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Antique Safes/Antique Sargent and Greenleaf Floor Safe

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Safe
Safe  
Dial and Latch/Handle
Dial and Latch/Handle  
QUESTION: I am in the process of working on my grandfathers estate personal property, and I am trying to find a value on an old safe he has. It is a very heavy Sargent and Greenleaf floor safe on wheels with a combination dial and a latch. It works perfectly and has minor outside cosmetic blemishes. It measures 25" X 29" X 37 1//2". Around the outer part circle of dial it says Sargent & Greenleaf Rochester NY and in the center of that is has the following patent dates listed:
sept 18, 1860
jan 9, 1866
aug 28, 1866
july 14, 1857
EX 7 years
july 14, 1871

on door handle there is the number 23992 or Z3992

There is no wood casing.

Amy insight on how to value this safe would be wonderful!

Thanks so much!

Amy

ANSWER: Amy,

Sorry, but Sargent & Greenleaf is a lock manufacturer ONLY, not a safe manufacturer.  Your safe appears to be a Mosler, Bahmann & Company safe, though I'll need more & better photos to verify what you have, and to evaluate or appraise your safe.

Mosler, Bahmann & Company manufactured safes from 1867 until around 1898, in Cincinnati, OH.   Though after Gustave Mosler's death in 1874, the Mosler family split off to form the Mosler Safe & Lock Company - also in Cincinnati.   The dates on the dial refer to patent issue dates for the SAFE LOCK, and not the safe.   These dates are NOT manufacturing dates, and were used on the lock for over 15 years.   What it does tell us is that the LOCK could not have been made until after the latest date, and/or installed on the safe.   So we are looking at a period of from 1872 until 1898 for a date of manufacture.

As far as the "MINOR cosmetic blemishes", the safe has been repainted - this is not the original paint, it would have had a much more "artistic" paint job especially on the door.   This will effect the potential value of the safe.

I'm not sure what you mean by "there is no  wood casing" - I would assume that this means there is no interior cabinetry???   This would NOT be a "minor cosmetic blemish", this would be a major cosmetic blemish, and it will significantly effect the potential value of this antique.

I would be more than happy to look at your safe to verify the manufacturer and to evaluate or appraise the safe for you.

In order to answer specific questions, identify, evaluate or appraise your safe, I'm going to need photos.  They should include full exterior and interior.  Detail photos should include pictures of the dial, handles, hinges, artwork, locks, bolt work, castors, cabinetry and any special details or damage.  Note:  You may have to remove the back panel on the door to gain access to the lock & bolt work – I will need these pics.
 
If you have a particular detail that you have a question about, I will need a photo of it along with your question.

I will also need to see any documentation that you have in regards to your safe.  If your safe has a unique historical perspective, you should be able to document this with letters, newspaper articles or photos, if not it is simply a story and will have no bearing on the value of your safe.

Please use as high a resolution as possible so that I can examine details of your safe.  Pictures which are low resolution, out of focus, or from a distance don’t help when we try to evaluate the container.  Note:  with higher resolution, you may only be able to send 2-4 pictures per email, depending on the size of the file, I have a 12mb limit per email.  If photos are larger than 2mb each, you may only be able to send 2 or 3 photos per email, requiring several emails.

Please don’t send me “cell phone” photos.   Also, please don’t use online, internet photo drops as most of these also don’t allow me to easily access the photos for examination.   Send the pics directly to me, while this may be more work for you, it will make my job easier.

Please send all of the requested photos to:  andy@securitysafeusa.com

Note:  As I am in the field several days each week, covering a huge service area, I may not get back to your photos immediately, but I will respond as soon as I get an opportunity.  Due to field work, emails may tend to get backed up which means I may not answer them immediately.

Our informal evaluation is at no charge, however if you feel you need a formal evaluation or appraisal for insurance, estate sales, donations for tax write offs, or to establish it as an antique, there is an administrative fee for this service.


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

QUESTION: Sorry for the long delay. It has been a hectic year!
I have a different question actually about the lock itself. I am having trouble finding instructions on how to decipher the combination for this lock.
What is throwing me off is that it starts with 20 instead of 0, and it has a star and a line above the number dial so I am not sure which is the starting point one and what the other does at all.
Plus, say one of the combinations is left 30 2x 30, why would it not be left 30 3x?
One more thing, say it ends with 100 as the last number, do you stop directly on 100, or before or after it?

Thank you so much for all your help!

Answer
Hi Amy,

Combinations don't "START" at zero.   If you want to start there, go ahead, as long as you understand that you are doing it for YOU, and not for the lock.   Kind of like telling someone to go and stand in the corner of a round room - it doesn't have any bearing on the actual room but it should keep them busy for a while!  :)

Problem with receiving combinations, is that they are passed along the way the old owner understands it, and NOT necessarily the way that the lock actually works.

It would help if you simply provided me with the instructions that you have - exactly as written, and allow me to decode it for you, AND provide you with the correct dialing instructions.

The lock that I would expect to see for this safe with that dial, would be an S&G C62 series lock.   These came in both 3 & 4 wheel versions, though the 4 wheel lock could also be set for three numbers.

Dialing sequence for the four wheel version is:

5 times Right to the first number,
4 times left to the second number,
3 times right to the third number,
2 times left to the fourth number,
1 time right until the dial stops,

Assuming that you have a three wheel lock, or a four wheel set on a three number combo, the dialing sequence would be as:

5 times left to the first number,  (the extra revolution takes acount for the fourth wheel)
3 times right to the second number,
2 times left to the third number,
1 time right until the dial stops

Note:   Left is counter clockwise, right is clockwise.   DO NOT count the revolutions of the dial, count the individual number as it arrives at the 12 o'clock mark.

If this doesn't help, then provide me with your combo and I'll decode it for you.

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

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.

Experience

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

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

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
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

Past/Present Clients
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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