This is a Cage Trap for small birds, using the same mechanism as the Finch Trap but without the call bird chamber beneath. It was purchased a few years ago as part of our ongoing research and development, but has now been sold.
It’s very difficult to give an accurate age for this trap but I would estimate 50 to 70 years old. The sides of the trap are made from wires threaded through the frame, which is a time consuming and fiddly technique largely abandoned once wire mesh became easy to buy. The base of the trap is made from a thin composite board which did make us think it might have been repaired, but after a little research I was surprised to discover that plywood was invented as early as the 1850s and in widespread use during the 1940s. This then fits in with the estimated age.
There is some beetle damage but the trap has been treated with a recommended insecticide.
The weight and the angle of the door are not enough on there own to keep the trap set. There needs to be enough pressure between the door and the falling perch for friction to hold the two parts stable. In some of the photos below we have used a modern replacement spring for the door and this enables the trap to work perfectly. On one side of the trap there are a few loops of wire around the top rail and this may have been part of a simple spring mechanism.