We buy & sell early patented and mechanical
mouse & rat traps traps. We buy
sell other unusual,
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
unusual cast iron open lattice work mouse trap with a heart shaped motif
cut-out at the top corner of 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
AntiqBuyer@gmail.com with any
interesting or different examples of small animal traps that you want to
Eliminating mice has been a
challenge for mankind since the
beginning of time.
of mouse traps have been found dating from the
civilizations, 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 deadfall
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
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
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
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.
The Mouse & Rat traps you see here are examples
of the caliber, condition and quality that
we primarily deal in and can
help you sell. Mouse
traps and Patent Model Traps we have previously sold are found on the PAST SALES TRAP PAGE
Over the years I have found some
good traps for as little as
$1.00 but paid a horrible price for the Royal
in the 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.
these vintage mousetraps look very similar to each
other, but each one pictured is
different, and many of these traps
have patent dates or catchy names like
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.
best working mousetrap I ever had was an economy
size half gallon jar of
grape jelly I left on the counter one night
after 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
trap, and to always have a cat around.
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
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
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
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 AntiqBuyer@gmail.com 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
www.Patented-Antiques.com and visit the sales
pages found there.
Larry & Carole