Patented Royal Mouse Trap Antique Rat Trap   Larry & Carole Meeker  
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Antique & Vintage
Mouse, Rat, Gopher
& Other Small Animal Traps

We Buy
Antique & Collectible Rat / Mouse and Other Small Animal Traps!!

We  buy & sell early patented and mechanical mouse & rat traps traps.  We buy Antique Mouse Trapsand sell other unusual, patented, graphic, antique or primitive small animal traps as well. Not all traps were created equal and there are some that are very common, and some that are very rare.

The unusual cast iron open lattice work mouse trap with a heart shaped motif cut-out at the top corner ofantique mouse trap the page is known as the Royal and was patented during the last quarter of the 19th century.  It is an example of a rare mouse trap. The later mouse traps to the left on the other hand are considered relatively common and typically sell in the $5.00 -10.00 range.  The trap just to the right might fetch closer to 100.  It is all in the details. 

We are very interested in buying unusual antique mouse and rat traps from the same era and same quality as the Royal pictured above.  Please contact us a with any interesting or different examples of small animal traps that you want to sell.


Eliminating mice has been a challenge for mankind since the beginning of time.  Examples of mouse traps have been found dating from the earliest Evans Patent Fish / Mouse Trapcivilizations, right up to the "new" and innovative devices that are being produced (in China) and marketed  today for the American consumer.

Most of the earliest primitive traps operated on the deadfallantique mouse traps principle, crushing the creature who ventured into uncharted territory looking for a morsel to eat.  Primitive deadfall traps can be found sized for critters as small as mice to those for men or even larger prey.

Most mouse traps found today are from a much later period. There are many interesting patented varieties available from the heyday of development in the late 19th century. The typical wooden Victor Mouse Trap which cost just pennies to buy essentially won the battle to develop the "better"  & cheapest trap. Most of the would-be competitors quietly disappeared and their attempts at a better idea have now become collectibles.

Values of Traps

There is no set, or real price or value guide available for these devices and members of the Secret Society of Trap Collectors are Antique Rat Trapusually pretty closed mouthed with info. There are price guides from the 70's & 80's but the pricing info in them is irrelevant.  EBay can be a good source of current information for individual traps, but now you only get to see 30 days worth of past results, and that usually consists of a couple that do OK and 400 or more that sell for next to nothing. I recently saw where one of the largest and oldest mouse trap Antique Gopher Trapcollections has been put up for sale, and the owner indicated in the ad he had had his collection appraised for close to half a million.  I am not sure if anyone fell into that trap. 

Over the years I have found some good traps for as little as $1.00 but paid a horrible price for the Royal in tvintage mouse trapshe  top corner.  I sold it for over $1000, and probably undersold it at that time.  Today, I am not sure.  I have bought and sold many mouse traps in the $100.00 - 200.00 range and a few others at the $1000 level.  There is a lot of middle ground between those numbers.  In general any cast iron mouse or rat trap is going to be pretty good.  The odder looking the better. Figural is great, newer and typical looking not so good.  It is all in the details.   

Many of these vintage mousetraps look very similar toVintage Mouse Trap each other, but each one pictured is different, and many of these traps have patent dates or catchy names like Cat's Paw, or Can't Miss Trap.  I am not sure where the old phrase to "make a better mouse trap" came from, but the sheer number of different mouse traps that are out there attest to the fact that a lot of people sure were willing to try over the years.

The best working mousetrap I ever had was an economy size half gallon jar of grape jelly I left on the counter one night Vintage Mouse Trapafter making a before-bed P B & J sandwich.  When I got up the next morning to make lunch before work I did not see what was going on at first, but as I was making the sandwich, out plopped this little purple blob.  Both it and my sight were kind of fuzzy at first, but then I saw what it was and looked harder in the jar, and I had gotten 18 of them in there overnight.  They were all purple jellied drowned and dead little mousers. While there are several traps based on drowning the victim,  this was an odd way to go, and no others that I know of are based on sugar overdose.  I went out and got a cat, a few traps as insurance, and some new jelly that day.  And so began the desire to collect, buy, sell, and find the perfect vintage mouse trap, and to always have a cat around.
vintage mouse trap
The yellow plastic figural cat faced trap in the picture to the right was made here in California during the 60s or 70s  and is a  scream. They can be found in several colors.  It is actually more of a joke than an actual working trap as its spring is too weak to work well.  These have been known to bring $50.00 or more on a good day as a collectible. 

The next trap is a bit unusual because it is a 5-hole model and antique mouse trap the base is made of metal.  The choker trap similar to this with a wooden base and only 4 holes is more common.  There is also a plastic or Bakelite version that is also very similar to this that is pretty common as well. None of them sell for much more than $20.00 these days and are frequently found. 

Finally, the days of setting traps out as users around here are over for the time being.  Buster, the cat does a masterful job on them and the only ones we ever get to see are the dead offerings he brings in and leaves around the house.  We showed him his first mouse the day we brought him home at 6 weeks out in the field and he knew just what to do.  He does not do as good a job with the voles, moles or rats, and they are all over the gardens, and so we are interested in buying early patented versions of traps aimed at these critters as well. Buster said that they don't taste that good, and that they are not part of his job description anyway.  I do not need any more cats,  but if you have any unusual small animal, rat, or mouse traps that you are looking to sell, please contact us at

The Mouse & Rat traps you see here are examples of the caliber, condition and quality that we primarily deal in and can Antique & Collectible Mouse & Rat Trapshelp youAntique Mouse Trap sell. Mouse traps and Patent Model Traps we have previously sold are found on the PAST SALES TRAP PAGE

To see past sales results of other antiques we have sold in the past, please see the Sales Archive Pages in the right column.

If you have small animal traps that you want to sell,  please contact us at providing me with as many details as possible.

To see examples of traps that I currently have for sale, please go to our sister site at and visit the salesEconomy Gopher Gun Traps Patented November 11th 1902 Patented Jan 7 1913 Ideal Gopher Trappages found there. 

Thank you!!
Larry & Carole  

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Larry & Carole Meeker