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We just bought this from an antique store and they had no idea how old it was or exactly where it came come. We were told it was a ship safe. It has wood wheels you can't really see in the picture. Attached are some pictures and maybe you could determine a rough date on it? Thanks for any help or information.


I've been sailing most of my life, and in the safe business for over 40 years, and have never seen a chest like this, however one thing I have learned is that antique dealers (much like used car salesmen) make up more "crap" about their stuff, than anyone I've ever met.

I'm not sure where they came up with the term "ships safe", but I can bet you that, other than being hauled from one country to another on a ship, this was never used by a ship.

This is an interesting container that I wouldn't mind looking at, but don't count on any identification or age as this is NOT a safe, and was probaly made by a furniture maker, not a safe maker.

It appears to be copper or bronze clad, over wood, which would indicate that it was a higher end chest made for someone more "well to do".

Unlike most used items which show wear or metal discoloration due to "use", which is INCORRECTLY identified as "Patina", the blueish color is the oxidation of the brass or bronze, and IS actually known as patina.   While it looks "pleasing" to the eye, it is still oxidation of the metal and is not necessarily a good thing, unless you are buying it for the look.

Unless there are any identifying marks or names on the chest, I'm probably not going to be able to provide any type of identification, but I would scour the surface looking for any markings, as makers were pretty consistent about marking items with their names.

Again, it is an interesting chest, but it is NOT a safe.

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes". Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

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US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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