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Antique Safes/Miniature Safe?



I have a miniature safe dimensions are
8.5" High
6" wide
5" Deep
and weighs 12 Kilos

Locks top, bottom and both sides...same as a big safe

Any information you could give me would be gratefully appreciated....Maker, age, use etc....

Thank you

Hello Mark,

Thank you for your enquiry and the excellent pictures.  I have to admit that in 46 years in the safe industry, I have never seen a miniature safe like this.  

The type of construction is referred to as a 'square cornered' as it was built from individual mild-steel plates riveted onto an angle-iron frame, thereby creating sharp 90 degree corners.  By 1890 this type of safe was already obsolete so I would guess that this little safe dates back to circa 1870 - 1890.  In the late Victorian era, there were scores of Black Country safe makers and there are no marks or clues to indicate who made this one.

Why would you want such a small safe?  My best guess is that it was made by an apprentice to demonstrate his skills.  I have seen other apprentice-made safes but never a miniature.  It is definitely unique and I am very envious.


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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