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Vintage Traps

Although still used for functions including hunting and wildlife control, animal traps have evolved past the era when animals were captured primarily for trade, food, and clothing. Today, thousands of vintage animal traps appear in collector’s markets worldwide, representing an evolution of early functional design and innovation.

Man has trapped animals since the beginning of time, and it’s believed the earliest traps were typically deadfalls and snares. Documented evidence of traps emerged in the 1600s and 1700s, when Swedish and English hunting literature described how to design and use the devices. In North America during the 1700s, blacksmiths began forging metal jaw-style traps, and the first commercial manufacturing of traps began with Sewell Newhouse and the Oneida Community in the late 1800s. Newhouse’s enterprise grew so much that by the early 1900s, two of every three animal traps in the U.S. originated from his factory in Sherrill, New York. Eventually, unregulated trapping and overharvesting through the 19th century forced many governments to enact laws regarding wildlife conservation, ultimately reducing animal trapping and the manufacturing of its equipment.

Vintage traps are both commercially manufactured and handmade. Manufactured traps will typically bear the maker's name. In the U.S., Newhouse, Victor, and Diamond are common corporation names inscribed on traps.


Quick Facts

  • The West Virginia State Museum has a trap once used by Daniel Boone to catch beavers
  • In 2011, an 1880s-era Oneida Newhouse No. 6 bear trap gathered $3,491 on a SoldUSA.com online auction. This style of trap was nicknamed The Great Bear Tamer
  • The mousetrap has 4,400 patents, more than any other device in U.S. history

Recommended Items at Auction

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METAL TRAPS VINTAGE ANTIQUE
Jan 03, 1:00 PM CST
METAL TRAPS VINTAGE ANTIQUE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
IRON ANIMAL TRAP VINTAGE ANTIQUE
Oct 17, 1:00 PM CDT
IRON ANIMAL TRAP VINTAGE ANTIQUE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
METAL TRAPS VINTAGE ANTIQUE
Jan 03, 1:00 PM CST
METAL TRAPS VINTAGE ANTIQUE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
METAL TRAPS VINTAGE ANTIQUE
Jan 03, 1:00 PM CST
METAL TRAPS VINTAGE ANTIQUE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
SNAP TRAP METAL VINTAGE ANTIQUE
Oct 17, 1:00 PM CDT
SNAP TRAP METAL VINTAGE ANTIQUE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
METAL TRAPS VINTAGE ANTIQUE
Jan 03, 1:00 PM CST
METAL TRAPS VINTAGE ANTIQUE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$51 Bid
Early Primitive Fish Netting Trap
Oct 22, 10:00 AM EDT
Early Primitive Fish Netting Trap
by Premier Auction Galleries
Est: $80- $120
$101 Bid
METAL TRAPS VINTAGE ANTIQUE
Jan 03, 1:00 PM CST
METAL TRAPS VINTAGE ANTIQUE
by Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer
Est: $0- $0
$50 Bids
Double spring trap
Oct 04, 9:00 AM EDT
Double spring trap
by Wehrly's Auction Service
Est: $0- $0
$20 Bids
Vintage wood lobster trap
Oct 02, 11:30 PM EDT
Vintage wood lobster trap
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $150- $200
$1250 Bids
Antique animal trap/cage
Oct 01, 11:30 PM EDT
Antique animal trap/cage
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $75- $80
$500 Bids
Antique wood and metal animal cage
Oct 01, 11:30 PM EDT
Antique wood and metal animal cage
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $40- $45
$250 Bids
Rare animal trap circa early 1900s
Oct 01, 11:30 PM EDT
Rare animal trap circa early 1900s
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $175- $200
$1250 Bids
All metal animal trap
Oct 01, 11:30 PM EDT
All metal animal trap
by Baker's Antiques and Auctions
Est: $175- $200
$1250 Bids
Small animal trap and a mopping bucket
Oct 15, 11:00 AM EDT
Small animal trap and a mopping bucket
by TEG Auction Gallery
Est: $0- $0
$100 Bids
Large animal trap
Oct 15, 11:00 AM EDT
Large animal trap
by TEG Auction Gallery
Est: $0- $0
$150 Bids
2 Wire Cage Animal Traps, Poss. KY Shaker
Oct 08, 9:00 AM EDT
2 Wire Cage Animal Traps, Poss. KY Shaker
by Case Antiques, Inc. Auctions & Appraisals
Est: $200- $250
$1000 Bids
A collection of antique animal traps and snares, etc.
Oct 08, 10:00 AM BST
A collection of antique animal traps and snares, etc.
by Rowley Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers
Est: £60- £80
£600 Bids
A collection of antique animal traps and snares, etc.
Oct 08, 10:00 AM BST
A collection of antique animal traps and snares, etc.
by Rowley Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers
Est: £60- £80
£600 Bids

Sellers Who Sell Vintage Traps


Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Col. Christie Hatman, Auctioneer

Rowley Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers

Rowley Fine Art Auctioneers and Valuers

TEG Auction Gallery

TEG Auction Gallery