Furs & Trapping






This large selection of trapping and fur-related items originated primarily from the fur and hide buying houses in St. Louis, a center for this activity from the earliest days of the settlement of the western territories.  Hillcrest has been faulted on occasion because we catalogue old trapping materials.  We feel, however, that to neglect a part of our history that played such a major role in our lives (especially rural folks) would be like disregarding the Louisiana Purchase or the settling of the great Western Territories.  Regardless of how one may now feel about the taking of fur-bearing animals, at one time it meant the difference between having clothes to wear or food on the table and destitution.  The excesses of the past have a way of catching up with the human race, but please accept these offerings in the spirit in which they are given:  A tribute to all those who kept food on the table and clothes on their children, and in rare moments, enjoyed a good Jack London or Joseph Altsheler book. 


The mailing envelopes measure 4'' x 9-1/2'' w/end flap; most are two-color, illustrated with Funsten bldg and/or animal vignettes. Most of these are chipped, chewed, and fragile. The condition of the contents is noted. The large materials are all folded to fit this envelope. Return envelope measures 3-3/8'' x 6", many illustrations w/two color raccoon, others with large typography. Fur tags are two-part (for inside and outside parcel), 2-5/8" x 8-1/8” heavy label stock. Most are two color. We have seen very effective mountings of these items displayed in homes, board rooms, sporting goods stores, clothing stores, barber shops, pubs, etc. They are great conversation pieces and are always highly prized.  

00724-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak. FUNSTEN BROS & CO. St. Louis, Mo, Jan 11, 1924.  1) Worn, illustrated envelope; 2) 9'' x 11-1/2” pink flyer- "Fur Buyers Special" -printed one side; 3) pr pink fur buyers tags.  $8.00

00725-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak. FUNSTEN BROS & CO, St. Louis, MO. Jan 30, 1924.  1) Worn, chipped, illustrated envelope; 2) 9” x 11-1/2” pink flyer urging buyers to ship now!;  3) pr pink ship tags.  $8.00

00726-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak. FUNSTEN BROS & CO, St. Louis, MO, Mar, 1923.   1)Badly worn, illustrated envelope; 2) 4” x 8'' pink illustrated trapping supplies flyer;  3) postcard order form; 4) pr fur tags. $12.00

00728-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak. FUNSTEN BROS & CO, St. Louis, Mo. Feb 7, 1923.  1) Fair, illustrated envelope;  2) 12” x 19" broadsheet one side Texas fur prices, other is huge ha1f-tones of Funsten staff in group photo and large picture of round fur grading table w/furs being sorted by staff;  3) 9" x 11-1/2” pink flyer dated Feb 6, 1924, "Market Still Strong", 4) pr pink fur tags. $25.00

00729-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak. FUNSTEN BROS & CO, St. Louis, Mo. Feb 2, 1920.  1) Worn, illustrated envelope; 2) Two color 12" x 19" broadsheet w/Texas prices, animals and distinctive typography on other side, bug chews at two folds; 3) return env; 4) pr fur tags. $10.00

00730-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak. FUNSTEN BROS & CO. St. Louis, Mo. Jan 17, 1920.  1) badly bug chewed window envelope; 2) Personal letter w/illustrated heading to Mr. F. Luehr of Yoakum, TX thanking him for previous correspondence (bug chews); 3) return env; 4) 2 pr fur tags.  $8.00

00731-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak.* FUNSTEN BROS & CO, St. Louis, Mo.  Feb 2, 1920.  1) chewed, illustrated envelope; 2) 12" x 19'' two-co1or broadsheet w/Tex. prices and animals, bug chews at fold; 3) return env.  $3.00

00733-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak. FUNSTEN BROS & CO. St. Louis, MO. Feb 13, 1924.  1) chewed, illustrated envelope, etc; 2) Telegram mail piece w/message to fur buyers; 3) faded pink fur tag. $3.00

00734-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak. FUNSTEN BROS & CO. St. Louis, Mo. Mar 1, 1920.  1) badly chewed, illustrated envelope;  2) 12-1/2” x 18-1/2” broadsheet w/Tex prices and two color typographies (chewed at folds); 3) 8-1/2” x 12-1/2” merchandise flyer containing nice illustrations offering hoop nets, trot line sets, pocket watch, pipe, overalls, jumpers, pants, headlamps, carbide lamps, Funsten Bowie knife (1 illustration damaged by chew); 4) return envelope;  5) pr fur tags. $12.00

00735-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak.* FUNSTEN BROS & CO. St. Louis, Mo. Mar 1, 1920.   1) badly chewed env;  2) 12" x 19" broadside w/Texas prices and two color typographies (chew in fold); 3) merchandise flyer as above in No. 00734; 4) return env; 5)pr fur buying tags. $6.00

00737-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak. FUNSTEN BROS & CO. St. Louis, Mo. ca 1920. 1) badly chewed window env; 2) invoice for furs sent; 3) printed mailer insert w/note of appreciation for business; 4) return env; 5) pr fur tags. $3.00

