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Antique Safes/Hobbs & Hart

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Hobbs & Hart Safe
Hobbs & Hart Safe  
Hobbs & Hart Safe
Hobbs & Hart Safe  
QUESTION: Hi Mike,

I saw your answer to an earlier question about a Hobbs & Hart Safe.  I have one in my basement and from what you state, it looks like it could date back to the 1940's.  I attach an image which might be useful.  

Basically, we're refurbishing the house and would like to sell it. Other than ebay/gumtree etc, any ideas?

ANSWER: Hi Alan,

Thanks for the question and the pictures.  This form of construction was known as 'pillar banded' or sometimes referred to as 'Dutchman banded' and dates back to the 1920's to 30's, so much older than your suspected 1940's.

The problem is that insurers are unlikely to grant much indemnity to anyone wishing to keep cash or valuables in these ancient safes.  They usually restrict this to no more than 󱬰00 in cash or 󱰬000 in domestic valuables.  Consequently used safe dealers generally don't want them as the cost more to refurbish than they can charge for them.  

The people who buy on eBay are more interested in their antique value.  You could try contacting used safe specialists like A to Z Safe Warehouse in Benfleet, Essex or Ace Safes, in Ringwood,Hants but my guess is that the best they will offer is to take it away for free.  

On eBay, the average selling price of these old safes is 󱵰 but sometimes a nice safe like yours with all the original fancy paintwork will fetch 󳰰+

Sorry I can't be more helpful.

Regards,

Mike Palmer FSyI
Mike Palmer Consultancy

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Sorry to bug you, but how much does this baby weigh? (roughly!)

Answer
Hi Alan,

Thanks for your enquiry and the pictures.  What you have is exactly what I described in the answer you quoted, so no need for me to go through it all again.

I don't have anything in my archive that goes back this far but looking at some of their later models of a similar design, I would guess that your safe will weigh close to a ton (20 cwt in old money).

Most dealers don't want to pay anything for these ancient safes, particularly these big heavy ones that are expensive to move.  Apart from putting it on an online auction, I can't think of anything else you could do.  Perhaps some of the smaller,newer, used safe dealers may be looking for stock - if you Google 'refurbished safes' you should find a few, but I doubt that they will want to pay much.

It has been some years since I was out selling safes, but if I had big heavy safes to get rid of, I used to sell then to amusement arcades as seaside resorts as they always had a lot of bulky coin to secure.  Just a thought.

There are so many of these older safes out there looking for a home - sorry I can't be more helpful.

Regards,

Mike Palmer FSyI
Mike Palmer Consultancy

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Mike Palmer

Expertise

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.

Experience

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.

Organizations
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.

Publications
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.

Education/Credentials
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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