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Antique Safes/John Tann List 2 Serial number 7118


List 3 - 7118
List 3 - 7118  

I have recently acquired an old John Tann Reliance safe to protect a couple of treasured personal items. I thought this safe looked very unique and believe I will become very attached to it.

It would be appreciative if to could provide any information, in particular:
-   Date of manufacture
-   If the colours of the respective components are anything like the original
-   Any specific details you may have on the specific safe
-   What the cost of such safe would have been when manufactured
-   What does the small stamp refer to that is present on the top two red corner architecture

My safe has the ID of List 2 Serial number 7118 (best guess). Currently residing in Brisbane Australia, I assume she has had an interesting travel adventure of her own. The larger of the two door handles had to be acquired (new) best matched as possible.

Your website has been educational and in depth reading for me over the last few weeks. Thank you.

I have seen some reference of a John Tann List No. 3 7555 safe that has a very similar door pattern and that safe was dated from 1880.


ANSWER: Hi Leigh,

Thanks for your enquiry.  I can probably give you quite bit of information on a Tann List 2 but I am currently out of the country until early next week.  I will get back to you as soon as I am back home.


Mike Palmer FSyI

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

QUESTION: Wonderfull and thank you. Looking forward from hearing from you.

Hello Leigh,

Thank you for your questions.  This John Tann List 2 was made between 1879 and 1880.  

The paint finish is modern and very lurid - not at all like the original.  Victorian safes were elaborately decorated but in much more conservative colours.

As it is over 130 years old, any references to that particular safe are long gone.  In fact, following a recent acquisition of John Tann by a Swedish conglomerate, all their records were somehow lost.

I have an extensive archive of old John Tann safes but sadly nothing goes back that far, so I have no price lists.   However, I suspect that in the UK it would have cost between 󲵠to 󳰠- a lot of money at that time.

As for the mark on the embellishment, this is a casting and was probably made elsewhere.  My guess is that this is the identification mark of the foundry that supplied it.

As an ex John Tann employee, I'm glad this safe has found a good home.

Best regards,

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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