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Antique Safes/Chubb Queen Victoria Street Safe

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Question
Hi Mike,

I have a Chubb safe that has the badge with "128 Queen Victoria Street, London on it. It has two locks on the outside with "Chubbs patent 57st Pauls Churchyard, London".

I was wondering if you could provide me with more information about this safe and what it might be worth, if anything?

Thanks,
Sam

Answer
Hi Samantha,

Thank you for your question.  128 Queen Victoria Street was destroyed by fire during a bombing raid on London during the war, so any safe with this address is likely to have been manufactured prior to 1941.  However, the locks have the St Pauls Churchyard address.  They occupied these premises until they moved to Queen Victoria St in 1877.  So it seems that your safe was made on the cusp, i.e. the safe was made after 1877 but the locks were made between 1820 and 1877.

Either way, it is obviously very old and late Victorian safes of any make have no practical use for the protection of cash, valuables or documents as their construction is totally obsolete. Consequently they only have a nominal value.  The best way to get an idea of prices is to search eBay for 'antique safe' and see what similar safes are fetching.  Ignore the 'buy now' items, they are always over priced and very seldom sell.  Smaller safes in reasonable condition have been fetching around 150.  If you put it up for auction, make sure you specify that the buyer collects - moving these heavy items can cost more than they are worth.

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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