You are here:

Antique Safes/how secure is an antique safe


Hi, I have searching the entire web but cannot seem to find the answer to my question.
I have recently purchased a H&H co lawyers safe (hobs and Hart)
produced in cheapside London. It is about 70cm tall i believe. 40-50 cm deep and about 200 kgs or more I estimate

Firstly, how safe are antique safes. I do apologise if I sound like a fool but I really am a greenhorn.  WHat i mean is, how would an antique safe like mine hold up against attack? say a sledgehammer, or someone hamering the door or the handle. Could you please let me know.
Deeply appreciated....

Hi Alvin

Thank you for an interesting question.  Most of the really old safes, those that are over 100 years old, offer virtually no resistance at all to modern safe crackers.  However, to answer your question fully, I would need to see a picture of your Hobbs Hart safe.  If it is easier, you can send it to me at  I should be able to tell you a little about its age and construction and some of the history of Hobbs Hart.


Mike Palmer FSyI
Mike Palmer Consultancy

Antique Safes

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 All rights reserved.