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Antique Safes/hinge finials

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QUESTION: Mr. Andreasen;
I have an old safe (Hall's Safe & Lock co.).   When I purchased it, the finials on the top of the hinges were missing.   I have looked on the internet for some finials, but have not found any listed.   Do you happen to know of a place that sells finials ?
The threads are 5/8-10 and the largest diameter it can be is 1.250".   Any leads you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
I can make some, but I'm not sure what they should look like.
Thank you once again for your time.
Mark

ANSWER: Mark,

I'm not sure why you would look for something that hasn't been produced in over 100 years on the internet???   Generally if people have them, they also have the safe that they came with.   There is NO aftermarket for these items as the potential customer base is too small.

That being said, yes you can still have them "MADE".   If you don't have a local machineshop that can make them, I do   I will need one of yours as a sample to go off of.   Depending on the material you choose, the price range runs from $125 to $200 per acorn (finial).

I'm also kind of confused by your statement that "you can make some, but you aren't sure what they look like, yet you indicated that the acorns on the "top" of the hinges is missing - what about the ones on the bottom???   Do you even have any on your safe at all???

You need to be more specific on what you actually need.   I can probably throw you a photo of what they may have looked like on your safe, but I will need to have the serial number so that I can come as close as possible.

You will need to send a request for the photo directly to my email, so I can upload photos for you.



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

QUESTION: Thank you so much for responding !   Until your response, I didn't know that there were supposed to be finials on the bottom of the hinges ... (I know, just smack me#.   See ? ... at lease you are leading me in the right direction.   My next question for you is: Where abouts should I find the serial number ?
Once I find the serial number, I'll send it with a request for a few photos of the finials.
Once again, thank you SO MUCH for your time.
Mark
P.S. I have an old Tiffany lily lamp (approx. 100 years old).   The "shades" of that lamp are hand blown glass.   You can still get reproduction shades for that lamp.   They aren't Tiffany, but they look pretty darn'd good !

Answer
Mark,

The serial number should be stamped into the balls of the handles.

The reason that you can get "reproduction" shades for Tiffany lamps or look alike Tiffany lamps, is because there is a market for them.   The market for antique safes is extremely small, and generally people don't collect them.   Having an antique safe is not a collection.   Having 10 safes is a collection.    I only know of a couple dozen safe collectors in the country, while there may be thousands of people collecting Tiffany lamps.   Its all about the numbers.

Hopefully, by providing a service like this, I'm making people more aware of the history of antique safes, and in several years there may be enough of a market to justify aftermarket items - though there is an EXTREMELY HUGE difference in providing Tiffany "shades" and building a reproduction lock or time lock.

if you can't find the serial number I'll need to see photos of your safe to determine what you actually have.  In order to answer specific questions, identify, evaluate or appraise your safe, I'm going to need photos.  They should include full exterior and interior.  Detail photos should include pictures of the dial, handles, hinges, artwork, locks, bolt work, castors, cabinetry and any special details or damage.  Note:  You may have to remove the back panel on the door to gain access to the lock & bolt work Ė I will need these pics.
    
If you have a particular detail that you have a question about, I will need a photo of it along with your question.

I will also need to see any documentation that you have in regards to your safe.  If your safe has a unique historical perspective, you should be able to document this with letters, newspaper articles or photos, if not it is simply a story and will have no bearing on the value of your safe.

Please use as high a resolution as possible so that I can examine details of your safe.  Pictures which are low resolution, out of focus, or from a distance donít help when we try to evaluate the container.  Note:  with higher resolution, you may only be able to send 2-4 pictures per email, depending on the size of the file, I have a 10mb limit per email.  If photos are larger than 2mb each, you may only be able to send 2 or 3 photos per email, requiring several emails.

Please donít send me ďcell phoneĒ photos.   Also, please donít use on line photo drops as most of these also donít allow me to easily access the photos for examination.   Send the pics directly to me, while this may be more work for you, it will make my job easier.

Please send all of the requested photos to:  andy@securitysafeusa.com

Note:  As I am in the field several days each week, covering a huge service area, I may not get back to your photos immediately, but I will respond as soon as I get an opportunity.  Due to field work, emails may tend to get backed up which means I may not answer them immediately.

Our informal evaluation is at no charge, however if you feel you need a formal evaluation or appraisal for insurance, estate sales, donations for tax write offs, or to establish it as an antique, there is an administrative fee for this service.  

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.

Experience

44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes". Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Organizations
Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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