Last week I joined the eBay Partner Network. Basically, that means I get a cut of their profits when anyone creates an account or buys something after visiting eBay through a link on my blog. I figured I might as well, since I regularly include links to eBay anyways. It might help me make a bit of extra cash, though I’m not expecting it to be super lucrative.

So, if you ever want to buy something off eBay (and not necessarily my stuff) considered getting there by first clicking one of my links. It won’t cost you anything extra, and I’ll make a few bucks. If you’re interested in creating an account, do that through my blog too! Feel free to send me an email if you need any help with the process.

Here’s hoping one of you wants to buy a car on eBay, as the cut of that would be quite nice. Or how about these million dollar earrings? Okay, maybe that’s pushing it.

Anyways, last week was another good one. My spot in NDG again produced some interesting finds.


Inside this bag …


… was a cool 60s mod wall light.


It’s a pretty cool piece that creates a really awesome ambiance. I couldn’t find any marks on it, but I wonder if it could be a designer piece. The bag had something written in parenthesis under the “yellow lamp,” which could maybe be a name. However, I either can’t make out what it says, or the name isn’t well known. It looks like “A Angin.” Either may, it might have some value, although I have a strong appreciation for good lighting and the color yellow.


There were some nice old kitchenwares, including a working mixer (the last setting seems unusually loud, but it might just need some oil) …


a cooking thermometer, in its original box …


a glass juicer (which cleaned up nicely) …


and some old silver plate cutlery.


I also saved a nice framed print featuring the Arc de Triomphe …


a book on Wicca …


an issue of Rolling Stone magazine from 1971 …


a New York Times magazine from 1967, featuring an article on dreaming (I like the handwriting near the top, which says “keep for article on dreaming”) …


and a small copy of the UN Charter, which was apparently bought at the United Nations building in New York in 1952.



I visited Mount Royal on Tuesday night. I’ve been keeping an eye on this spot, since it produced some neat stuff a few weeks back.


This week I opened the recycling bin, and found it was full of books! I took a lot, more than I could handle really. I ended up putting the ones I didn’t want (couldn’t keep might be a more accurate phrase) in the Give Box on St Viateur.


Some of the books were quite old, and in nice condition too. All these sex psychology books were published in the early 1900s by F.A Davis Co. They were all written by Havelock Ellis, save for one by a guy named Huhner. Havelock Ellis was one of the first people to scientifically study homosexuality, and invented the term “eonism.” Eonism apparently means “the adoption of female dress and behaviour by a male”.

I shot this picture using the brass book holder I found at this exact spot. It really makes the books look great! I’m considering keeping it now, as it would help make my eBay book listings extra nice.


Inside the book on eonism were a couple old newspaper clippings featuring stories about men who dressed like women. They’re a fun read for anyone who interested in LGBT issues. Click on the photo for a better view.


Another book contained a couple clippings from 1937 about the murder of a guy by the name of Henri Fissiault …


while another contained a couple of questionable pamphlets. The one on the left advocates choosing a wife based on eugenics. In that school of thought, the quality of one’s genes can be deduced from their facial features and body type, among other things. Needless to say, that was disproved long ago, but not before the holocaust and mass sterilizations in the USA and Canada (which, to no surprise, disproportionally affected native and other minority populations before the program finally ended in 1972).


I enjoyed saving this giant brick of a book.


It’s a dictionary that was published in 1882.


The cover isn’t in good shape, but it should provide some fun nonetheless. A few friends and I have I’ve recently been playing something called the dictionary game, where someone reads a definition from a dictionary and others have to guess what the word is. I imagine this 1882 edition will have some fun old-timey words and phrasing.

There were lots of other books too, including:

a book of poetry by Tennyson from 1923 …

a collection of New Yorker cartoons from 1937 …

a two volume edition of “Outlines of the Life of Shakespeare” from 1889 …

an old book of Rembrandt prints; a book published by Nato in the early 60s about emergency war surgery …

a book about Louis Riel; a book on the history of Montreal (published in 1942) …

a book of Aislin’s cartoons; another compilation of New Yorker cartoons (up to the year 1950) …


and many others! The main themes here seem to be psychology or Canadian history.


The most valuable book might be the DSM II manual, on the left. The DSM is a classification of mental disorders, as determined by the American Psychiatric Association.


The DSM II was published in 1968, and famously included homosexuality as a mental disorder. These manuals are not particularly common, and apparently somewhat collectible. One recently sold for 250$, while mine is only one of two currently listed. The other is set at nearly 625$ with best offer, though I’m not sure if it’s worth that much.

Mine is listed at about 280$, with free shipping. It’s in good condition, though slightly more worn than the others. I may reduce the price slightly if it sits around for a while, but I do expect it to go for a nice sum.


