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Antique Safes/Stephen Cox & Son Safe


I have a large, heavy fire proof safe built by the above firm in Sedgley. A key is used to open it and there is a handle on the door.. At the side of the door there are three or four large round metal bolts that retract into the door of the safe when opened and go into the side of the safe when it is locked.
Can you give me some history on the safe, if i want to sell it can you give me an estimated value on the safe and if the key is not turning the lock is there anything i can do to turn the key.This safe has been in the family longer than me and i am 63. It has fallen down concrete steps and destroyed the steps and burst the cable of a Otis elevator. Thieves have tried to set it on fire and move it but to no avail.

Hello Joanne,

Stephen Cox made many safes that would fit that description.  In order to answer your question I would need to establish the exact model and the only way to do that is to see a couple of photographs, one with the door shut showing the entire front of the safe, and one with the door open revealing the door thickness and bolt-work.

If it is more convenient, pictures can be emailed direct to  I look forward to hearing from you.


Mike 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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