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Antique Safes/safe info


old safe
old safe  

badge ,
badge ,  
I have just bought a old safe called  ,The Security Safe company .Birmingham on it.any info on the company would be great/I am in Auckland new zealand
regards steven walker.

Hello Steven,

Thank you for your question and the pictures.  Unfortunately I can't tell you much about the company.  The end of the 19th century saw small safe manufacturers popping up everywhere, especially in the industrial Midlands.  This particular form of construction is referred to as 'four corner banded' and comprised a single sheet of mild steel bent to form four sides of a box.  A back plate was screwed or riveted in place and a door hung at the front. Because the back plate was highly vulnerable, heavy steel bands were wrapped around the front and rear edges.  The body was usually filled with a loose mix of sand and sawdust, sometime with some alum crystals, to provide some measure of fire resistancd.  This type of safe probably dates to circa 1890 and was considered obsolete by 1900 and it is not a good idea to use them to secure cash, valuables or important documents.  

Today they have little commercial value as they are far too old to be acceptable by insurers.  However there are collectors of late Victorian safes who restore them to a high standard, often going to great lengths to repaint them in their original colours.

This safe has one interesting feature.  I have collected and traded safe plates for some years and have not come across this one before and it is probably worth more than the safe. To get an idea of values, the best thing to do is take a look at 'antique safes' and 'safe plates' on eBay.


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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