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Antique Safes/Hobbs & Co Safe


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We have a large Hobbs & Co Safe measuring H:45in x W: 28in x D: 27in.

It is in working order with one key.  we are looking to get rid of this and wondered if it has any value or if you know anyone that might be interested in this type of item?


Hello Jennifer,

Hobbs was a famous lock and safe maker in his day and was Chubb's major competitor. The company eventually merged to become Hobbs Hart and then were acquired by Chubb.

This type of construction is generally referred to as 'pillar banded' and was considered obsolete by 1910.

It has very little commercial value as safes of this age provide no protection against modern methods of attack and insurers are reluctant to cover their contects for anything other than nominal amounts.  Consequently, dealers in used safes would be unlikely to be interested in and old Hobbs.  The best you could hope for is that they would take it away at no charge.

The best way to get an idea of its value is to watch what antique safes fetch on eBay.  Ignore the 'buy now' prices as they always ask too much and they seldom sell.  Remember, this safe is going to be very heavy so it is important that a buyer collects it at their expense.  Currently they are fetching around 150 but yours should be worth a little more as Hobbs safes were very well made.


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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