Antique Safes/determining age and value of Victor Safe
We have my great uncle's Victor safe and wondered how I can tell the age of the safe and the approximate value as we'd like to sell it. I will send pictures but need your email address. the name plates on the inside of the door are from:
1. Underwriters Lab Inspected Relocking Device Group 1 No. 140462
2. Built to comply with Safe Manufacturers National Association; Spec F1-D; 1V82435; S.M.N.A. Class B; Cat. No. 1940 B
3. Certified Safe Class B-2HOUR-T20 .........
Thanks for any help you can offer.
The easy way to tell how old it is, would be to count the candles on its birthday cake! LOL Sorry, I couldn't resist that one.
Based on the information that you have provided you DO NOT have an original "Victor Safe & Lock Company" safe. This company was purchased in 1920 by the "Safe Cabinet Company" and moved from Cincinnati to Marietta, OH, and the name was changed to the "Victor Equipment Company". The Safe Cabinet Company (and Victor) were acquired by Remington-Rand in 1926, and safes were manufactured under all three labels out of the Marietta facility, though they were all basically the same safe - just with different labels. In 1955 Remington-Rand was acquired by the Sperry Corporation and by 1956 all safe fabrication was ceased.
The labels and info that you have provided are by UL and SMNA which were TESTING (or standards) agencies. They had NO direct influence and/or affiliation with ANY safe maker, and/or their products, other than to INDICATE the standards that the safe was built to - in this case the specification "F1-D" indicates that this is a FIRE Resistive safe - ONLY, and NOT a burglary resistive safe. The classification "B" indicates that this safe was rated for 2 hours of FIRE resistance - ONLY.
The "T-20" burglary rating actually stands for "TAMPER Resistant" and NOT Burglary resistant. The UL inspected relocking device is simply a Tamper resistant device for a little extra security.
Based on the info on these labels, I would expect this safe to have been made during the late 1940's to early 1950's - Prior to 1955.
While I would be more than happy to look at your safe to evaluate it for you I can already tell you without looking at it, that it is NOT an antique safe - over 100 years old, it does NOT meet any current standards for fire resistance and it is NOT a burglary resistive safe. It also has no value for commercial or retail sale, and it should NOT be used for overnight storage of any cash, jewelry or valuable documents.
This container is also NOT considered a collectible - it is basically "fire resistive office equipment".
With that being said, I always liked these Victor safes, and I have a three drawer file cabinet and a similar safe about 36" tall, from the same period. HOWEVER, I have no illusions about what type of protection they provide, and I use them appropriately.
If you would still like me to look at the container, I would be happy to but will need photos.
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: email@example.com
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.