Thursday, July 29, 2010


In 1992, I attended a high-end antique show and there saw for the first time the original mousetrap photographed on the left. I loved this Rube Goldberg-esque thing, but I wasn't willing to part with $1,200.00 to make it my own. I remembered and pined for that little trap for 16 years until a couple years ago I saw it again it in an antiques magazine. I called the owner to ask if I could pay him for additional photos and/or measurements...I wanted to make one for myself I explained. The trap was not for sale on it's own but was part of a very large collection he was hoping to place with a collector or museum. The gentleman was so kind he sent me the trap...didn't know me from Adam but figured any guy obsessed with mousetraps like he was could be trusted.
The trap came in the post and I set to making a copy post haste. Three days later, I had what I thought was a near perfect and functional copy. It was the smithing and patinating of the iron components, the main spring especially that was the most time consuming.
I made my copy from black ash burl but I believe the original trap was made from birch burl. The name burned with a furniture makers hallmark on the back is "H.N. Kleametsta". The 'e' and the 'a' were conjoined letters indicative of a Scandinavian name and if indeed this is birch wood then most likely the original was made in Sweden or Norway but Minnesota is also a possibility.
5.75" long

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