside down. I've not seen this particular arrangment before though.
Ernie Tebeau (Ramtruck)
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Post Number: 2
Registered: 7-2008
Posted on Friday, July 11, 2008 - 10:03 am:   Edit Post

This anvil does not have a pritchel hole either. Do you think this particular anvil would be of interest to Mr. Postman? I have some photo's of it as well.
Ken Scharabok (Ken_scharabok)
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Username: Ken_scharabok

Post Number: 302
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Posted on Tuesday, July 15, 2008 - 3:46 pm:   Edit Post

I doubt it. Without a pritchel hold it would date it to 1830s or earlier.
james brown (Osceola)
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Posted on Wednesday, January 21, 2009 - 11:06 pm:   Edit Post

I have a mouse hole forge which I think is from 1879. M&H
ARMITAGE
MOUSE
HOLE
FORGE
SHEFFIELD
WARRANTED (MOUSE) HOLE
PATENT
0 3(MAYBE 8) 7
Then on the base it has 2371 3 and a sideways 4.
Am I right about the date, and what do all those numbers mean? It weighs about 95#.
Ken Scharabok (Ken_scharabok)
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Username: Ken_scharabok

Post Number: 318
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Thursday, January 22, 2009 - 2:12 am:   Edit Post

Date sounds correct, perhaps a year earlier. The 0 3 7 is the weight in the British stone system. The first number represents multiples of 112 (1/20 long ton), second multiples of 28 and the third remaining pounds. Thus, your anvil should weight about 91 pounds, plus or minus. 2371 is likely a serial number. The 3 and 4 could be anything, such as metal grade, inspector or anvil crew.
Wayne Lawson (Wayne_lawson)
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Username: Wayne_lawson

Post Number: 1
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Friday, June 12, 2009 - 8:20 pm:   Edit Post

I have a mouse hole that I am unsure about. The only writing on it says M&H Armitage Mouse Hole 1.0.0 It also has a 1" hardy and a pritchard hole. From what I have read that puts it in the 1820-1835 range, but I thought that large hardy and pritchard were not of that period. Any thoughts? Thanks
Ken Scharabok (Ken_scharabok)
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Username: Ken_scharabok

Post Number: 351
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Saturday, June 13, 2009 - 5:42 am:   Edit Post

Yes, a 1" hardy hole in a 112 lb anvil would have been oversized for the time. However, apparently many of the anvil manufactures made anvils to order.

For example, a blacksmith needed an anvil for an apprentice. All of their hardy tools were 1". Having a 1" hardy hole in the apprentice's anvil meant they didn't have to have special tooling for that particular anvil, yet they didn't have to buy a larger anvil for them.
Wayne Lawson (Wayne_lawson)
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Post Number: 2
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Saturday, June 13, 2009 - 8:25 am:   Edit Post

Thanks very much. So the pritchard is also from that era? It has been punched.

The face has a little dip in it and that was sort of surprising from my research as well.

I guess the worth of that anvil then to be around $225?

Thanks again for your help!
Ken Scharabok (Ken_scharabok)
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Username: Ken_scharabok

Post Number: 352
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Saturday, June 13, 2009 - 2:15 pm:   Edit Post

A punched pritchel hole become common about 1830 - give or take. Dip in face is probably because it was used with a striker. You hit on a soft (wrought iron) bodied anvil with a sledge hammer and you are going to get compression of it. Worth??? What someone else is willing to pay for it.
Ron Gibson (Psrumors)
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Post Number: 1
Registered: 6-2009
Posted on Saturday, June 27, 2009 - 4:49 pm:   Edit Post

Hi! Just picked up an M&H anvil. Paid $120 for it as I figure any good anvil is worth that.

The stacking of words is different that what is list above. Could someone date this? I assume it is the later 1800s.

M&H
Armitage
Mouse
Forge
England
Sheffield
Hole
0 3 6 (I don't see any dots between the numbers)

It weighs roughly 90lbs and is in decent shape.
Ken Scharabok (Ken_scharabok)
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Username: Ken_scharabok

Post Number: 360
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Sunday, June 28, 2009 - 8:29 am:   Edit Post

From Mousehold Forge by Richard Postman your anvil likely dates late 1800s to early 1900s.
Ron Gibson (Psrumors)
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Post Number: 2
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Posted on Tuesday, June 30, 2009 - 1:58 pm:   Edit Post

Thanks Ken!
steve anderson (Stevehockey)
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Username: Stevehockey

Post Number: 1
Registered: 7-2009
Posted on Monday, July 20, 2009 - 8:55 pm:   Edit Post

Hi,
I picked up a anvil that has the following writing on it. M&H
ARMITAGE
MOUSE
HOLE
0 . 3 . 15
Any idea when it was made and where? Thanks Steve
Ken Scharabok (Ken_scharabok)
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Username: Ken_scharabok

Post Number: 367
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Tuesday, July 21, 2009 - 7:05 am:   Edit Post

According to the first entry your anvil dates 1820-1835. Mousehole Forge was in Sheffield, England.

