The Blacksmith's Anvil is the metalworker's equivalent to a woodworker's bench. On its surface, iron was shaped into hinges, latches, lockplates, tools, and other useful implements. The shape of the conical projection, or “beakhorn,” of the blacksmith’s large anvil, indispensable for metalwork, suggests that it was made in England between 1770 and 1800. This device was used to break pieces of bar iron into appropriate lengths or to divide forged iron into two or more component parts.

Anvil, probably New York, 1770-1800. Nathaniel Dominy IV (probable owner). Iron, with steel face. 10.4" (H), 17" (L), 8.9" (W). Museum purchase, 1957.0034.005

The Clockmaker's and Watchmaker's Anvil was used  in conjunction with a series of hammers to cold-hammer small pieces of steel, to straighten pinion rod, to straighten verges, to hammer brass rods, and to shape, weld, and hammer many other small parts of both clocks and watches.

Anvil, England, 1815-1835. Felix Dominy (probable owner). Lignum vitae; Steel. 7.2" (H). Mark: "C.DOHL" (partially effaced), stamped on side. Museum purchase, 1957.0101.001

The function of these hand anvils, or stakes, remains theoretical, but there is no question that they comprised part of the Dominys' clock-shop equipment. Before metal was cold-hammered or shaped on their surfaces, they were probably clamped in a vise. Their small shafts don't fit tightly into the hardie hole of the Dominy's blacksmith anvil. They are crudely made, and it is quite possible that Nathaniel IV obtained them locally or made them himself.