anvil museum collection
anvil collection

Anvil Museum Collection

"Looking at the anvils in this collection I imagine the amount of work that went into producing each one and the volume of work possibly carried out upon the surface of each. Most are artwork themselves and all were vehicles of much creativity."     Tom Latané June 2009

With an aura of beauty bestowed by age and use, old objects link us to people and times long past.

When we touch the smooth surface of an old farm table, we can imagine the generations of families gathered around for dinner.

As we walk up the well-worn steps and sit in the old wooden pews of a Gothic cathedral, we can sense the thousands of people who preceded us.

When we hold an antique locket burnished by time, we can imagine the Victorian women who wore it.

It is no different with anvils. When we rub our hands over an anvil’s well worn surfaces, we sense the smiths who hammered on the anvil again and again.

These were the village blacksmiths who shod horses and made saws, knives, nails, shovels, hoes and plows.

These were the coppersmiths who made plates and cookware, the silversmiths who made jewelry, goblets and vases.

These were the blacksmiths who outfitted war machines, making helmets, breastplates, swords, arrowheads, daggers, axes, maces, thousands of yards of chain mail for horsemen and horses alike, and instruments of torture.

Each used the anvil in his work.

Every anvil in this museum collection is unique, possesses the character of a historic hand-made object, and wears the patina of use. Each anvil bears the marks of past generations of blacksmiths who hammered out objects of utility and often of beauty. Anvil stories give us glimpses into civilization since the dawn of metallurgy, from the most humble and forgotten of villages to the most celebrated and famed of exploits – all links in the chain of human history forged with an anvil.

The Anvil Collection was assembled by Tim Kris and the anvil museum is housed in his forge shop in a medieval timber-frame structure on his 34-acre farm near the Nantahala National Forest. Born of Tim’s passion for antique tools, the anvil collection is staggering in its quality, condition, and size, encompassing hundreds of anvils, cones, and swages. The anvil collection contains numerous related items including a fully restored Nazel 3B power hammer from the historic Samuel Yellin forge shop in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and hundreds of diverse metalworking tools used in conjunction with the anvil.

Perceived as sculpture as well as tool, old anvils often acquire the status of art. Peruse the anvil museum’s gallery pages, appreciate the aesthetic of these utilitarian objects, and recognize, as does Tim, that tools are treasures.

View our Anvil Museum Collection