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Antique Safes/Safe Identification


SLS Safe
SLS Safe  
JT Safe
JT Safe  
QUESTION: Hi, Are you able to tell me anything these two safes please?  I know one is an SLS and the other is a John Tann but I would be interested in euro grading information or equivalent and information on suggested cash/non cash limits.

Many thanks


ANSWER: Hello Donna,

Thank you for the questions and the pictures.

SLS safes had a deliberate policy of making their safes look exactly the same from the outside.  However, they had a good serial numbering system and if you could provide me with the letters and numbers off tbe middle bolt (there are also numbers on the top and bottom bolts, but I am only interested in the middle bolt) I will be able to tell you exactly what it is and give you a cash rating.

John Tann safes pose a similar problem and this could be one of several models or marks that all look the same.  Tann was not always as consistent with its serial numbers and where it placed them, but this particular safe should have them stamped on the end of one of the bolts.

For security reasons, it would he helpful if you could tell me why you require this information. e.g. are you a risk surveyor, used safe dealer, owner, etc.


Mike Palmer FSyI
Mike Palmer Consultancy

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


Thanks for the speedy answer, I will see if I can get the numbers.

I am indeed a risk surveyor & security consultant retained by an insurance syndicate at Lloyds of London.



Hello Donna,

Good to hear from you.  I am sponsored to provide a free safe identification service to insurers by Premier Security - something I have done for over 20 years.

It will be easier and quicker for you to send serial numbers to  I look forward to hearing from you when you have some numbers.


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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