Question I have a Cary Safe. Serial number 19169. This has been in my family for years. I am trying to find out any information about this safe. I would love as much info as possible. I am looking to have it restored. I just dion't know where to start.
Could you offer any advice?
I live in South Georgia. Is there any place near me that works on these? It is rather heavy so I am limited in mobility of this piece.
Based on your serial number, I would expect your safe to have been made between 1887 to 1890, though I would need to verify what you actually have to come up with a closer date. The lock I would expect to see on your safe (based on this serial number) would be a Yale 062-1/2.
As this serial and date would make your safe an antique, restoration would probably help its overall value, especially if you wanted to keep it in the family.
Unfortunately there are NOT a lot of restoration specialists in the country, so traveling is not an option - it is pretty much mandatory. the nearest company that I know of, to you would be:
I'll actually see Ray tomorrow at an antique safe auction in Pennsylvania, that we are both attending.
There are a couple others but they are further away.
Your other options include doing it as a DIY project, however you may not have the skills, tools or time. You can also check with the art department at a local college to see if they would be interested in taking your safe on as a restoration project. If not, they might have a talented artist willing to work on the safe for you. $$$'s do make it easier to get someone. Make sure that you understand up front exactly WHAT restoration work is going to be done, as artists tend to have their own ideas, which may conflict with what you want done, or what needs to be done.
Many of the safe restoration specialists would rather sell there restored safes rather than taking on customers for a couple reasons. When you are "selling" a restored safe, customers are buying "as is". When you are restoring a safe for a customer, they sometimes have unreasonable expectations of what they are getting. For instance if you are expecting to have a Picasso, then you need to hire Picasso. Have realistic expectations for the work that can be done, and make sure that you and who ever does your restoration work are on the same page. It helps to have every thing in writing and sign off on the art work that is going to be on the safe BEFORE it is actually done.
Good luck, if you want me to confirm the information on your safe, and/or do a current evaluation, let me know.
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