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Antique Safes/safe identification



Hi I was just wanting some info like age and manufacturer of
This safe I just got thankyou

Hello Lee,

Thank you for your question.  I'm afraid I can't comment on the Anglo Australian company as I have not encountered them before.  However, the construction of the safe is easily recognised as late Victorian; circa 1890 - 1910.  This type of safe is referred to as '4 corner bent'.  Four sides were constructed from a single sheet of mild steel bent 4 times.  A back plate was inset from the outside and rivetted or screwed into place, and the door hung on the front.  There seems to be white dust emitting from around the bolts holding the door in place.  This is likely to be a fossil-based material used as a primitive fire resistor.  This is often mistaken for asbestos dust and can cause alarm.  The body is either filled with the same material or a mix of sand, sawdust and alum.  

The back plate is very vulnerable to force using hand held tools. The bolt-work is assembled inside a box or pan which is then bolted to the mild steel door plate.  This type of door was vulnerable to explosives as a small charge would strip the threads off the bolts and open the door.

By 1910 these safes were considered obsolete.  There is a lot of scaring around above the keyhold and it is possible it may have been drilled open at some time.

Safes of this age have very little commercial application and I would be interested to know what you intend to use if for.


Mike Palmer FSyI
Mike Palmer Consultancy

Antique Safes

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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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