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Antique Safes/T withers & sons & son safe 1855 west Bromwich


Hi Mike , ive just come across an old t withers safe in my motherinlaws cellar, She has never had a key as it was there locked when she moved in, so cant open it . Could you please let me know if you think its worth anything , before I have it opened . Thankyou .

Hello Paul,

Thank you for your enquiry.  The vast majority of Thomas Withers safes are well over 100 years old and worth very little.  If you would like to send me a picture I could give you some idea of its age. If it is easier, you can send them directly to

If you search ebay for 'antique safes' you will find several old safes and probably an old Thomas or Samuel Withers.  This should give you some idea of how much they sell for.  A vintage safe in reasonable condition usually fetches around 130 to 140 (ignore the 'buy now' prices - they always ask far too much and seldom sell).

Once you have a feel for its value, contact a local master locksmith ( and get an estimate for opening it.  If you just want it open to see if there's anything inside, it shouldn't cost too much but if you want it opened and a new lock fitted, it would almost certainly cost more than the safe is worth.

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Many thanks,

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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