Cleaning up an old holy water font

I’ve been cleaning up in preparation for my move and I found this holy water holder (apparently called a “font”). I rescued it from the trash a while back, and had more or less forgotten about it.

It had white paint on it as was the style sometime in the past, but I thought it would look better without. So, I looked to see if I could find a way to clean it without harsh chemicals.

Thanks to some advice found here, I discovered a good technique that uses only boiling water and baking soda.

Here it is in process. The technique calls for you to use a pot you won’t use to cook again, as paints can be poisonous, and this pot fit the bill.

Now it’s way more shiny. I’m not sure what I’ll do with it: I could put it with my yard sale, or maybe I can get into using holy water, who knows. But, keep this technique in mind if you want to get paint off good metal items, it works pretty well!

Vintage lamp, mobile Scrabble and lots of sewing stuff

Here’s the get from Monday and Tuesday. Monday didn’t produce too much of interest, but Tuesday was a bit more interesting, if a bit more challenging. Let’s get to it starting with Monday:

These two old things (identical, I flipped one upside-down for the picture’s sake) were probably external hard drives. The brand is Lacie and they still make external hard drives, so they must be pretty good at it. Might have been good for a scrap metal guy, but they’re of no use to me.

Found a couple tins of food. The Campbell’s Cream of Mushroom (I seem to find this type pretty often) expired in 2007, so I’m not sure about that, although expiration dates for cans might be more or less pointless. The vine leave things are good to 2013 though, so I’m up either way. The tomato juice didn’t seem to have a date on it. I’ll probably put them (minus the vine leaves) in a free box at my yard sale.

That was pretty much it for Monday. Tuesday I took my bike out for the first time in a while, and covered a lot of ground.

I figured there would be some decent stuff in here, and I was right. However, this person smoked – a lot – and it was a challenge going through some of this stuff without gagging. I did manage to salvage some nice old things though.

This is a pretty cool vintage lamp. It smells like cigarette smoke, so I may need to switch out the electrical part (not too hard a job) and clean the whole thing (also not too hard – vinegar works pretty well). I think it has potential though.

Two very nice vintage tins. Also smelled strongly of smoke. I washed them in the vinegar and they smell better now, but the whites on the top parts (for whatever reason… smoke rises?) may be permanently yellow.

The red one was for “Fox’s Biscuits.” The other is marked “Loch and Ben Lomond,” which I originally expected were people’s names, but it turns out that’s it’s a lake and mountain in Scotland, respectively. The tin is adorned with very attractive nature photographs.

These paintings were under glass, so they should be easy enough to clean. I think they are hand-painted, and seem to have some Chinese symbols on them (though I can’t be sure).

I found another painting near it and it was gorgeous, but it must have bounced out of the milk crate on my bike on the way home. I’m a bit sore about that, honestly. It was small and rectangular, and had really vivid color.

I’m pretty sure these are for getting your car out of an icy patch. Not in perfect shape, but probably better than nothing. I stashed them on this concrete overhang. Maybe they’ll be of use to somebody.

Two knives left of a 5-knife set. The small paring knife was actually really shape.

I liked this painting, but it smelled really bad of smoke and so I left it. Someone couple walking by picked it up though, so maybe it’ll get a good home. I doubt it would stink up a room, so it might work out.

Some of these I found with the above stuff, but some I came across later. They’ll all in pretty good shape, and probably all destined for my yard sale. There’s also a shiny, crystal-y looking rock in there. People are Magpie’s too.

Most of this (other than Scrabble) I found in a different place. There’s two 80s-looking combs, and a bunch of sewing needles. The little container (for old makeup of some kind) also has sewing needles in it. Overall, a lot of different places had old sewing stuff.

The Scrabble thing opened up. I’ve never seen a board like this before. Tiles seem to stay fairly firmly on the surface, so it may come in handy.

Someone through out a ton of luggage! Most were damaged though, other than the little blue one, which was mostly nice. It did smell like basement, though, and I decided it wasn’t worth carrying around. I left it open near some bikes. Maybe if you air it out a while it would be a neat sewing box.

One call ceramic vase (hand done, I believe) and a little brass one. Also, a tub with a lot of pennies. This is why I think it’s probably best that Canada moved on from the penny.

I also found a lot of cutlery and a cutlery holder (the pennies ended up in the bag with them). At my last yard sale I put out a bunch of garbage cutlery for free and it was a hit, so that’s what’ll happen this time as well.

That’s all for now!

Old Silver from the Windsor

Here’s some of the things I found on Thursday. Apologies on the delay: I’ve been pretty busy looking for places to live starting next month. If anyone knows of any 3 bedrooms apartments around the upper part of the Plateau, let me know!

Some nice pottery pieces here. The maple leaf vase has a really wonderful orange glaze. It is stamped “Canada” on the bottom, and a symbol that seems incomplete. The little jug in the middle is marked “Sère du Pays” then “P.G. Ibeit 1978.” Mary in the back is made of ceramic, and the little trophy on the right is marked “Made in Occupied Japan.”

I love that beaver mug in the back. It’s not the type I would generally drink out of, but I can help but adore the Canadianness of it. The bottom is a bit faded out, but seems to read “Hand Designed – Shafford – R.D. 1950.” I found someone selling a similar one on Etsy for 11 bucks.

The light fixture on the right is very beautiful. I’m not sure what era its from, but I would guess that it’d be around the 20s. I found a box of staples and an old heavy metal stapler, but I seem to have misplaced the stapler. The odd looking tool is likely for some type of sewing or fabric work, and is marked “The Fogarty Co. Limited” on the other side.

These two handsome gentlemen make a good pair. The pipe smoker has a glass bottle inside him, and the mouthy guy (with a not fully functional mouth control) is the cork. I don’t think they originally went together though.

I haven’t found garbage bullets before, and now I have a few different types. The big one is a 30-30 Winchester. The medium is marked 9 5, the second smallest is marked D, and the tiniest is marked “Super X”. They’ll probably go into my next yard sale. I had a need for lighter fluid, so finding some is convenient, and oil is always good to have around.

The base is broken off this trophy, but it’s still kind of interesting. On the back are all the names of winners in previous years. It seems to be from 1977, and I think it’s silver plate. The Temple Emanu-el is a Jewish Congregation operating out of Westmount.

And now my favorite find. This (candle stick?) weighs a fair bit. But what’s most interesting is what’s written on the bottom:

This piece belonged to the Windsor Hotel, one of the most ballin’ hotels in Canada’s history. It first opened in 1878 and was pretty awesome, as evidenced by the pictures on Wikipedia.

It’s plate silver, marked “Triple Deposit – Mappin and Webb’s Princes Plate – London Sheffield.” There’s also 6 dots near the bottom, and something that reads “C 25/1.” I figure it’s gotta be collectible to someone. Definitely not a yard sale piece though.

If anyone knows how I can precisely date when this was made, let me know.