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Antique Safes/Becher & Hildesheim


Becher & Hildesheim
Becher & Hildesheim  
Becher & Hildesheim
Becher & Hildesheim  
QUESTION: Dear Sirs/Madams,

I'd like to kindly ask you for help with the following issue:

I have an old safe, marked as Becher & Hildesheim, that weights approx
1,5 tons. There are some labels on it, stating some years at the end of 19th century, but I'm not sure if they are related with mfg. date of the safe.

Pictures of the safe are attached to this messsage.

I'll really appreciate if you could somehow "locate and recognize" the safe and send me a bit more specific information about it - i.e. who might be its real manufacturer, how old it might be, does it have any value (historical, or so)...

Thanks in advance!

Kind regards,


ANSWER: Hello Luka,

Thank you for your enquiry and the two excellent photographs.

I have spent a lifetime in the safe industry but I have seldom seen anything as beautiful as this.  Although they are almost certainly German, unfortunately I have absolutely no idea who Becher & Hildesheim were or whether or not they built this safe.  

My first impression is that it was probably built in the mid 1900's as I have seen French safes that look a little similar.

I imagine that it is worth a great deal and I suggest you contact an auction room specialising in period furniture.

I'm so sorry I can't tell you more but I am so pleased that you sent me pictures of such a wonderful thing.

Kind regards,

Mike Palmer FSyI
Mike Palmer Consultancy

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


Thank You for Your kind answer. Can You please suggest an auction room, which I may contact regarding the issue?


Hello Luka,

I think you are resident in Serbia and I don't know where you would go to auction there.  However, it may be worth sending details of your safe to the famous Christie's Sale Rooms in London. On their website they offer a free auction estimate.  If their estimate is high enough, it may be worth the expense of shipping it to the UK and putting up for auction in London.

Go to

Good luck,

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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