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Antique Safes/Phillips Safe, Climax Lock


Dear Sir,

I have an old Phillips and Sons safe with a Climax Detector lock. It is in working order. Is this of some value, please, and to whom?

Bill H.

Hello Bill,

Phillips was one of a host of safe manufacturers that sprang up in the late 1980's and early 1900's.  The Climax Detector lock tends to suggest it is one of the very old safes and sadly these do not have a great deal of value as the have no commercial use - they are far too old to secure cash or documents.  However, the best way to get a feel for prices is to seach Ebay for antique safes - there are always several up for auction.  Ignore the Buy Now prices - they always ask far too much and seldom sell.  You will get a better price at an auction room but you have the problem of transporting it there and bringing it back again if it doesn't sell.

If you send me a picture, I will be able to tell you a little more about its construction and possible age.


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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