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Antique Safes/Marvin Safe Co


ward safe
ward safe  

ward safe
ward safe  
Hi Andy;  Attached are some pictures of a Marvin Safe.  it has the patent date of 1882 and I know they were acquired in 92.  It is approximately 68 X 42 X 28.  All locks are in good working order.  Around the middle shows New York/ London.  The wheels are about 6" and the supports have Marvin/New on one and Safe Co/York on the other.  It has the original sales agent of Brem and McDowell, Charlotte NC on the front.  The murals, are hand painted and in good shape for the age.  There is no structural damage anywhere.
I know you usually prefer a lot of pics but this is what I have right now.  I have someone wanting to purchase the safe.  I'm not really excited about selling it but...    With the limited information provided, could you please give me an estimate of value?

Hi Dale,

The patent date was the date the patent was issued - in this case Sept. 1882.   production of items that the patent refers to wouldn't have started until sometime after that issue date.    So your safe would have been made sometime between the Sept. 1882 date and the merger date of 1892.   (they were not acquired by HHM).

Your safe has some beautiful art work.   Prior to 1880 much of the art work was done by Antonio Nicolo Gasparo Jacobsen, born in Copenhagen, Denmark in 1850.    Jacobsen mainly did artwork depicting boats, ships or the sea.    Unfortuntately I don't have the name of the painter that took over after Jacobsen left the Marvin Safe Company.

while you have provided some of the photos needed, I WILL need the rest of the photos to evaluate its condition.     I understand that you are interested in selling it, however as I am often contacted by both sellers and buyers alike I have to be able to give a complete evaluation of a safe - not a partial one.

The photos you included on the web site only come through as about 100kb of resolution.    I need much closer to 1mb of resolution.   The smaller photos don't allow me to zoom in to see details.
I also need to see under the service panel of the active door.    Remove the lock curb (small silver disc), and the back cover 14 to 16 screws, to reveal the insulation material.    I will need to see this area.
The other photos - if you have them with better resolution, I'll need them as well.

In order to answer questions, identify, evaluate or appraise the “current condition” of your safe, I'm going to need photos.  They should include full exterior and interior.  Detail photos (close-ups) 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 use a “jpeg” format, not a bitmap (bmp) image.   Also, I don’t like “website” photo dumps.   While it may be an easy place for you to store them, retrieving photos which allow me to zoom in to look at details, takes a lot of extra time.   Please send the requested photos directly to me.

Please send all of the requested photos to:

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)


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.


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

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

The Coffee Table Guide to Antique Safes

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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