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Beak Horn Stake

1770-1820
Origin: United States or England
Overall: 35.6 x 81.3cm (14 x 32in.)
Iron and steel
Gift of Stephen Eisenhart
Acc. No. 2014-56
Long-nosed "beak horn" stake. One flange is flat-topped with one beveled edge and one squared edge and a rounded, beveled tip. Round-sectioned, long tapering "beak" with a pointed end. Squared post with chamfered corners and a stepped-down tapering tang.
Label:This large tool had a myriad of uses, limited only by the various shapes of its working surfaces. With a heavy integral post, stakes were set into square holes in either workbenches or tree stumps, and functioned much like blacksmith's anvils.

Nicknamed a "beak horn" stake for its appearance, the beak end was used to shape a piece of tin into a rounded shape, like the cylindrical body of a mug, its gracefully curved handle, or even a candle mold.

Opposite the beak is a long, flat-topped flange which was used to create perfectly straight folds by beating the tin along one of its sides. Generally speaking, the top of the flange provided a good flat working surface which has innumerable uses.

Provenance:From the Eisenhart collection of tinsmithing tools.