Thursday night brought me back to my spot in NDG.


I opened one bag, and saw an old jewelry box. Some objects rattled within, and I was excited to take a look inside.


I was hoping for another big jewellery haul, but it was not to be. The bottom drawer held some nice incense, a deck of (tarot?) cards, and a really gnarly looking tooth (which can be seen below the red incense, if you’re not too grossed out by such things).


This is the card deck. Any help identifying it would be appreciated!


The top drawer was mostly full of junk. I did save a few things though, including a crystal bead necklace, a ring, and a couple scents in cute bottles.

The box itself was kind of nice, but in need of minor repair. I might be able to fix it up without too much effort.


There was some nice stuff beneath the jewelry box. This container was marked “old coins.”


The coins weren’t super old (mostly from the 1960s), but they still added up to a little more than a buck.


There was a singing bowl. It’s fairly small, measuring maybe 3.5″ in diameter.


There was a nice footed trivet, or at least I think it’s a trivet.


It’s marked “Manning quality, Bowman, Meriden Conn.” on the bottom.


I did find a few bits of jewelry in this little mesh bag.


Many of the pieces were crystal and rocks pendants.


This one ring stuck out from the rest. It also really sticks out from your hand – the stone is held a good half inch or so from the ring hole. It’s marked and tests as sterling silver. There’s a designer mark as well, though I can’t make it out. I posted some pictures of the marks below, if anyone’s interested.


There were a couple of art prints in a box along with some old wrapping paper. This one features a building on McGill College and Sherbrooke. It’s hard to tell if this one is an original or a print, though I suspect it’s the latter.


This is the “One who understands” by Paul Klee. It looks to be a silkscreen print, as it’s definitely made from real paint. I had some hope that it was an original, but it’s likely just a nice museum souvenir.


Let’s finish off with these letters, and a question to you.


I found a bag full of old letters at this spot. Many date back to the 1930s and 1940s.


I haven’t actually looked at them very closely. Many though are from the war years. This ink seal appears on the back of several of the envelopes.


Old letters, like perhaps nothing else provide a glimpse into what life was like “back in the day.”

(The paragraph in the middle reads: “Right now, I’m on a week-end + and not a thing to do – the deadest play on Earth is Moncton I believe”).


(The middle paragraph reads: “We had a very nice crop of potatoes and price is very encouraging. $9.00 at present”).

I’m curious though about what you think of the act of saving old letters from the trash. I’m of the opinion that they have great historical value and should be saved from destruction. However, others might make the argument that looking at old letters is an invasion of privacy, and that they should stay on the curb.

What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

I’ve been finding some pretty great stuff recently… I hope it keeps up this week!

In other news

My eBay score is now over 100, meaning that I’ve received over 100 positive feedback votes. It’s at 105 as I write. I think of this as a sort of milestone. It’s taken a long time, and a lot of sales to get to that level, especially because many people don’t leave feedback. I’m proud of the achievement, and eBay has given me a baby blue star next to my username as a result.

I also got my first negative comment on the blog. It was pretty offensive, with “filthy canuck vermin!” being a phrase of note. I deleted it because it wasn’t really productive, but it was interesting that I finally got one after 3181 comments and 392,599 page views.

Last week’s garbage sales (March 16 – March 22)


1. HP Laptop: On Kijiji for 80$. I finally listed it this week and a couple people emailed me within a day. Found a little over a month ago in Cote St-Luc.


2. Guy Vidal brutalist earrings: On Etsy for 100$. These sold within a day to someone in Ottawa. Featured in last week’s post, and found in NDG.
3. “Krasnaya Moskva” Soviet perfume: On eBay for 25$. I’ve already received positive feedback. Found in Cote-des-Neiges in August of 2014.
4. Order of Ahepa 1958 Supreme Convention program: On eBay for 30$. Found in Ville St Laurent September 2014.
5. Serengeti Solano sunglasses: On eBay for 37$. I forget where I found these, but it was somewhere rich.
6. Box of Israeli phono-card samples: On eBay for 33$. This was one of my oldest finds still in my possession. I found these cards probably six years ago when I still lived in Ottawa. I kept them in mu bookcase for all these years, but figured it was time to move on and listed them on eBay. I’m glad to see them go. FYI: phono-cards were postcards with little records printed on them, and they were somewhat popular in the 50s.


7. Four bird pendants: to a reader for 10$. You can see them mixed in with the jewelry above. Found a couple weeks ago in Hampstead.

Total: 318$, 13439$ since May 18 2014 and 3756$ since the new year began. Another solid week. I’m very happy with my profits of late. It’s crazy how far I’ve come as a seller even just in this last year.

