Côte-des-Neiges

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There’s been so much good trash lately that it’s been impossible to keep up. Finds that I’d otherwise have mentioned (particularly in the winter when things are slower) are now being left aside. Regardless, I still have a whole ton of stuff from the last week or two that I definitely want to post here, so if everything goes well I should have a few new posts for you soon.

I was pretty busy yesterday. I found some neat stuff in Rosemont in the evening (I’ll post those finds sometime soon!) and at night went to check out the place in Westmount that I featured in my last post. Along the way however I stopped at this spot in Cote-des-Neiges. I saw a few interesting things here on the previous trash day, and the items being thrown out (including old sewing stuff, a portable record player, and many full expired cans of food) indicated that someone was probably clearing house. I made a mental note to check back in the future, and it paid off big time.

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I love seeing cases like this because there are usually cool old machines inside. It was hiding underneath a black trash bag at the center of the pile.

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This case contained a cool old portable Singer electric sewing machine! I tested it and it works great.

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I just looked this up on eBay. I was thinking that it might be worth a hundred, maybe two hundred dollars. However, it might actually be worth closer to 600$. That’s a lot of money! It’s a beautiful machine, and it’s in really great condition for its age. It also comes with a bunch of accessories. It’s marked as being made in 1951, which was Singer’s 100th year in business.

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This cool Vervant’s Oriental Rugs ashtray was the only non-sewing related item inside the Singer’s accessory tray.

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There was more sewing stuff too.

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None of it was particularly exciting, but I did think this thimble was cooler than most others, even if it’s missing all but one spot of its red enamel.

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In one bag there were several books and some records.

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Another bag contained some old letters, postcards and photos. Oddly, some of them were ripped to pieces, while others were not. A significant amount of the photos were related to swimming and probably from the 1940s. The letters look to have been written in a Slavic language.

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One bag contained a bunch of newspaper clippings, most of which looked to be from the 1940s and relating to swimming competitions.

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I found a stained navy-style hat …

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… that was apparently made in Montreal by a Principle Cap & Sportswear in 1952.

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I also saved some cool cat-eye sunglasses by Martin Wells. These are pretty hip right now and should make me at least 50$. I sold a different pair of Martin Wells frames not too long ago.

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I looked in one bag and saw one of my favourite garbage-related sights: a collection of baubles! Thankfully, they were all inside this one smaller plastic bag, so I didn’t have to rummage around the bottom of the bag as I usually have to.

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There were several key-chains and some pins. The Aztec key-chain on the left is marked as being sterling silver.

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However it was the collection of cufflinks that truly made the collection great. Most are classic vintage pieces, but it was the pair on the bottom right that stuck out most to me. I instantly recognized them as the work of Guy Vidal, the renown Quebec brutalist jewelry designer. I found a bunch of his stuff a few months ago and a reader helped me identify the pieces as his before I sold them at yard sale prices. I sold a pair of earrings by him for around 100$, and I expect the cufflinks to go for a similar amount (though I will be tempted to keep them for myself! I really like Vidal’s work). The things you learn in this business!

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These cufflinks are marked 750, or 18k gold. They weigh around 6.6 grams, so if they’re indeed 18k gold (they do look the part) they’re work around 200$ in scrap gold value. Not bad!

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I’m not done yet though! These two bags had labels on them indicating that they were full of silverware.

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True to their word, they did contain a bunch of nice silver plate cutlery. A few average stainless pieces were mixed in as well.

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A few of the smaller pieces were particularly nice. The tongs (presumably made for sugar cubes) on the far left are marked Heirloom Sterling; the spoon second from the left is marked Birks Sterling; and the spoon third from the left is marked 800 silver. A few others have confusing, foreign, or no markings, so they could be sterling too. The spoon third from the right is an odd one – it has a sort of art deco-y design on the underside (bottom right photo below, click for a better view).

 

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This might be one of the nicest silver pieces though. It’s a tea strainer with a matching crystal drip bowl, both of which are marked as Birks Sterling. I found them in the blue felt bag in the background.

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I found a similar one on eBay that sold for close to 100$. This one looks a bit nicer though, and I think if I sold it at a Buy It Now (or set) price instead of at auction (as this one person did) I could get a bit more for it. Again, I’m tempted to keep it as it’s very beautiful and I love loose-leaf tea.

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I probably gained over a 1000$ in stuff in just one night here. I’m excited to go back in the next weeks and see what else gets tossed! If this is what someone thinks of as trash, I can only imagine what else they might throw out…

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I went to my spot in Westmont after searching through the trash of Cote-des-Neiges. There was nothing there that wasn’t already out when I drove by on Tuesday, long before trash day. I presume these people have finally cleared out.

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Most everything there was junk this time around but I did save a few cool things. I found another rock collection, though this one’s not nearly as interesting as the one from the week before …

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… an antique pewter baby rattle

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(it’s marked W.E.B. Pewter, and seems to sell for around 10$ on eBay)

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… and a cool box of shells!

