Some of the most common types of antique safes were the cannonball, hobnail and wooden cabinet safes. The time period was a factor in a safe's popularity, as safes went through many transformations and upgrades throughout time.
Cannonball safes were named for their round shape. This type of safe was often used by banks in the latter half of the 1800s as their large size and formidable shape gave a feeling of security to the bank's clients. A smaller version of this type of safe was also available for home use. The Marvin Safe Co. was the first manufacturer of this type of safe. Hobnail safes were popular in the early to middle 1800s. They were a very sturdy form of antique safe, often featuring raised bumps on the outside to resemble armor. They often weighed around 200 pounds, but some models weighed as much as 700 pounds.
The wooden cabinet safes were safes hidden in ornate wooden cabinets. The cabinets often featured ornately carved legs and detailing to fit in with a high-end decor and hide the fact a safe was held within. Some of the more upscale of these cabinets featured framed paintings on the front door panel.