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Antique Safes/milner safe


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I have just inherited a Milner safe and have attached some images. I wonder if you could help me out with dating it please? I know the history of Milner safes but I am struggling to accurately date this one. It's in lovely condition and the paintwork is all original . many thanks for your help. the serial number on the hinge is 3027u2309 . James

Hello James,

U2309 was manufactured in 1909.  As you say, it is in excellent condition and this type of construction was known as '8 corner bent'.  By 1909 powerful metal presses had been introduced so Milner's was able to fashion the four sides of the body with mitred flanges at the back into which the back plate could be fixed from the inside, and mitred flanges at the front into which the door frame was fitted.


Mike Palmer FSyI
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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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