00739-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak. FUNSTEN BROS & CO. St. Louis, Mo. Dec 28, 1923.  1) illustrated envelope, pencil note on envelope by addressee -''wate of hog 313 lb on foot, 272 lb drast (dressed); little hog- 115 lb on foot, 96 lb. drast"; 2) 9" x 11” pink flyer- "More Furs Wanted"- printed one side; 3) pr pink fur tag. $9.00

00740-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak.* FUNSTEN BROS & CO. St. Louis, Mo. Jan 17, 1924.  1) Illustrated envelope; 2) 9” x 11-1/2” pink flyer-"Fur Market Again Higher" -printed one side; 3) pr pink fur tags. $8.00

00745-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak. FUNSTEN BROS & CO. St. Louis, Mo. Mar 15, 1920.  1) badly chewed illustrated envelope; 2) chewed broadsheet; 3) return env; 4) pr fur tags. $4.00

00746-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak. FUNSTEN BROS & CO. St. Louis, Mo. Feb 14, 1921.  1) badly chewed, illustrated envelope; 2) 12-1/2” x 18½" broadsheet w/Texas prices, illustrated heading, 1arge typo.; 3) 2 fur tags. $12.00

00747-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak. FUNSTEN BRO & CO. St. Louis, Mo. Feb 4, 1921.  1) Illustrated envelope; 2) 12-1/2" x 18-1/2" broadsheet w/Texas prices, large typo, illustrated heading; 3) 2 pr fur tags. $14.00

00753-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak. FUNSTEN BROS & CO. St. Louis. Mo. Jan 17, 1924.  1) Chipped, illustrated envelope; 2) Telegram mail piece w/message to fur buyers; 3) special attention shipping card; 4) pr fur tags. $3.00

00754-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak. FUNSTEN BROS & CO. St. Louis, Mo. Jan 5, 1924.  1) Chipped, illustrated envelope; 2) telegram mail piece w/message to fur buyers; 3) pr pink fur tags.  $3.00

00756-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak. FUNSTEN BROS & CO. St. Louis, Mo. Mar 2, 1920.  1) Badly chipped, illustrated window envelope; 2) chipped invoice for furs shipped; 3) 8-1/2" x 11" illustrated flyer on the cattle, horse and mule hide market on one side, other side on goatskins, sheep pelts and roots, herbs, barks, leaves.  Illustration of ginseng and goldenseal plants. 4) return envelope; 5) pr fur tags.  $12.00

00765-B0990QRT- Catalogue- FUNSTEN BROS & CO. St. Louis, Mo. ca early 1920s. It's badly damaged, but a colorful selection of trapping supplies is preserved. Covers loose. Front cover is separated down center by bug chews. Page heads and bottoms bug chewed into typography. Of the appx seventy-five illustrations, about nine are damaged in some way. Large, colorful illustrations of traps, water sets, trap placer, trap teeth, blow horns, shot trap gun (an extremely dangerous device and now illegal), harness stitcher, safety razor set, pocket and hunting knives, hair clipper; carbide lamps, lanterns and stoves, flashlights, carbide, spitzdevil ("Scares 'em out with a shower of sparks and smoke"), Stevens and Savage small calibre rifles, pistols; colorful center page spread on animal baits with vignettes of games all around page edges, tents, camp stoves, compasses; pocket watches, smokers, hunting clothes and boots, blankets, several pages on "How to Grade Furs" and ''Trapping Methods", game 1aws for various states. Lots here for reference and use in your own graphics. The co1orful illustrations will scan well with today’s repro methods. 2) order post card; 3) pr fur tags. All. $35.00


Following fur buying paks are from Abraham Fur Co, St. Louis. The mailing and return envelopes and tags have large stylized typographics and two-color raccoon 1ogo. The 5-1/2" x 8-3/4" f1ier has a sty1ized heading with raccoon, a twenty-four fur shipping check list and a twenty-one item bait order list. Back side is order blank. All pieces are genera1ly age darkened and as described otherwise.

00780-B0990QRT- Fur buying pak. ABRAHAM FUR CO. St. Louis, Mo. Jan 2, 1924.  1) Badly chipped envelope; 2) 12" x 9" orange price list (chewed along top); 3) return envelope; 4) pr fur tags. All. $3.00

05028-M0696EAHR- Booklets- SCHMIDT SCHOOL OF TAXIDERMY, Memphis, TN.  ca 1920. Personal Training In TAXIDERMY. A Guide for Properly Skinning and Mounting Subjects of Nature; Written and Prepared by  a Practicing Professional Taxidermist, Alfred C. Schmidt, B.S. Book II--Mounting Birds, Toughness Of Bird Skins, Special Treatment Of Wings,  Special Treatment Of Legs. Book VI--Mounting Large Animals, Three Methods of Body Making,  Making Rugs, Tanning. Detailed, well illustrated instructions. Light cover soil, one has a wrinkle. Ea is 5-1/2" x 8-1/4" x 12 and 20pp. Both. $23.00  

