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Antique Safes/How much is my safe worth



I have a safe that reads Halls safe and lock Co. on the door and L.S. Gilbert along the top.  The painting of the words and floral design on the front of the door is not in good shape.  The serial number on the handle is 12181.  It is 39H by 28W. Is this enough info for you to give me an approximate value?

Thank you,

Hi Amy,

I assumed your question originated from the USA but now I am not so sure.  If this safe is located in the UK, please accept my apologies.  However, there's no way I could value your safe from the information provided and I would need at least a couple of pictures; one with the door shut showing the entire front of the safe including the hinges, and one with the door open to reveal the door thickness and the bolt-work.  

If it is easier, you can send pictures directly to  However, this is only if the safe is located in the UK as I can't value safes based in the USA as I have no knowledge of that market.


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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