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1724-dated bick Iron

1724
Origin: Europe or America (Germany or Pennsylvania)
Overall: 22 1/2 x 18 x 4 1/2in. (57.2 x 45.7 x 11.4cm)
Iron/steel
Museum Purchase
Acc. No. 2014-5
Heavily constructed, Germanic-style bick iron with an octagonal post topped by opposing square and round horns. At the transition point between the post and the tang is a heavy fluted square collar, with another of octagonal section further up the post.
Label:Known as a "bick" or a "beak" iron, this anvil-like tool's strange name evolved from an earlier term meaning that it had two "horns" or "beaks." With one squared and one rounded beak, it was especially useful for forging circular objects like barrel hoops and chain links. It's heavy construction, with an octagonal post, fluted collars, and substantial bolster reflect this bick iron's Germanic origins. Found in central Pennsylvania, it was either made locally by an early 18th c. immigrant, or was colonial-era import from central Europe.
Mark(s):A maker's mark consisting of an "A B" within a square cartouche is struck within the chiseled panel where the horns meet the post. Another illegible mark is struck next to the A B mark.
Inscription(s):"1724" is chiseled into the bolster where the post meets the horns, and the initials "I W" are chiseled into the post between the two collars.