While it was "Mousehole", on their anvils it was also stacked.
steve anderson (Stevehockey)
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Post Number: 2
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Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 12:04 am:   Edit Post

Ken
Thanks for the information. I had no idea it was that old and didn't want to go on just my interpretation. If I wanted to sell it should I sandblast it to remove the rust or would that diminish its value? Also do you think would ebay be the best option?
Ken Scharabok (Ken_scharabok)
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Username: Ken_scharabok

Post Number: 368
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Thursday, July 23, 2009 - 4:40 am:   Edit Post

Don't sand it. Perhaps wire brush it and give it a light coat of oil, such as WD-40.

On value, it depends on condition and supply and demand and where you are located. Actually these 1820-1835 anvils are fairly common. Blacksmithing tools east of the Mississippi River are more plentiful than west of it.

I'd try Craigslist.com before eBay.

Go to eBay and do a complete item search on anvil in the blacksmithing category. May give you an idea of value. However, discard those sold by matchlessantiques. His always sell high due to condition, service provided and reputation.
Tom Lumpkins (Lumpy)
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Username: Lumpy

Post Number: 1
Registered: 8-2009
Posted on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 - 6:20 am:   Edit Post

I got a tip on a Mouse hole anvil , and the ol boy that owns it said it was in perfect shape, I drive trucks for a living and hopefully today I can take a look at it and if its as nice as the old feller say's.. it'll go home with me.. Thanks for sharing all the great info on here.
Mike Schmoker (Wolfe)
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Username: Wolfe

Post Number: 3
Registered: 2-2009
Posted on Thursday, September 24, 2009 - 9:58 pm:   Edit Post

I just got another anvil & am hoping that any of you can help me to identify it? The wieght on it is 2-0-7 which I make out to be 231 lbs. The marks on it are TRO(?)U(?)EES below that is SU(?)T VRO HT. Underneath the horn next to the mouse hole is a large #5 The edges are rather well worn but other than that the anvil is in great shape and when struck rings like a church bell, so much so that I had to wrap a chain around it to muffel the sound. Any information will be most helpful. Thank you, Mike
Mike Schmoker (Wolfe)
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Username: Wolfe

Post Number: 4
Registered: 2-2009
Posted on Sunday, September 27, 2009 - 9:38 pm:   Edit Post

Upon further investigation in the first word, the first E is an L and under the second word is the letters RRANTED. Any information would be most helpful, Thank you, Mike
Stephen Worthington (Finder7000)
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Registered: 6-2012
Posted on Wednesday, June 13, 2012 - 12:32 am:   Edit Post

I just got a m&h armitage mouse hole marked just like that it has a 1 dot 3 dot 7 it has dots stamped between the numbers it weighs 142 pds and has a small anvil that fits in the hardy hole on it . It seems to have a flat steel face that looks like stainless steel on the top flat area, almost like a cap on the anvil . It has a slight depression in the face from some use ,but is in great shape otherwise can you tell me about it and what its worth and should i use it fot metal work. thanks Steve W.
Ken Scharabok (Ken_scharabok)
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Username: Ken_scharabok

Post Number: 536
Registered: 3-2006
Posted on Friday, June 15, 2012 - 2:08 pm:   Edit Post

Could you please send me a couple of good photos of the top plate. Sounds like it may have been replaced. Use to be places you could send a worn-out anvil to be brought back to excellent condition.
Wilson Newman (Wilson_newman)
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Username: Wilson_newman

Post Number: 1
Registered: 5-2013
Posted on Sunday, May 12, 2013 - 5:07 pm:   Edit Post

Our local museum has acquired a Mouse Hole anvil that was brought from England by an early settler of Scott County, Illinois in the 1830's. The lettering is pitted and difficult to read, but with the help of earlier posts I believe it says "M&H Armitage Mouse Hole 1.1.17" I understand by the markings that it was made between 1820-1835 and the weight is about 157 pounds. Am I correct and does anyone have any other information of interest? Thank you.

http://i.imgur.com/s63kD82.jpg
http://i.imgur.com/goK8Qp0.jpg
Brandon Gray (Grayzer86)
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Username: Grayzer86

Post Number: 1
Registered: 5-2013
Posted on Wednesday, May 15, 2013 - 10:48 pm:   Edit Post

I just picked up a Mouse Hole yesterday that weighs 168 lbs, stamped 1.2.0. Could anyone possibly tell me the age of thios anvil, and any other possible info? I can not make out what is above the words mouse hole, but it is not stamped england so i am quite certain it is at least pre 1910. Thank you very much for any help you could offer.

[URL=http://s1320.photobucket.com/user/Grayzer86/media/IMG_0799_zpsd0ea3a8b.jpg.html][IMG]http://i1320.photobucket.com/albums/u528/Grayzer86/IMG_0799_zpsd0ea3a8b.jpg[/IMG][/URL]

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