Antique Safes/safe


milner safe
milner safe  
Dear Sir,
I have visited the celar of an old antiquity shop where this safe was kept, forgotten by time.
Dimensions are 139x76.5x66
I would be grateful if you could help me with some information on:

a) when it was constructed and,
b) what would a reasonable price be to buy it

yours sincerely
Leo Pavlidis

Hello Leo,

Thank you for your enquiry and the picture of your safe.  

This type of construction is known as 'four corner bent/banded' and was common between 1890 and 1910.  A single sheet of mild steel was bent to form four sides of a box.  The seam was usually at the bottom where it was welded or riveted.  A further plate was fixed into place at the back and a door hung on an angle-iron frame at the front.  However, the seams at both the front and back were easily attacked and in order to protect them, heavy steel bands were wrapped around and overlapped at the front and back.

These old safes offer no protection against modern power tools and the filling of sand,sawdust and alum provides very little resistance to fire.  Consequently it is not recommended that large amounts of cash, valuables or important documents are secured in safes of this type.

I have no idea of values in Greece so I can't advise you what to pay.  These safes are very difficult to sell in the UK because of their weight and poor security.  The best way to get some idea of values is to visit eBay and search on 'antique safes'.  However, if you are looking to use it as a safe to secure cash and valuables, I recommend you look for a modern, lighter safe designed to protect against today's tools.

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Michael 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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