Antique Trap Collecting Rare Diamond Rabbit Traps Image Credit: FUR-FISH-GAME
Antique Trap Collecting Rare Diamond Rabbit Traps Image Credit: FUR-FISH-GAME

Rare Diamond Rabbit Traps

Antique Trap Collecting

Tom Parr

Diamond Whippet No. 25 rabbit traps were made in the late 1920s for export to Australia, where introduced European rabbits were devouring the native clover. The Whippet is similar in design to an English Gin trap with wavy “toothed” jaws and a wide dog. The Whippet competed directly with the No. 10 Victor Rabbit, a trap already being exported to Australia since about 1910.

I suspect Oneida had saturated the Australian rabbit-trap market before the Whippet came along, and I don’t believe the trap was ever made in large numbers.

Few have made their way back to American collectors. A Diamond Whippet No. 25 in collector condition is a rarity that can bring as much as $300.

Diamond traps began in 1923 when Albert E. Kinsley sold the idea to Lester Beardsley at Norwich Wire Works. Kinsley had spent 15 years as a representative for Oneida Community before leaving in 1913 to help establish the Triumph Trap Company. Kinsley left Triumph in 1922, disgruntled with how the company was being run.

Norwich manufactured a line of wire baskets and containers. They also custom-made wire and sheet metal items. Norwich would produce a complete line of longspring and coilspring Diamond Brand traps, manufacturing roughly 6 million over 8 years. Then, on March 30, 1931, the entire line was sold to Animal Trap Company of Lititz, PA., effectively ending the Diamond Brand.

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