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Antique Safes/Value and Information on Antique Safe


Antique Safe Exterior
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Hello, Could you please give me information on this safe. I would like to know it's age, and value especially.I'm trying to decide if I should restore and keep, restore and sell or sell the way it is. Your information will help me decide.
The safe appears to have been repainted.Are these the original colors. If not what was the original exterior colors.
The one handle is broke in half. The screws that hold the plate on back of door most seem stripped which causes the door itself to move a little inside. It appears that the lock system and door all fit together and are held in place by this plate. Any information on history and values would be appreciated. Thank You

Jeff, age would be 1840' or 50's.  Value?  I'd say at least 1,000 as is. No clue on original colors but careful removal of the paint should expose the original. As long as you have both parts of the broken handle, which will most likely be cast iron, it can be arc welded in place. On the fire safes of that vintage I have seen the key lock and boltwork are all attached and buried under the insulation.  Yours may be different and those hex head bolts may not be original.  The threading can be repaired.  One option would be welding the holes shut and drilling and tapping.  There are also threaded inserts available that will bring the threaded holes back to the size you want.  Can you pull the back plate off and post a couple pictures of the inside of the door?  That is if there is something there to see.  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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