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The shells are nice, but it’s the box that makes this a cool find.

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I’m not sure how old it is, but from the design I’d guess it was made around the turn of the century or maybe a bit before. I could be wrong, though. What do you think?

I’ve been finding so much stuff these days, and It’s not even the end of the month! Either way, things will be okay if I can keep cranking out blog posts. Things seem to be going a bit faster since I switched to this new format, as this post took only 4-5 hours to finish. It might also help that I’m switching my coffee for tea, as my brain seems to work a bit better (and write a bit faster) when I drink the latter. Anyways, more posts coming soon!

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24 thoughts on “Côte-des-Neiges

  1. luckysparrow says:

    The sewing machine is a Singer Featherweight….highly treasured by quilters. VERY nice find.

  2. Galyn says:

    great post; yes these little posts more frequently are fun to read

  3. That sewing machine is an amazing find….I truly can’t believe some one just tossed it out. As one other person mentioned, quilters love that machine. Also some great jewelry and the cuff links are especially cool. I am partial to that baby rattle since I have a new grand girl!

  4. KerryCan says:

    I have the exact same Singer Featherweight–sweetest-running machine ever! What a great haul you made!

  5. Shirley says:

    What a great haul! Be sure to use the term Featherweight for the sewing machine. These are coveted by quilters, and should bring you a very nice price, especially if there are attachments with it. It looks to be in beautiful condition! Well done!

  6. sharie says:

    People collect the wooden cotton bobbins. I have a friend who thrifts them then when she has a few lists them as one lot. Won’t make a fortune but better than yard sale prices.

    Am shocked that people throw such excellent stuff away like the sewing machine and jewellry. Do they have more money than sense?

    • martng says:

      Thanks for the tip. I think some just don’t care about the money, while others just don’t know what the things are worth. A lot of people look at things and think “it’s old, so it’s useless.”

  7. Man … what a lot of great finds … again!

    Those square rig sailor hats sell for about $40. http://hatguide.co.uk/sailor-cap/ & http://mpmuseum.org/rcn_uniform_ratings1.html

  8. Eve says:

    The sewing machine is gorgeous and seems to be in really good condition.
    It’s hard to believe people would consider this “trash”… Maybe they hope someone (like you) will pick it up. I know I’ve left my fair share of stuff on the curb with the hopes that someone will see a use in them. Nothing was ever that nice though.
    I hope you find that machine a nice home and thank you for saving it!

    • martng says:

      I doubt they put it out thinking about other people taking it. They surrounded it with trash bags making it invisible from the road (you can’t even really see it in the picture). I leave things on the curb a lot as well but always make sure it’s visible to people passing by. Some people just automatically assume that anything old is useless or without value.

  9. sybil says:

    Amazing haul. Congratulations ! Good work.

  10. joe says:

    if i were you i’d Keep the singer,my girl sez the engine’s worthy of an overlock! & in pristine condition?!! think of jeans winter coats patches flags curtains fur sofa covers leather rugs heavy gage clear plastic curtains for the winter porch/balcony transform it easy into hothouse for plants from april on! we did,a better tool you will never find,$ can always be made,proper good for the grandkids killer tools are few & faaar between! (i only buy mostly rebuilt/old tools at this point,the new stuff is no-deposit/no return throwaway!) pat 😉

    • martng says:

      I’m definitely selling this one, I need the money more than I need a 600$ sewing machine ha ha. I have another one already that works fine too. Also, once you’re in this business long enough you start to assume you’ll just find another one at some point down the line.

  11. Erica says:

    Love the frequent posts!! Thx for sharing!!

  12. Billie says:

    I love reading your blog and am so happy for your finds. You are brave to go out at night and go through peoples throwaways. It has paid off.

  13. Joane says:

    Excellent finds. The “Aztec” key ring is actually Peruvian. The figure is Naymlap, ancient Peruvian god and often depicted as a symbol of Peru.

  14. Carol says:

    Wow! Wish the trash around here was as exciting as in Montreal! Love the box…Wondering what you would like to sell it for? I might be interested in purchasing. Thanks

    • martng says:

      I’m not sure yet, haven’t done much research on it (sometimes it’s hard to think of the keywords). Send me an email and maybe we can work something out, though you do have competition.

  15. I am VERY interested in the box with shells. I posted a comment on your Facebook page.

  16. Traci says:

    I’m super excited for you – those are all great finds! I love the new shorter, more frequent posts. Keep up the good work!

  17. […] Thursday night I went to the spot in Cote-des-Neiges that produced the sewing machine and nice old silver a couple weeks ago. There wasn’t much out but I did save a few interesting […]

  18. […] it was worth a detailed look because the people doing the tossing clearly aren’t paying much attention to what they’re getting rid […]

  19. Clever Blonde says:

    Wow. Wow. Wow. What a find! I have a early 1930’s Singer. I think if I had of found the one you’ve now got I would sit on the pavement and cry a good while. I hope it goes to someone who treasures it as it deserves.

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