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Antique Safes/Fichet=Bauche Louis XIV Model 38


QUESTION: When I moved 20 years ago I lost the 4 slot key combination.
I only use the single slot key to open the door.  Is there a way to re-set the 4 slot combination.

Is there a Market Value for this Safe that I no longer use ?

ANSWER: George, 4 slot key combination?  Photos provide much needed information.  Especially good close up photos. Are you talking about a key lock or a combination lock.  I am familiar with a couple Fichet keylocks ,neither of which are 4 slot.  Is the open or shut?  How old is the safe?  I know Fichet sold a Louis XV safe, but I am unfamiliar with a XIV model.  Doug

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

It is a Louis XV. Model 38.  The 4 slots are grouped together above the single slot that actually opens the door.  there are 4 small holes on the back of the door  The door can be opened with the single slot for which I have the key.

I got picture and a data sheet from the Internet using Fichet-Bauche Louis 14, Model 38.

Hope this helps.


I think I have a little info on the lock.  It sounds like the upper 4 keyholes are an additional security in the form of a key operated combination lock.  A clicker lock where you count the clicks as you turn the key. The holes in the back of the door are for resetting the combination.  But in your case, you can determine the existing combination by inserting the key into each keyhole (slot), turning the key fully counter clockwise and then count the clicks until a red dot appears.  Obviously you want to record your progress as you do each slot.  You can verify you have counted correctly, if you check the key in the main lock after you do each slot.  And of course you want to be doubly sure you have it right before closing and locking the upper 4 keyholes, which if I have this right, is by turning all 4 fully counter clockwise.  Actually turning anyone of the four just one click off would lock it,and prevent the key from working in the main lock, but it is best to move all 4 fully to the left.  Make sense?  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

Past/Present Clients

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