Recent sales: February

I sold a lot of things in February but didn’t make much money overall. Still, it was enough to pay the bills and I was glad to get some stuff out of the house.

1. Artur Rubinstein signature, framed: On eBay for 200$. Not bad eh?

2. Small box of Expo 67 slides: On eBay for 25$. I usually sell Expo 67 slides for between 1.25$ and 1.60$ each, depending on the quality.

3. Sheaffer Imperial I fountain pen: On eBay for 30$.

4. Givenchy Gentleman after-shave: On eBay for 45$. Only one left now. Found in the Plateau.

5. WWII-era Colgate’s kit bag: On eBay for 25$. Found in the Mile End.

6. Sherman brooch: On eBay for 70$. Sherman really did make some nice stuff. Found in the Plateau.

7. Cidopey slides: On eBay for 20$ (auction). I’m not sure why this old Richard Corben comic was in slide form, but it seems that someone on eBay appreciated it. The slides are now in England. Found in Outremont.

8. Vintage beer labels: On eBay for 61$ (auction). I’m pretty happy with how this auction turned out. These beer labels were pretty cool, dating back to the late 40s or 50s, and were lucky to survive their trip to the trash bag undamaged. Found in St-Michel.

9. Butterscotch bakelite beads: On eBay for 20.50$ (auction). It seems that the red bakelite beads are more valuable than the butterscotch. The more you know! Found years ago in Park Ex.

10. Vintage ring box: On eBay for 20$. Found in Cote-des-Neiges.

11. Skiing devil printer’s block: On eBay for 30$. Those printing blocks I found a while back were cool but not particularly valuable. Still, this one eventually sold for a decent price. Found in Montreal West.

12. Leslie Block dangle earrings: On eBay for 100$. These sold quickly for a lot more than I originally expected. Found in Snowdon.

13. Esterbrook flo-master: On eBay for 20$. Found in TMR.

14. Christian Dior Dune: On eBay for 40$. Part of that excellent perfume collection I found a while back in TMR.

15. Rachel Zoe bracelet: On eBay for 30$. One of last year’s McGill move-out day finds.

16. Silver clothes brush: On eBay for 30$.

17. Frontier Town cuff bracelet: On eBay for 20$. Found in St-Michel.

18. Tom & Jerry “Carmen get it” film reel: On eBay for 30$. Found in Outremont.

19. Walter Boss mouse figurine: On eBay for 40$. Found in Westmount.

20. Wabasso 10k gold 35 year service pin: On eBay for 50$. I sent this via lettermail and apparently it hasn’t arrived yet. If it doesn’t show up soon, I’ll have to issue a refund. Sometimes lettermail travels very slowly (I once had an envelope arrive around three months late), but it’s substantially cheaper than any other service offered by Canada Post. Found in Rosemont.

21. Unicef watch: On eBay for 12$.

22. WWII carbine rifle carrying case: On eBay for 25$. Found in Rosemont near Olympic Stadium.

23. 1950s Valle’s Steakhouse restaurant menu: On eBay for 25$. I love old restaurant menus. Found in Verdun.

24. Robert Larin cast pewter brutalist necklace, for repair: On eBay for 40$. As mentioned in a recent post.

25. Western Digital 1TB DVR Expander: On eBay for 80$. This is one of those things that’s impossible to test without the right equipment. It’s a bit of risky selling electronics without fully testing them, but I really wanted that 80$. The machine turned on, came from a general electronics purge (including iPods) in a wealthy neighbourhood (indicating that the devices were probably “obsolete” and not broken), and was in good cosmetic condition, so I deemed the risk to be low. So far, so good. Found in Westmount.

26. Single Georg Jensen cufflink: On eBay for 35$. Found in TMR.

27. McIntosh speaker product sheet: On eBay for 20$.

28. WWII needle sterilizer: On eBay for 30$. Found in Outremont.

29. Vintage Seiko automatic watch, for repair: On eBay for 25$. The automatic mechanism seemed to work fine, but it wouldn’t wind using the crown. Still, it was a neat old watch. Found in Rosemont.

30. Vintage 10cc BD syringe: On eBay for 40$. Found in Hampstead.

31. WWII soldier’s sewing kit: On eBay for 25$.

32. Mid Century Orrefors art glass vase: On eBay for 80$. Soon to appear in another post!

33. Prescription Ray-Bans: On eBay for 25$. Found in St-Michel.

34. Seiko chronograph watch, for repair: On eBay for 40$. I couldn’t get this thing to work but it still sold for a good price. It was in pretty good cosmetic condition. Found in Westmount.

35. Empty Montblanc pen box: On eBay for 30$.

36. Raquette Lake girls camp yearbook: On eBay for 35$. A fun nostalgia piece!

Total: 1461$, 4085.50$ so far in 2018.

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Questionable judgment pt.1

My success as a trash picker depends largely on the questionable judgment of others. Sometimes I can totally understand how someone can misvalue their belongings – there’s a prevalent assumption that old things are worthless, for example. Other times it blows my mind what people abandon on the curb.

This spot fit the latter description and was one of my favourite providers for a couple months in the fall. Every week I was saving something vintage or novel, and a few of those finds are candidates for my upcoming “Best of 2017” post. Some of you might recall the heavy silver dish I found way back and sold to my jeweler for an easy 425$ – I found that the first night I stopped here. The art dump above came sometime later on.

That painting with the horses is pretty cool (if a little damaged). I don’t have a good photo of it right now, so it’ll have to wait for another post. This still life drawing of some flowers ended up being a nice find, however. It languished in my garage for a couple months before I gave it a closer look.

