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Antique Safes/Lillie's Burglar & Fire Proof Safe


QUESTION: How can I find a value of my safe? Plate states July 7, 1851

ANSWER: Frank, a picture is needed to see what model Lillie you have.  Painted condition and functionality also must taken into account.  Doug

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FDR - 1I858 Lillie\'s Safe
FDR - 1I858 Lillie's S  

FDR - 1858 Lillie\'s Safe -1
FDR - 1858 Lillie's Sa  
QUESTION: We have many additional photos of mechanisms, locks, interior & exterior.

Frank, I had forgotten that you asked about this.  Lillie was a fairly notable maker in his time.  Most of the Lillie safes I have seen are smaller single door models.  Irving Isacoff in Ocala, Fla. has the only double door model I know of, but yours is larger.  Most collectors like small safes, but on the other hand yours is quite impressive.  So for the most part you are limited to a rarefied group.  And because of this, it is hard for me, not being a collector, to put a price on it.  Certainly a minimum of $5,000 and possibly a great deal more.  Get the picture?  And please send me the other pictures you have.  Doug  

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Doug MacQueen


This unusual and highly innovative safe from the later 1800's is a Corliss. William, the much younger brother of George Corliss of steam engine fame, spent several years perfecting this design and it was first displayed at the 1876 Philadelphia U.S. Centennial Exhibition. I do extensive patent research helping me in the study of antique U.S. safes and safe locks. Repairs and part making for antique U.S. safes of the early to mid 1800's, both key and combination. Also the study of early round door chest designs up to and including cannonball safes of the early 1900's.


40 years in the lock and safe trade with a stint in bank service work. Openings, repairs and moving of safes of all types.

Charter member Safe and Vault Technicians Association SAVTA, National Safemans Association NSO, National Antique Safe Association NASA. No longer current.

SAVTA monthly magazine

CMS (Certified Master Safecracker- NSO) and CPS (Certified Professional Safe Technician - SAVTA)

Awards and Honors
2nd place national combination manipulation contest 1986 and now in 2016 1st place

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