You are here:

Antique Safes/j cartwright double door safe


I have recently purchased a j cartwright double door safe dimensions
36in high 36in wide 25in deep. could you give me some idea of the weight of this safe as i have to collect

Hello Malcolm,

Thank you for your question - which is not easy to answer.  Firstly, I don't know what type of Cartwright safe this is.  Most are over 100 years old and although I have a very extensive archive of literature on late Victorian safes, I have none on Joseph Cartwright.  I have looked at literature for similar safes of that period and size but there seemed to be a general reluctance to publish weights in those days.

Much of the weight of the safe is from the safe's loose filling of sand and sawdust.  This crude filling was intended to provide some level of fire protection.  So my best guess is that this safe will weigh approximately 9cwt which converts to around 450Kg.  As the filling is redundant, you could reduce the weight by cutting a hole near the base of the safe and pouring some of it away (the sides and back will be relatively thin mild steel).

However, with this sort of weight, you need to know what you are doing.  If you use a professional safe moving contractor the cost could possibly exceed the value of the safe.  If you need any recommendations on who would be able to assist you, let me know your nearest city and I can probably point you in the right direction.

Good luck,

Mike Palmer FSyI
Mike Palmer Consultancy

Antique Safes

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 All rights reserved.