Only then did I notice the “Muhlstock” signature below one of the leaves. It looks like the signature of Louis Muhlstock, a noted Montreal-based Jewish painter. His most valuable works are his street scenes and sketches of the working class, but his other works have value as well. I wonder if selling this through an art auctioneer like Heffel might be my best choice – if you have any advice, let me know in the comments! The frame is a little busted, but the work itself is in fine shape.

That first night I saved a bunch of old framed photos from the bin. A lot of the frames were moisture damaged, but most of the actual photos were in decent condition. Some were taken by the Notman & Sons studio, which was a big deal in Montreal back in the day. These will be available at one of my yard sales if you’re interested!

This 1932 McGill yearbook was probably the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. It features a lot of great photos and art, including several pages of silkscreen prints – take a closer look below. I sold it to a reader for 20$, which I think is a good deal for a book like this.

I also found a framed magazine article featuring the signature of Artur Rubinstein, the famed Polish pianist. This recently sold on eBay for a good price and I got positive feedback to boot. It’ll be featured in my next sales post, but if you want to guess its value feel free to do so in the poll below.

There’s a lot more to share, but I’m having some writer’s block so I’ll leave it at that. My luck has been okay lately, some quality finds but nothing incredible.


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Weird work / garbology pt.4

I recently did an interview with the folks at Weird Work. I usually hate the sound of my own voice but I was pretty happy with how it turned out! I had a good time talking with interviewer Sam Balter, and I think the episode does a great job detailing my work in a succinct and light-hearted way. Listen to it here, or find it on iTunes, Apple Podcasts, or Spotify. It’s about 23 minutes long.

I hired a friend the other day using some of the money donated by you readers (thank you again!). She helped me take some of the photos for this post (including the glamour shot above) as well as the photos of the vintage dresses from another recent post. I’ll probably hire her again next week as my garage has officially become a complete disaster zone – there’s lots of pictures to be taken, and lots of stuff that needs to be organized.

I haven’t found anything at this spot over the past few weeks, but I’m optimistic that maybe it’ll produce more quality junk sometime soon. I can see some black garbage bags sitting just inside the front window, so someone just needs to bring them out to the curb.

Vintage lovers should love this post – it features all kinds of awesome old junk. Those cat salt and pepper shakers are made of the same type of thin plastic as the Aunt Jemima shaker from a few posts back. That plastic is pretty fragile, so the cats were lucky to survive their trip to the black garbage bag. The angry pickle shaker is destined for a friend of mine who matches it perfectly.

I always enjoy finding button collections. Here’s the contents of that bag in the first picture spread across three of those tin toy platters. Zoom in to see if there’s any you like! You’ll have to come to my yard sale to buy any though.

As usual there was a bit of miscellanea mixed in with the buttons. Here we have a cool pair of cufflinks, an amusement token of some kind, a squished 1938 penny, three WWII era buttons, and a Catholic charm.

I found some nice Fire King stuff including that sugar dish above (I also have the lid). Below you’ll see a couple of the matching cups. Those goggles at the bottom right are unusual, have you seen anything like them before?

A friend made a candle inside that Truro Nova Scotia cup, which was made in 1960 to celebrate the city’s bicentennial. Those old Corneli pizza mugs are great restaurant ware – on the bottom of each is marked “Maddock Ultra Vitrified, Made in England.” Corneli’s opened in 1960, so perhaps these mugs are from the early days of the restaurant. The restaurant is still around today – impressive longevity considering the industry.

There’s another old transistor radio battery on the right. It’ll end up on eBay at some point, after I accumulate a larger collection. At top left is a liquor permit issued in Amherst Nova Scotia in 1950.

Here we have a cute framed panda (which seems to be painted on foam), a collection of swizzle sticks, a deck of nudie cards, a Labatt 50 table lighter, more Red Rose figurines, and lots of other stuff. Zoom in for a closer look!

Here’s a few more Red Rose tea card albums, a postcard from Morrissey Rock NB, and an old beaded purse.

Lots of salt and peppers shakers here! There’s also a couple Queen Elizabeth trading cards, an Avon perfume bottle made to look like a Coleman lamp, a skeleton key, a pin from the Cuban Pavillion of Expo 67, a rosary, and a 1955 magazine titled “Annales de Notre-Dame de L’Assomption.”

Lots of fun junk in here! This person must have liked kickboxing, as the program at top right is the second I found at this spot. This one is from a fight in Paquetville NB, and also doubled as an hommage to hometown hero Jean Yves Theriault.

I don’t think anything in this post is particularly valuable, but I think a lot of it will sell for between 50 cents and 5$ at a yard sale. That can add up pretty fast!

I’ll write at least one more post in this series. Hopefully more, if those bags appear on the curb sometime in the near future and contain some goodies!

Otherwise, my luck has been only okay recently. NDG has been my most productive neighbourhood of late. I found myself in Ville St Laurent on Thursday – I saved a bag of buttons and other crafting stuff, a vintage “à louer” sign from the era of the 7 digit phone number, and a Last Supper print with a super kitsch 60s frame. I also saved some cool stuff in Ahunstic, and met some homeowners who were more than happy to give me some of their old junk. Maybe I’ll share that story in more detail on a future post.

Here’s hoping there’s a warm weekend coming up in March. I’d like to get a little yard sale in, even if it’s not the “big one” at my garage. I need the cash, and would love to unload some of my treasures. I’ll consider pulling the trigger if the weather is calling for full sun, no wind, and a high of at least 6 degrees.


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2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to
6. Follow me on Instagram

Email: I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.

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