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Antique Safes/I need any info you can provide on my very old Mellink safew


my old Mellink safe
my old Mellink safe  

Door T-Handle with numbers stamped on it
Door T-Handle with num  
I purchased my Mellink safe from my employer about 30 years ago. It had been drilled through the door to open it, so I welded the holes and repaired the edge of the dial by brazing the half round hole cut in the edge. I had to figure out how to reset the combination, and it worked great for all these years. About a month ago, the lock pin inside the lock loosened and the dial would just spin, so I drilled the door in about the same location as it was drilled previously. I have it repaired now, and I decided to finally completely restore the exterior. While wire buffing the old paint completely off, I found a number stamped in the center of the back panel (No. 15), and I'm wondering if this is a production number, also I found a number stamped on the T-handle (looks like a C stamped above the number 49675), which I think may be the serial number.

Any help you can give me on this great old safe will be really appreciated.

By the way, the original color is a dark green, but had been repainted JD Green sometime before I bought it, and I am planning to paint it gloss black, since I can't find a green anything like the original. I am planning to leave all the inside in the original condition, since it is still pretty good inside. Are any of the original decals still available for a safe this old, and I would really appreciate it if you can give me a manufacturing date. I never plan to sell this great one, so a price is not needed, but it would be nice to know what it is worth too.

Thanks very much for any info you can provide me on this cool old safe.


Hi Boyd,

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you, my laptop crashed last weekend and I had to get a new one AND recover all my "stuff"!

Anyway, I would be more than happy to look at your safe for you, to try to answer any questions, but I'll need more and better photos.

The "C" serial number is the serial number for your safe, any other numbers are either production numbering or assembly numbers.

As far as "decals" - NO there are no "original" decals available, and haven't been for around 100 years.   If you want decals for your safe, you will have to have them made by a graphics artist - there are plenty of these companies available as "sign & decal" makers for vehicles.   You just need to have some good art work.   Many of these older safes didn't have decals, they had hand paintings and pin striping.    You can located a local artist to redo some of these items.

In order to answer specific questions, identify, evaluate or appraise your safe, I'm going to need photos.  They should include full exterior and interior.  Detail photos should include pictures of the dial, handles, hinges, artwork, locks, bolt work, castors, cabinetry and any special details or damage.  Note:  You may have to remove the back panel on the door to gain access to the lock & bolt work – I will need these pics.
If you have a particular detail that you have a question about, I will need a photo of it along with your question.

I will also need to see any documentation that you have in regards to your safe.  If your safe has a unique historical perspective, you should be able to document this with letters, newspaper articles or photos, if not it is simply a story and will have no bearing on the value of your safe.

Please use as high a resolution as possible so that I can examine details of your safe.  Pictures which are low resolution, out of focus, or from a distance don’t help when we try to evaluate the container.  Note:  with higher resolution, you may only be able to send 2-4 pictures per email, depending on the size of the file, I have a 12mb limit per email.  If photos are larger than 2mb each, you may only be able to send 2 or 3 photos per email, requiring several emails.

Please don’t send me “cell phone” photos, unless they are very clear and of sufficient resolution.   Also, please don’t use online, internet photo drops as most of these also don’t allow me to easily access the photos for examination.   Send the pics directly to me, while this may be more work for you, it will make my job easier.

Please send all of the requested photos to:

Note:  As I am in the field several days each week, covering a huge service area, I may not get back to your photos immediately, but I will respond as soon as I get an opportunity.  Due to field work, emails may tend to get backed up which means I may not answer them immediately.

Our informal evaluation is at no charge, however if you feel you need a formal evaluation or appraisal for insurance, estate sales, donations for tax write offs, or to establish it as an antique, there is an administrative fee for this service.  

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)


Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland Safes from the 1860's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association

Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2013 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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