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Antique Safes/Thomas Skidmore safe

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Question
My friend has just died, in her house is a Thomas Skidmore safe.
48.5cm wide42cm deep 71cm high
the front is wood effect with brass handle, royal coat of arms
and brass keyhole, wording on front is
"thomas Skidmore
Bilston St
Wolverhampton
non conducting fire and theifproof safe makers
Inside 2 drawers, reckoned to be approx 100 yrs old

could you please give me an idea of it's value

Answer
Hello Chris,

Thank you for your question. Thomas Skidmore was one of a plethora of small safe makers who sprang up in the later 1800's.  They were advertising in the local press in 1892 and the Gazetteer of Locks and Safes has the following to say;

"The company was originally named Skidmore and Langham, the two partners being brothers in law. An advert, from the catalogue of the Wolverhampton Arts and Industrial Exhibition of 1884 seems to show a well established company operating at the heavier end of the security market. The advert mentions "Royal Letters Patent", which refers to the patents the company held.  But they were also "by Royal Appointment", though when, to whom and for what is not known. The firm also supplied safes to Pearl Assurance."

Quite what happened to them after that is not known but they don't seem to have made it far into the 1900's.  So your estimate of it being approximately 100 years old is certainly correct.

However, these old Victorian safes have no commercial use today, so are of little value. There are collectors who like to take good examples and restore them to a high standard and the best way to get an idea of what yours may be worth, is to monitor eBay for a while and see what they are fetching.  Skidmore safes generally have quite elaborate brass plates which collectors would value.

If you wish, you could send me pictures at info@mikepalmerconsultancy.co.uk and I will tell you a little about how the safe was constructed.

Regards,

Mike Palmer FSyI
Mike Palmer Consultancy  

Antique Safes

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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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