07081-M0595EESC- Bulletin- USDA FARMERS’ BULLETIN NO. 1449, Laws Relating to Fur animals For The Season 1925-26. Appears to have laws of all states and Canadian provinces. Some foxing and bug chews in top margin of first few pages. 6”x 9-5/8”x 29pp. $12.00  

06089-M0198EAKE- Booklet- MABLEY & CREWS, Cincinnati 2, Ohio. THE ROMANCE OF FURS, cprt 1946 by Cramer-Tobias-Meyer. Nicely done promotional book. Beautiful color cover plate. Treats the history and wearing of furs. Also pictures some 28 fur bearing animals and habitat, etc. It seems we have seen a similar booklet under another name. We suspect that the copyright holders were manufacturing furriers or similar, and granted their department store accounts the right to print under their name and distribute to their customers. Lightly soiled white covers w/ink inscription. 8"x 10-3/4"x 32pp. $28.00

05029-M0696CEEE- Catalogue- JACK C. MILES STUDIOS, Denver, CO. Cat No.7, 1947. Taxidermy Supplies. Paper forms for all kinds of animals, ear liners, glass eyes, celluloid teeth sets, lamp fixtures, rug head forms, currier's knife, wire stapler, foot fittings, pinking machine, etc. Well illustrated. Printed letter and picture from Gov Ed C. Johnson of Colorado. Back page has pictures of "Buffalo Bill" William F. Cody and "Pawnee Bill" G. W. Lillie along w/reproduction of their signed letters of testimony and letter head of the combined show of these two from 1914. They used the Miles Co extensively for their taxidermy work. Center fold and crease. Obscure archival tissue repairs and reinforcing to gutter fold and margin edge center fold. On coated stock paper, well illustrated. 9" x 12" x 12pp. $58.00

01071-B0990Q- Catalogue- SEDLAK TRAPPER SUPPLIES. Belle Vernon, PA, 1970. Minor cover soiling. 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" x 24pp Paperback w/inserts. $10.00

00484-B0990QRT- Catalogue- O. L. BUTCHER'S TRAPPING SUPPLIES, Shushan, NY, 1972. Slight cover soiling. 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" x 32pp. $9.00

01072-B0990Q- Catalogue- THOMPSON'S SUPPLY CATALOGUE. Raymond Thompson Co., Outfitters-Manufacturers. Alderwood, ME, 1974. Trappers supplies. Some cover soiling. 7" x 8-1/2" x 24pp. Paperback, w/inserts. $10.00

00481-B0990QRT- Catalogue- D. HERZINGER FUR & ROOT CO. TRAPPING SUPPLIES, Arnold, Mo, 1976. Very good. 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" x 36pp. $9.00

00483-B0990QRT- Catalogue- CLARK TRAP SUPPLY, Genesco, IL, 1977. Very good. 5-1/2" x 8½" x 30pp. $9.00

00479-B0990QRT- Catalogue- MESLER TRAPPING SUPPLIES, West Burlington, IA, 1977. Very good. 5-1/2" x 8-1/2" x 32pp. $9.00

07220-M0406EEEE- Book- HOME MANUFACTURE OF FURS AND SKINS, Albert B. Farnham, Published by A. R. Harding (They are also the publisher of Fur, Fish and Game magazine.), Columbus, Ohio. This book was originally published in 1916 when Harding was in St. Louis. More were reprinted in the 1940’s. Although not stated, this edition is from the 1970’s. Some mistakenly state that this is a first edtion. Farnham, the author, was a furrier and taxidermist and sets forth complete instructions telling how to tan, dress, color and make into articles of ornament, wear, use, various furs and skins; quite thorough, including traditional methods. Illustrated with black and white photographs and line drawings. Farnham writes quite ably on a little-documented subject. The book contains useful information on secrets of the furrier trade (particularly diagrams on piecing of skins) Historians will also appreciate the sections on fashions in fur, materials costs, and furrier wages. The Chapters are: Some Facts and General Principles for Fur and Skin Workers; Correct Modes of Skinning Fur Animals; Stretching and Curing Fur Skins; Handling Other Skins and Hides; Storing and Shipping Raw Furs; Indian Skin Dressing; Indian Fur Robes; Tools and Appliances for Tanning and Dressing; Tanning Materials and Terms; Tanning Formulas and Recipes; Preliminary Work Soaking Fleshing Degreasing; Softening and Cleaning Skins; Small or Light Furs; Heavy Furs; Deer Skins and Buckskin; Sheep and Goat Skins; Miscellaneous Skins Gator Snake Birds Etc; Fur Dyeing - Uses and Principles; Dyeing Material and Appliances; Colors and Formulas; Furriers' Tools and Supplies; Making Up Furs and Garments; Fur Robes; Fur Rugs with and without Mounted Heads; Trimmings and Natural Heads and Tails; Collars Cuffs and Odd Pieces; Coats and Capes; Caps Mittens and Gloves; Muffs and Neckpieces; Moccasins and Pacs; Utilizing Fur Waste; Cleaning Repairing and Storing; Prices for Tanning and Other Fur Work; followed by an appendix. Book is soft cover. Almost like new condition. 4-3/4”x 6-1/2”x 283pp plus 5 pp publishers ads for additional works. $28.00






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