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Antique Safes/Paint codes


Hi mike
I would like to restore an old S Withers safe we have had for some time now.

The door and lock is working well but the paint is not looking so good, would you know the colour codes or names of colors they used.

This is one of the small safes they made 20" x 16" x 16" and is light green inside, the outside of the safe is Black at edge of door with a dark green centre section with an orange / yellow pinline strip running

Hello Dave,

Thanks for your question.  You safe is likely to be around 100 years old and in those days there were no coded colours and what the names were are lost in the mists of time.  I have an archive of Samuel Withers old literature but they made no mention of the clolours in their brochures.

Old Sam Withers safes frequently come up for sale on eBay and you may get some ideas for finishing your safe if youn keep an eye out for them.


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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