You are here:

Antique Safes/phillips and sons double door safe


phillips and sons safe
phillips and sons safe  

Hi we have this safe in my office, we are planning to remove this safe. Can you give me any information and if it has any value?


Steve McLeod

Hello Stephen,

This is a late Victoria '4 corner bent' safe, a form of construction most popular from 1890 to 1914.  The body is filled with a loose mix of sand, sawdust and probably some alum crystals.  The sand and sawdust tend to make the safe heavy, probably in excess of 1/2 ton so it is not going to be easy to move.

Unfortunately safes of this age have little use as they are easily forced open using modern tools.  Consequently they fetch very little.  You can get some idea of values from ebay.  Search for 'antique safes' but ignore the 'buy now' posts as they always ask far too much and seldom sell.  Generally the smaller sizes sell at around 140, but these larger double-door safes are less popular.  

Getting rid of them is difficult because the weight generally requires specialists to shift them.  Scrap metal dealers are often reluctant to take them because the sand and sawdust makes such a mess of their yards.  Second hand safe dealers are unlikely to be interested in safes of this size and age and would probably want to charge you to take it away and dump it in a land-fill site.

Sorry to be so pessimistic but it is worth putting it on ebay with a very low starting price but ensure you say 'buyer collects' because the cost of moving it will almost certainly be more than it is worth.

If you found this answer useful, please take a moment to rate it on

Best regards,

Mike Palmer FSyI
Mike Palmer Consultancy

Antique Safes

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


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

©2017 All rights reserved.