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Antique Safes/Value of Herring Farrel's Safe


Herring Farrel\'s Safe
Herring Farrel's Safe  

dial for Herring Farrel\'s safe
dial for Herring Farre  
I have a safe measuring 17 3/4" long, 19" deep and 21 3/4 high (27 3/4 from floor). The interior measures 10" long, 11" deep and 14" high. It is on 4 wheels and the hardware above the right wheel reads "Farrel's//P.T" The middle of the dial reads "Herring Safe Works//Pat'd//Sept 7 1880//2 Nov 2 1880//July 18 1882//Mar 4 1884//Mar 1 1884//2 Aug 26 1884//New York" I have the combination and it opens well. What is it's approximate value?

Hi Karen,

I would be more than happy to look at your safe for you, however I will need MANY more photo to evaluate it.

Note:   While Herring & Farrel worked together at least as early as the 1850's, they didn't form a partnership until about 1869, though after around 1880, or so, they were generally known as "Herring & Company".   Safes made in New York were usually labeled as "Herring - Farrel", while safes made in the Philadelphia facility were usually labeled as "Farrel - Herring".

Silas C. Herring died in 1881 (1803-1891), and the business was continued by his son, Frank O. Herring, until the 1892 merger of the Herring-Hall-Marvin Safe Company.    Frank had stepped into a management position with the company around 1861.   John Farrel and Frank Herring were much closer in age, and so the companies worked very closely together .

Your safe is definitely a "Herring" safe, manufactured in the New York facility.

"ALL" of the dates listed on the dial are patent "issue" dates and NOT manufacturing dates, what this tells us is that this safe was manufactured AFTER August 1884 and before the 1892 merger date, so we have about a 7 year period to look at for possible dates of manufacture.

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:

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 40 years in the Safe & Vault industry, if I can't answer your question I know where to get the answer. Current Project: Restoration of two Tilton & McFarland Safes from the 1860'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.


40 years in the Safe & Vault Industry. 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. 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

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 - 2013 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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