New listings

1. American Psychiatric Association; DSM II SECOND EDITION, 1968 APA
2. Lot of 3 WWII-era felt patches – North Shore Regiment New Brunswick, 2 Canada
3. Vintage 70s Barbudo COSMOS Eyeglasses Frames, 22KT Gold Plated, Made in Spain
4. Vintage Black Martin Wells 50s Eyeglasses Frames, Size 48-24, Made in Australia
5. Vintage Guy Vidal earrings, pewter, 1960s modernist / brutalist style, dangle (SOLD!)
6. Serengeti sunglasses Solano DR 5641, Drivers, Made in Italy (SOLD!)
7. Rare Israel Phono-Cards – Box of Samples (4) – 1950s Judaica, Postcard, Jewish
8. Order Ahepa 32nd Supreme Convention 1958, Boston, Greek Greece American Canadian (SOLD!)

If you have a question, see anything that you’re interesting in buying, or to just want to say hello feel free to email me at I also enjoy reading your comments! Keep in mind that I frequently get behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if I take a few days or weeks to get back to you.

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43 thoughts on “Deviations”

  1. I agree with you about the letters. They might be one of the most personal and genuine historical mediums out there, and can often lend a very sincere view of history. It is exactly this reason that they can also be intrusive.

    I think you should save them, but respect the privacy of their owners by not posting their contents to the internet.

    I can’t imagine there is much of a market for old letters, though.

  2. re the old letters…FOR SURE…please save. there may never be a museum for old letters, but pretty sure you will be able to sell them for ephemera for collage or art projects. Thing is, if someone wanted them truly destroyed, they would have torn them up. These are likely Grandma’s which she saved, and I suspect it would please her to know
    someone values them
    someone learns from them
    someone enjoys art made from them.

    all good.

  3. I think it is a great idea to save old letters from the trash.Do not publish them on the internet if their contents would likely harm the writer or the family.If those letters were that confidential,the person who threw them out should have shred them.Old letters from the trash like the ones you found are definitely worth saving.

  4. Save the letters. Even if the authors are not famous, they still offer a historical window about the time in which they were written.

  5. Wonderful find of ROlling Stone magazine from 1971.I am sure it would sell easily.

  6. Letters

    I bet if you collect up enough over the years they could be made in to a VERY saleable book. Seriously I do. I would, myself, read a book like that.

    Also, if you were able to collect up enough, you could several books, of different types.

    Recipes of …(years)
    Home Maintenance of (years)
    Courting / Dating customs of … (years)
    How to start a Homestead in …(years) (bet you will someday come across letters on this)


      1. if you save / store them safely, I suspect eventually you will have tons to choose from, then you can pick and choose, maybe even work up more than one type of book (love letters/recipes/letters from the front/etc)

        not an expert on this storage stuff, but what I have gleaned over the yrs.
        do not store in plastic or in plastic bags
        sort in cardboard box, maybe several boxes if different kinds/sets of letters
        put a small open container of baking soda, or t ball (something with holes) of baking soda in each box, this will absorb any moisture.

        also, throw in bit of rice as this too will help absorb mositure

          1. I hope so. at the least toss them into cardboard box,
            shoebox is good, and put in the baking soda/rice.

            I have often often heard that (for ex) pictures which were stored in photo albums (plastic) or Tupperware disintegrate within yrs, but that often very old photos tossed loose in a shoe box last over a hundred yrs.

  7. Letters should be kept! They are fascinating and really give a true picture of real life! So glad you found them.

  8. as someone involved in family history research for over 40yrs, I say keep the letters, check with the library for an archivist that might want them; also you might email this person and you can read about him online:
    and hopefully find contact info for him

  9. Personnellement, je pense que les lampes jaunes, c’était tout simplement écris “Changing” Have a nice day 🙂

  10. I’m a historian (based in Scotland, UK) and I say keep them. There is a real interest in letters (and diaries) from the past, as they do provide unique insights into the everyday lives of those who write and receive them. There are lots of collectors of these kinds of things, and here in the UK there have been a number of successful books created on the basis of collections of letters and diaries sold at auctions – see e.g. Tommy’s War (

  11. I am a long-time reader, first-time poster (I think!), and a HUGE fan of your scavenging, online selling business, and wonderful blog.

    My vote is also to keep the letters. The ephemera (even if it’s simply insight into day-to-day musings of everyday people) have irreplaceable historic value.

    I use to frequent Goodwill Outlet stores, and I once found similar handwritten correspondence and photographs that had essentially been left as trash from a family I traced to a small town in Indiana, USA (where I live). By chance, the town had an historical society and welcomed the treasures.

    As an amateur genealogist, it is my firm belief that even though the immediate family may discard these personal items when an elder moves or passes away, there is someone somewhere that would treasure them.

    Keep up the great work!

