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Antique Safes/Bauche safe


Safe 2
Safe 2  
Safe 1
Safe 1  
QUESTION: I have this safe and I am looking for some more information about it.
I already know that bauche is a french safe making company. And that the phrase "Dieu et mon droit" is french but was used by the Britisch monarchy.
Also the lion and the unicorn comes from there.

ANSWER: Hello Hidie,

Thank you for your question.  I have not seen a Bauche chest like this before.  AS you rightly say, the coat or arms and the moto 'Dieu et mon driot' are those of the British monarchy so one can speculate that this may have been made by Bauche, a very early French safe maker, as a gift for Queen Victoria, or for showing at the Great Exhibition at Crystal Palace.

It will be extremely rare and I imagine, quite valuable.  I would love to see it unlocked with the door open.

Bauche eventually merged with Fichet to become Fichet Bauche, one of Europe's biggest and most innovative safe makers, now sadly owned by Gunnebo, a Swedish conglomerate.

I can tell you no more about this object but I would suggest that you take it to a leading auction house to get it valued.

Best regards,

Mike Palmer FSyI
Mike palmer Consultancy

PS.  Please let me know if you find out more.

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

Safe 3
Safe 3  
QUESTION: Hello Mike,

Thank you for responding so fast!
The reason i emailled yI included a picter of the inside.
I hope you can tell me a bit more.


Hello Hildie,

Thank you for the additional picture.  I expected the door to be on top and lifted open by the handle.  However, now I see that the door is in front, it was obviously designed to be portable.

However, it still remains a mystery.  Does the British Royal Coat of Arms suggest that it was made for Queen Victoria or the Great Exhibitions or was it added later for effect?  Many British manufacturers attached a coat of arms to their safes when they were not actually entitled to as they did not hold a Royal Warrant.

I still think your best move is to take this little Bauche chest to an antique apraiser to see what they think.  If you are able to get any more information or a valuation, I would be interested to hear about it.

Best regards,

Mike Palmer FSyI
Mike Palmer Consultancy

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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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