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  1. #11
    Join Date
    Aug 2013
    Posts
    1,402
    Country: Wales

    Default

    safeman those are lovely examples, your Carron puts mine to shame, that looks very good condition and with the original escutcheon intact too.

    Quote Originally Posted by safeman View Post

    Attachment 18283 The mechanism on the right is more or less what could be expected. The one on the left is of a much higher quality having bridge wards and a double gated tumbler.
    I think the two photos are of the same safe - just that the right hand pic has the bolts withdrawn and with the cover fitted- if you look closely it looks to be the same key and mechanism.

    It's certainly a superior example though, can't remember seeing one of that level of quality,the tail bar, guides and bolt work look very precise and that double gated lever makes it impressive indeed- is it possibly an early Tann?

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Aberdeenshire
    Posts
    375
    Country: Great Britain

    Default Who's a silly safeman then?

    Quote Originally Posted by Huw Eastwood View Post
    safeman those are lovely examples, your Carron puts mine to shame, that looks very good condition and with the original escutcheon intact too.



    I think the two photos are of the same safe - just that the right hand pic has the bolts withdrawn and with the cover fitted- if you look closely it looks to be the same key and mechanism.

    It's certainly a superior example though, can't remember seeing one of that level of quality,the tail bar, guides and bolt work look very precise and that double gated lever makes it impressive indeed- is it possibly an early Tann?
    Huw, you're dead right - why didn't I just compare the pattern of the key?

    There's every possibility that this could have been made by Tann as the original negative was in Bill Stanton's Tann archive although his photographic skills might suggest that he did not actually create the primary negative.
    I'll recheck his index when I return from holiday.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    2
    Country: Great Britain

    Default Old Church Safe/Strongbox 19th Century

    Thanks to everyone who replied. The interesting thing is that as part of loading this safe on my trailer and having sprayed with penetrating oil weeks before hand and using the lid handle to slide it along - it burst open. So it wasn't locked just rusted shut. So that's the good news. Now having done that and discovered an old flower pot and not the burial records I had hoped for I have now taken the lock mechanism off the safe to try and make a key.

    I will post a picture of the mechanism now so that you experts can tell me what the safe is. Its a top opening lid with 2 side handles.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  4. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    627
    Country: Bulgaria

    Default

    A bit of rough handling can often work wonders.

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    Aberdeenshire
    Posts
    375
    Country: Great Britain

    Default

    Still unable to put a maker's name on your chest although there might be a clue in the fact that the chest has been lined. I've never seen this before. The clue is that when Tann made cast and wrought iron chests in the early 19th century for Charles Chubb who was only a lock maker at the time, some of the chests in the Account Book bore the abbreviations 'lind' and 'filld'. The latter term implies the filling is a fire-resisting composition after 1834 whereas the former term only denotes that an air void has been created. Pretty sure your chest is a lot earlier.

    Apart from the Coalbrookdale and Carron foundries who cast their names into the door, the other makers were in London and apart from Edward Tann were James Laugh in Compton Street and Haskins in Old Baily.

    These chests offered little security in isolation against drill, gunpowder, and impact so relied on being moved to a place of occupancy.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Edinburgh
    Posts
    214
    Country: UK

    Default

    As far as I can recall, I have not seen a name of a maker on any of these castiron chests/small safes. As well as Rose's chests in CofE churches, they continued in use both privately and in small businesses long after they were old-fashioned. I remember seeing a village p/t registrar still using one in late 1970's. Also I've looked at many in antique shops, with no name.
    Being robust objects, these old chests and safes continued to function, and be used, long after their 'protection' was illusory.

    One curious (albeit irrelevant here ) snippet is that the Carron Foundry picked up much of the 18-19C cannon founding, as the Darbys at Coalbrookdale were Quakers, and so would not make guns or ammunition.

    I have an idea there was iron founding in Shropshire, and also early on, in Kent/Sussex. But i have no other names.

  7. #17
    Join Date
    Nov 2014
    Posts
    627
    Country: Bulgaria

    Default

    I remember going to give blood at a Quaker meeting hall in Birmingham. I went with a friend. We were both ex soldiers.

    On the wall there was an anti war poster with a silhouette of a tank- all sharp corners and straight surfaces.

    My friend observed:
    "If that's their idea of tank design, it's a good job they're pacifists".

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