Poésies d’amitié


I got up early this morning, ate breakfast (my signature fried egg and avocado sandwich) with tea and went out to Rosemont. I considered going to Ahuntsic to spice things up a bit but in the end I felt too tired to go that far out of my way. It’s about 15 minutes just to get to the closest part of Ahuntsic while this section of Rosemont is only a few blocks from home.

I’m happy I stuck with Rosemont. I actually found some cool stuff (both old and new) this time around. I came across this pile on St Dominique near Dante.


Inside one of the black bags were three cell phones. I’d bet the flip phones work but the Blackberry looks to have a busted screen. They have value still and they’ll eventually go into an Ebay lot auction once I have enough phones to make it worth while. I currently have six including those two I found last week.


There was also a bunch of change. Don’t get too excited, those things that look like toonies are actually Italian lira. Still, there was about three dollars in usable change.

I put all foreign coins in a jar. I’m not sure what I’ll do with them, though when friends go travelling I sometimes give them the money I have from that country.

It seems silly to throw coins in the trash when there’s people walking around looking for cans every trash day. If you really don’t want your change I’d suggest just throwing it on the sidewalk, people will be happy to pick it up. This change is worth around 15 of the big cans and 30 of the small and it takes much less time to process.


I saw this little box of fishing gear on Fabre. I doubt the rods are much good but the reels look fine. There’s also a couple plastic containers full of fake worms and other things typically used in fishing.


In another spot I found a box full of kitchen utensils and glasses. There wasn’t much I needed but I opened the box so that passer-bys could see inside. I took these two nice beer glasses.


My favourite finds came from this spot on Boyer. The contents of the bags looked to have belonged to an older person. There were bags full of Christmas stuff, some of kitchen / bathroom stuff, and also some more interesting stuff.


There was a fair bit of candle making paraphernalia. I took some wax (“new” in box) and two small containers of candle adhesive that feature a fairly politically incorrect logo.


There was also a good quantity of party-related supplies. I took this 1950s-era product made for labelling drinks (to help you make sure each person gets the right drink, of course). It’s fittingly called “Rite-Drink.” I googled the name but didn’t find anything like it. I guess it never took off. Still, it’s definitely got kitsch value.


Some vintage sparklers made in West Germany.


These two Catholic pieces were hidden inside a little metal Sucrets tin. They look to be made of silver. They’re both quite old, the one one the left being from 1960 and the one on the right 1950.


This is the back of the one on the right. It was made to be hammered onto a door in recognition of the 1950 “Holy Year” proclaimed by Pope Pius.


I’m not really sure what this is. It’s marked as sterling silver and looks like it’s meant to stand tall. It’s only 10 cm tall though and makes for an odd decoration. There’s looks to be a handwritten letter engraved on the bottom, maybe an E (the picture is below if that helps). Any ideas as to what it could be?



These books have the potential to be the most interesting finds of all – “potentially” because my limited French makes them hard to read. Still, I know enough to understand the basic themes. The one on the left, dated 1898, is a “recueil de poesies d’amitié”, or a collection of love poems. The bottom one is titled “notes et pensées” (notes and thoughts), most of which are very religious and existentially based. Based on the style of the binding I’d say it was written around the same time as the other. Both are written by a “Côté” – the right by a Hélena and the other by what looks like a L.J.V.

These could be pretty cool to look through, too bad I’m not the guy who can do it. If I sit down and focus on them for a while (with a French-English dictionary at my side) I should be able to understand a bit more what is going on but it would still take a native French speaker to truly comprehend the various subtleties at play.

These could be brilliant works or they might not. Regardless, any kind of written word from this time frame is pretty intriguing, and knowing that in all likelihood these writings are totally unique is pretty satisfying. At the very least the handwriting is quite beautiful!

If you’d like a closer look, the top three pictures below are from the black book, the other two from the red.


