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Bruhn & Henry Diebold bank safe
Bruhn & Henry Diebold  

Bruhn & Henry interior
Bruhn & Henry interior  
Hello,

We are closing up our parents' estate and are having to find a home for a Bruhn & Henry Diebold bank safe that currently lives in the basement of our childhood home. Our father bought it from a bank that was closing in Snohomish, WA. in the mid-60's.
There is a smaller safe inside that has never been opened since my father first acquired it. He's tried everything, even hiring a safe cracker, but they were unsuccessful.
I think at this point, we are just needing an approximate value and knowledge of buyers who might be interested? Or should we just try the usual venues, like Ebay. Any help you can provide would be most appreciated. I have more photos if you need them.

Thank you!

Answer
Hi Phyllis,

You don't have a "Bruhn & Henry" Diebold Safe.   The safe was manufactured by the Diebold Safe & Lock Company of Canton, Ohio.   The "Bruhn & Henry, Inc." name on the top of the safe was the name of an owner at some point, possibly the original owner, but other than being associated with an owner it has nothing else to do with the safe.

While the safe may have belonged to a bank, it is not a Bankers model.   It is basically a record safe, meant to keep documents and records safe in the event of a fire.   It DOES have a Jeweler's chest inside, which was the security area where valuables would have been stored.   Again, this has nothing to do with it being owned by a jeweler, it is simply a designation that is used to differentiate between the Bankers model and a Jeweler's chest.

As far as the "safecracker" goes, if he couldn't open the interior chest, he obviously wasn't that good.   You didn't mention where you are located in California, so I can't recommend someone in your area.

As for selling your safe, unfortunately there is no single advertising venue for antique safes, so you pretty much just have to advertise the same way you would any other item - eBay, Craigs List, local ads and flyers.   You can try selling it through local antique dealers and/or through an auction house, though these usually charge a commission fee for their services.   Biggest problem with selling it is obviously going to be storage until it is sold.    
Other negatives with selling the safe is its size and the locked up interior chest.   Collectors are looking for smaller safes, so you are going to be addressing a very small group of potential buyers.     The size and weight of the safe is also a big negative.     Cost to move the safe and/or install it is something that potential buyers really look at.


I would be more than happy to look at your safe to evaluate it for you, however I will need much better 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:  andy@securitysafeusa.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.  

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Terry V. Andreasen (Andy)

Expertise

Safe and Vault related Questions; Antique Safe Repair and Restoration; With over 44 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of an Ely Norris Cannonball Safe from the early 1900's. Will answer Safe & Vault related questions concerning age, value, restoration, moving, opening & repairing, parts, operation and history. Note: It is not my intention to teach you to open safes or to provide information which may aid in the unlawful opening of a safe. I will not give out drill points or information which I deem inappropriate.

Experience

44 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. Owner and Service Manager for one of the largest Safe & Vault companies on the West Coast. Graduate of Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing, Safe lock Manipulation and Safe Deposit Lock Courses. Graduate of Locksmith Institute. Author of "The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes". Certified Instructor for the California Locksmith Association teaching Basic and Advanced Lock Servicing, Basic Safe opening and Repairing. Factory Trained by AMSEC, LORD Safes, LeFebure, Mosler, KabaMas, LaGard and Sargent & Greenleaf

Organizations
Safecrackers International and the National Antique Safe Association Safe & Vault Technicians Association

Publications
The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes AllExperts.com

Education/Credentials
Graduate of Locksmith Institute 1972 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Servicing 1974 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Lock Manipulation 1975 Graduate Lockmasters Safe Deposit Lock Servicing 1985 Instructor Certified - California Locksmith Association - 1985 Factory trained by AMSEC, MAJOR, STAR, Johnson-Pacific, Kaba-MAS, Allied-Gary, ISM, Lord, Brown Safe, EXL, Mosler, Diebold.

Awards and Honors
2009 - 2015 Listed in AllExperts top 50 Experts. All Experts Categories - Safes & Security Containers, Locksmithing, Antique Safes. Retired US Army Chief Warrant Officer (CW4), with 39 years of total service. With numerous awards from Vietnam, Desert Storm and Operation Iraqi Freedom. US Navy - 1971-1981 US Army Reserve 1984-2013 US Army Retired

Past/Present Clients
US Secret Service, FBI, BATF, Local Law enforcment agencies, Diebold, Hamilton Pacific, Red Hawk Int., Chubb International, Bank of America, Wells Fargo Bank, Mechanics Bank, El Dorado Savings Bank, many Credit unions and smaller banks. McDonalds, Togos, BurgerKing, TacoBell, Carls Jr. FoodMaxx, SaveMart, Lucky's, Albertson's, Raley's, Safeway, NobHill, Bell Markets, PW Markets. Great America, Century Theatres, Cinemark Theatres, UA Cinemas, and many homeowners and small businesses. Provide warranty service for lock and safe manufactures. Service area is Northern California - Fresno to Oregon, including western Nevada

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