I braved the cold and the steep hills of Outremont this morning but didn’t come away with much. After going home and relaxing a bit I went to my friends’ on a mission to sort out some of the stuff I have stored in their shed, especially the stuff I found on Tuesday. I focused mostly on the bits, bobs and jewelry.

These are the things that I wanted to keep for myself. The beads in the top box are pretty cool, they look to be made of hand painted dry beans. I took those silver polish mostly for their cool tins. Many of the little boxes and medicine containers are filled with jewelry or beads. There’s also a few different rosaries. I still have some stuff to sort through but here are a few of my favourite finds.


This Narcissus face powder and razor were packed in a little clear bag. The face powder is pretty old, from the 1920s-1930s if what I read is to be believed. It also appears to be unopened. The box is quite beautiful and might be worth a bit, especially with the powder inside. The razor is a “Made in Canada” Gillette marked as being made in 1920. It looks to be in fine shape.


This is a tiny container that once held a free sample of “kiss-proof” lipstick. It was made by Delica Labs Inc of Chicago. The tin is about the diameter of the nickel.


This is a medal from the Congregation Sainte-Anne, a religious institute (or nunnery) up in Vandreuil, now a city off the West Island of Montreal. One of the books I posted about on Tuesday had a note inside about a “Mumsie” who studied at a convent, maybe this was hers. I don’t know much about this medal, so if you happen to have any information about it let us know!


Here’s a few old Bulova watches. Two (the bottom and the left) are wind-ups that seem to work fine. The other is a quartz that needs a new battery, for now I can’t tell if it works. Regardless, the wind-ups should make me a nice chunk of change.


This little jar had a piece of tape glued to it on which was written “Water from Well Nazareth.” It smells like perfume. Either water from Nazareth smells like perfume, someone used an empty perfume bottle to take a water sample but some of the smell stayed, or Water from Well Nazareth is a perfume scent.


Another book with a note telling of its significance. This one reads: “Grandpa’s prize received at the end of the school yr.” The inscription (below) is dated 1890.



Miscellaneous old tins, a couple of cute sewing scissors and some “Made in USA” nail clippers. I like the old tins, the tiny ones are my favourite. The box on the top right is made of stone.


A bit of the jewelry I thought to be notable. The beads seem to be made of carved glass (crystal). The orange-y pendant, according to a pamphlet I found with it, is made of amber resin. The metal on it is silver. The earrings in the middle are sterling silver and made by Bond-Boyd, probably worth around 20-25$. The top earrings have gold clasps. The little white balls attached don’t look special, but they also look like they’ve been hand painted. I scraped a bit of paint off and the metal underneath looks like it could be gold as well. I’m going to try to get the rest of the paint off, maybe using the same technique I used on a holy water font back in the day. If they’re gold it would definitely bump up their value.


These necklaces seemed unique to be and I wondered whether or not they could be made of Bakelite, a collectible vintage plastic that emerged in the early 1900s. I did the hot water test – apparently Bakelite smells like formaldehyde when put under hot water. While the orange necklace on the left smelled fairly normal, the yellow one on the right definitely had a unique funk to it. If it’s indeed Bakelite it would be worth good money, similar looking necklaces on Etsy sell for 80-100$. I’ll need to do more research before I label it as being Bakelite, however.


A few old pins. The one on the top right is sterling silver, made for the Association des Dactylographes (Typographers) du Canada. The one on the bottom is for the “Societe du bon parler francais” (Society of good French speakers), featuring the slogan “parlons mieux” (we talk better) in the middle. I’m not sure what the CIC stands for.


My favourite find though might be these little sewing scissors shaped in the form of a long beaked bird. These are fairly old and also beautifully designed. They have a makers mark on them but I can’t make it out without my magnifying glass handy. I have a bit of thing for bird stuff so I’ll likely keep these for myself!

I’m not sure where I’m going tomorrow morning. If I find something I’ll let you know. Regardless, I’ll probably do a bit more sorting.

10 thoughts on “Kiss-proof”

  1. Some medicines first sold before 1900 persisted for many decades; two of these were Dodd’s Kidney Pills and Carter’s Little Liver Pills. I remember them both (though I never used them). Later on Dodd’s Kidney Pills became simply Dodd’s Pills as the “kidney” claims were, in fact, only “claims”. (Similarly, Carter’s “Little Liver” Pills became Carter’s Little Pills.) Love all those old medicines and medicine bottles/containers. Some of them are quite collectible.

    I remember another container of face powder you found … which I seem to remember you managed to sell.

    You could throw that old Gillette razor into a hydrogen peroxide bath, to sterilize it.

    Those vintage wind-up Bulova watches might get you up to $20 apiece. And maybe $20-$25 for the glass beads?

    If those beads are Bakelite, you could get $100+ for them. (For other tests see

    Are the little heron embroidery scissors silver?

  2. That’s a good link on the bakelite testing. I remember doing the hot pin test… 🙁 love that piece of amber with the pink necklace..looks real and those white earrings look like ivory to me… All those medical etc tins, worth a few $ on ebay for sure! Great items Martin!

    1. Thanks, I will! They’re probably the kind of thing that would sell for a better price as a “buy it now”, but we’ll see if anyone bids

  3. The scissors are typical embrodery scissors. I have a couple of pairs – you can still get these at specialized stores. Yours are vintage scissors and they seem to be in great condition. They are a keeper in my mind.

  4. Not wanting to be the unofficial Office québécois de la langue française, but “Parlons mieux” does not mean “We talk better,” but “Let’s speak better.” It’s the imperative form in French. Your pin is from the “Mouvement parlons mieux,” which was established in 1923, so you have found it on the occasion of its 90th anniversary. Nice coincidence.

    1. I appreciate the correction. I learned the imperative form in school but I forgot of its existence. I assumed they had just left out the “nous” for cosmetic purposes.

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