I went home and took pictures of all the things above. I wanted to eat something before I started writing so I decided to walk to a nearby Vietnamese place to get a tofu banh mi. I saw these bags on the way and decided to take a look. Inside were some fairly useful things. I left a few items on top of the bags for others to find, including some candles and a few decent purses. For myself I took some more spare change (a quarter and some dimes) and…


…a working iPhone 3g. I charged it with a docking station I had previously found in TMR. The screen is pretty cracked but the touch screen actually works fine. I can’t use it because of the password but it’s still worth close to 30 bucks on Ebay. Now I have 7 phones to sell on Ebay, I’ll wait to find a couple more before I do an auction.

This was a pretty good day. I found some cool stuff, some of which has some monetary value and the weather was beautiful once again. It’s 5:15 and I’d like to take a nap but I may go out for the Thursday evening Rosemont route. I think this streak of warm weather may be encouraging people to do some cleaning. Basically, I’m feeling lucky.

18 thoughts on “Poésies d’amitié”

  1. that silver thing made to stand tall, looks maybe to be a monogram stamp?

    interesting day.

    1. That silver stamp is indeed meant to stand tall, it would have sat on a desk. Before envelopes with adhesive was available people would seal their letters with sealing wax and impress their stamp into it. That is what you have and it looks like it might be Edwardian and even possibly Victorian. I would strongly suggest you post to the ebay boards for some free expert opinions. Super nice find!!

  2. just enlarged the bottom of the silver thing, and it sure looks to me like a monogram, two letters superimposed. also has an edge around it, so , drop some wax (don’t know if you can use regular wax, or if need to get monogram wax to work right), stamp this thing down, and you wil reverse the monogram.

    try taking it to a store which sells high quality writing pens/paper, and they likely can tell you/ might try it out for you.

    1. I think you guys got it, this is definitely it. It looks to be from the late 1800s which is pretty cool. The ones on Ebay seem to sell for between 40-65$. Still, I’m not in a rush to sell it, I like having cool old silver stuff around.

  3. Lynn beat me to it re: the monogram letter stamp.

    You know I’d be picking up any loose change off the road. 🙂

    Great books. Hope they find a home with someone who can do them justice … a French writer maybe?

      1. Thanks for translating that bit. I read a bit from “Au Cemetiere” today and it sounded pretty interesting, I have high hopes for the rest of the work

  4. First time commenting – first, I love reading about your finds! You are inspiring me to give the sidewalks on trash day a closer look. For your hit with Christmas stuff that looked like it belonged to an older person, I just wanted to mention that there is some value to vintage Christmas items like mercury glass ornaments and silver tinsel, especially if you can find them in their original packaging. An ebay search for “vintage christmas” will give you some examples.

  5. Great finds! To me, the letter of the seal is a stylized B. I love reading about your findings! Keep up the good work!

  6. I wonder if maybe the lira was thrown away because Italy may have switched to the Euro now, I don’t know for sure though!

    1. I think they still have trade-in value. I’m not sure though… I see this a lot, people who collect coins from their travels but end up ditching them when they eventually move.

      1. I have to admit I’ve thrown away pennies in the past when in a panic on the last day before immigrating, but never more than that and I’d never do it now! XD Hopefully they’ll have trade in value.

  7. I think it would be interesting to see what a group of people would “pick” if they found the same trash as you. I would mostly skip over all the computer, cellphone, stuff and go only for the vintage chic decor stuff.

    Do you feel like you miss out on the socialization that a nine to five job would bring?

    1. I wonder that as well. I know there are definitely things I leave behind for various reasons that others might take. Part of that is garbage fatigue, once you see the same thing 100 times you just take it for granted that they will occasionally go to waste. Those little wicker baskets might be a good example, I rarely take them but see them everywhere.

      I don’t find that too much. My work is mostly solitary but I do sometimes have social interaction on the job. I also live with a bunch of people so it’s hard to get too isolated!

  8. Great that you start off your expeditions with a fried egg and avocado sandwich.Both are energy foods,high in nutrition.

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