For Hockey’s Patent Trap

Provenance: Ex: Ralph Finch Collection, American Glass Gallery

The ‘For Hockey’s Patent Trap’ is an English target ball with an intriguing name and design. The ball has always been popular with collectors.

The glass color for our museum example is bright, medium grass green, and has an embossed pinwheel or swirled-starfish design on both sides with a crosshatch pattern around the perimeter. The 2 5/8″ diameter ball is from a 2-piece mold and has a rough sheared mouth and is in perfect condition. This particular example is especially nice having excellent clarity to the glass.

The For Hockey’s Patent Trap balls are typically found in very light aqua, medium green, smoky green, greenish-aqua; moss green, and clear. We have pictured a number of these examples below and have a few others represented in our museum.

See in our museum a For Hockey’s Patent Trap ball in light green with almost a pale Vaseline color

See in our museum a For Hockety’s Patent Trap ball in aqua with an amber swirl at the bottom that so dark that it is almost black

The Hockey’s Patent Trap target balls were once very rare and now they are relatively common. The balls are smaller than normal target balls and are designed to be tube-fed onto G. H. Hockey’s Self-Feeding Target Trap.

In 1889, George Henry Hockey of Bristol, England developed a self-feeding magazine trap. He stated that the “mechanism prevented target balls from being broken by the jar incident from the beginning of the motion of the throwing arm, but will be thrown forward and given an independent axial rotation, and to construct the standard so that the trap may be easily and securely adjusted to throw a target in any desired direction.”

Here are some examples and descriptions of For Hockey’s Patent Trap balls in other glass colors.

Support Image Above: Lot 126 “For Hockey’s Patent Trap” Target Ball, two-piece mold construction, England, 1875-1900. Spherical with embossed pinwheel on both sides and crosshatch pattern around the perimeter, light to medium sage green, rough sheared mouth, dia. 2 3/8 inches. A scarce ball with an attractive mold design and unusual color. Fine condition. Cindy Gaffney collection. – Norman C. Heckler & Company Auction #159

Support Image Above: Lot 725 “FOR HOCKEY’S PATENT TRAP” Target Ball, England, 1875 – 1900. Light green, almost a pale Vaseline color, embossed pinwheel design on both sides with a crosshatch pattern around the perimeter, 2-piece mold, rough sheared mouth, dia. 2 ½”; (a trace of a little light haze, and a few scattered open surface bubbles). A very scarce color for this mold, and with nice strong embossing. – American Glass Gallery, The Ralph Finch Collection, An Absentee Auction in Six Parts – 2017-2019

Support Image Above: Lot 671 “FOR HOCKEY’S PATENT TRAP” Target Ball, England, 1875 – 1900. Aqua with dense tobacco, virtually black striations swirled through the lower half of the ball, embossed pinwheel design on both sides with a crosshatch pattern around the perimeter, 2-piece mold, rough sheared mouth, dia. 2 5/8”; (a dug ball with some light stain and a 3/8” irides-cent flake on the inside edge of the rough sheared mouth). A unique ball with the dense amber swirls giving it a two-tone appearance. – American Glass Gallery, The Ralph Finch Collection, An Absentee Auction in Six Parts – 2017-2019

Museum Image Spinner: Lot 670 “FOR HOCKEY’S PATENT TRAP” Target Ball, England, 1875 – 1900. Bright, medium grass green, embossed pinwheel design on both sides with a crosshatch pattern around the perimeter, 2-piece mold, rough sheared mouth, dia. 2 5/8”, perfect. These “Hockey Patent Trap” balls are very scarce. They have a pleasing ‘look’, and have always been popular with collectors. This particular example is especially nice having excellent clarity to the glass. – American Glass Gallery, The Ralph Finch Collection, An Absentee Auction in Six Parts – 2017-2019

Support: Trapshooting, The Patriotic Sport, By D. H. Eaton, 1921

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