Roach trap

Object Number: 
1937.1729
Date: 
ca. 1840
Medium: 
Earthenware
Dimensions: 
Overall: 3 3/8 x 5 in. ( 8.6 x 12.7 cm )
Description: 
Beehive-shaped redware cockroach trap with small hole in side near foot and top shaped like an inverted cone with a hole at center; sides unglazed with reeding from top to bottom; top (inverted cone) smooth and covered with clear glaze.
Gallery Label: 
Cockroaches were as much of a nuisance in the nineteenth century as they are today. This ceramic "roach motel" was an inventive solution to the pest problem. The hole near the bottom edge of the hollow trap was corked, then a bait of sweet, sticky molasses was poured into the hole on top. Insects lured by the scent would climb the unglazed, ribbed outside wall to the funnel-shaped well, which was glazed and therefore slippery; then they would slide down into the hole and end up trapped inside.
Credit Line: 
Purchased from Elie Nadelman
Provenance: 
The Folk Art Collection of Elie Nadelman
Due to ongoing research, information about this object is subject to change.
Creative: Tronvig Group