A better mousetrap


These are the tools and creations of Joseph depicted in a 15th century triptych of the Annunciation. They're great tools, and the whole work is really fascinating on a lot of levels. The Met (which owns the Cloisters where the picture hangs) claims the complex device shown here is a mouse trap. I invite anyone with a theory on how it works to post a comment.

Comments

Cian of Storvik said…
Do a search for "following trappe". And in particular an article from 1992 called "Unmasking Mascall's Mouse traps".
The trap pictured is incomplete (probably why it's still on a work bench) and in a 'sprung' state, which is why you're probably scratching your head.
Cian,
Your search fu is strong! I found the article you were pointing me towards, and it helped a lot. Thanks!
Gaston
Here's a link to the article which might work, though a google search is probably more reliable:
http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1022&context=vpc15

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