    1. Glad you like the blog! I’m glad you returned those letters to their origins. I’m sure future generations will be very happy to have them

  12. I think the letters have great historical value and should possibly go to a worthy archivist where they would be scanned/microfiched. Perhaps the presence of the military stamp would lead to that direction.

  13. Hope that eBay Partner Network association pays off for you.

    That op-art style lamp is cool, and the glow is very mellow when lit. I Googled, but couldn’t find anything like it. That said, (if you’re not keeping it yourself) you could probably price it along the lines of some of the lamps on this page

    Your Paris print looks to be by Arno Beijk, a Dutch Artist. Here are a couple of other examples & &

    You sure found a lot of interesting and saleable books and ephemera! (i.e.,The Old Quebec one is listed for $25

    Your grandma’s a big fan of Louis Riel. I don’t know if she’s read that book, or not.
    I’d be interested in the Arctic Adventure by Peter Freuchen.

    That’s a big old heavy-looking ring with the sweet perfume bottles. Is it silver? Some interesting jewelry in this week’s finds.

    A singing bowl … how interesting! Maybe it goes along with the Wicca book. Some of those crystals were probably used for divination/wellbeing.

    This might help you, re: the Paul Klee.

    As for the letters … keep them. They have historical value. I would be happy to sort through them, maybe as a summer project.

    Congratulations on your ebay score milestone! 😀

    1. I’ll bring Grandma some books when I get down. I figured she’d like some of these.

      I tend to be bearish on book prices for “average” books. There’s three of those “Old Quebec” books on eBay, but no indication that have sold. eBay listings for books are cheaper (I think free, or 5 cents a month, compared to 30 cents for most other listings) because the market is so oriented towards listing and waiting. I might get 20$ for one if I wait long enough, but I’d be happy just to get a couple bucks at a yard sale (and not have to store the thing for a potentially long time).

      Thanks! I’m at 108 now, so maybe I’ll be at 200 soon enough.

  14. Those books look awesome on that book holder, definitely needs to be a keeper! I also love the colours and the 50’s look of that Arc de Triomphe print.
    I’ve saved a few letters myself, I love the old writing, the paper, the stamps, all of it. With technology today, letters are a dying “art”.

  15. dude,those are italian playing cards,find a north-ish italian & he can explain the games to you,pat 😉

  16. It saddens me how people toss stuff so thoughtlessly. So much could have gone to GoodWill or Valu Village. Glad you do what you do.

    The letters are treasures.

    If you know someone with an “Ancestry” account they could perhaps find the family they belong to. However, you cannot find living people on Ancestry because of confidentiality.

    I think my favourite thing you found were the little perfume bottles …

  17. It is wonderful that you are searching the trash and recycling bins of NDG more often.NDG can be a great hunting ground because it has a community of 70,000-plus people with a very large anglo population and also by and large a reasonably affluent area.Keep this up;your findings are wonderful.

  18. I can only admire your great discoveries.We have some old books by Havelock Ellis at home.I read chapters in them occasionally and I love them.I would never throw them out.A pity someone threw them out.Those Havelock Ellis books you found are valuable and could get you a pretty penny.

  19. In many boroughs now the garbage pickup and recycling pickup are done on the same day.Those neighborhoods are a boon for you,and you can find much more treasures in those areas.However,in Westmount recycling and garbage are picked up on separate days.I am pretty sure you do not check out the recycling bins in Westmount because recycling pick-up day in Westmount is Wednesday morning or afternoon.I sometimes find and rescue great magazines,books,letters and postcards from Westmount recycling bins while I am there.I am out of the country one-third of the time for work.But I do check out the recycling bins in Westmount briefly everytime I go for a walk or do early morning jogging runs.Westmount recycling bins can be very rich in treasures for people like you.It is too bad for you that Town of Mount Royal has garbage and recycling pickup on Wednesday mornings too.

    1. I’ve never found that going out only for recycling is worth the time, unless there’s a certain place that is tossing tonnes of stuff. The best trash days are the ones where recycling and garbage are the same day (Mount Royal, Verdun, NDG do this, among others). I wish more neighbourhoods would do that.

  20. Great haul again…. Congrats on the eBay milestone and you have another coming up of 1000 LIKES, that’s the one that was beyond cool for me… negative comments yea I’ve gotten more than my fair share and you have a far larger following than me… Letters are a great find as I have as tub from an old time radio actor thst have been sitting around for some time now. Interested in the clover necklace you have pictured above… let me know you can message me or canningwithcathy. …

  21. Just wondering can you tell me anything more about the print. I can tell you it’s the last thing I need but I like it!

    1. I used the acid test, look up silver acid test on google. You can buy little kits on eBay for not too much.

      1. yup, sharp would be a problem..

        thought they went to a lot of work for april fools.

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