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Antique Safes/C H Crane safe Wolverhampton


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Hi there
I have just bought a house at auction, which was completely gutted bar a red and white painted safe in the lounge area! I want to get rid of it but not sure if it's worth selling or weighing in. Photos attached and dimensions are 760mm wide x 760mm high x 530mm . It has a key and locks. Any advice would be gratefully received! Thanks Ellie

Hi Ellie,

Thanks for the question and the pictures.

This safe dates back to 1890 and is totally obsolete, so it has no value as a working safe and dealers in the UK tend to scrap them.  

These late Victorian safes can fetch 150+ on eBay if they  have been tastefully restored but sadly, yours has been so hideously repainted that it is unlikely to get any bids in this condition.

There are collectors of safe plates and C H Crane was uncommon, so if the paint was removed and the brass polished up nicely, it could attract bids of 50 or more.

Of course, an old British made safe may have more value in France but I doubt it.  My recommendation is to scrap it and see if you can sell the name plate on eBay.  I once lived in France and the local authority offered a good service for taking away scrap items.  It is worth seeing if they will collect your safe - it is going to weigh a fair bit though.


Mike Palmer FSyI
Mike Palmer Consultancy

Antique Safes

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Mike Palmer


I earn my living identifying safes and suggesting cash limits for risk advisors and insurance surveyors in the UK. I'm am pleased to comment on safes manufactured in the UK or Mainland Europe but I am unable to accept questions regarding safes made in the USA or elsewhere.


I have been in the UK safe industry for 40 years and have one of the largest archive databases of old safe literature and serial numbers in the country. I started with Chubb in 1960 and became Assistant Manager of their Bank Security Division before moving on to become the Insurance Liaison Manager with the John Tann Group. I became Sales & Marketing Director for Guardian Safes Limited before semi-retiring. I am a Fellow of the Security Institute and ex-Chairman of Eurosafe UK, a trade body representing the interests of UK safe makers and distributors. I now work as a part time consultant.

I am an advisor to the Safe Committee of the Association of Insurance Surveyors, a Fellow of the Security Institute and founding Chairman of Eurosafe UK.

I have had literally scores of articles published in various security trade publications. So far this year I have had 24 features published in various journals including Keyways, Professional Security, Pawnbroker and Safe India. I have published one book, Peckham Boy, the life and times of the world's greatest safe cracker.

No relevant educational credentials.

Awards and Honors
In 1997 I was awarded the annual shield by the Association of Insurance Surveyors for "..outstanding services to crime prevention"

Past/Present Clients
I have represented or been an agent for the John Tann Group (Stratford, Ratner, Dreadnought and Tann safes); Churchill Safes, Chubb Safe Co Ltd, SLS Safes, SMP Safes, Dudley Safes and several others

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