Privilege pt.3 (and more miscellaneous finds)


The finds at the “privilege” spot began to dry up after I came across that iPad, but I still managed a few nice gets.


I found a Tilley hat that looks to have never been worn. These hats are made in Canada (a rarity these days) and are considered “legendary” by many. I remember my dad having a very similar hat at some point. They look to sell for around 40-50$ used.


Here’s another like-new hat. This one went into my yard sale box.


I expect this hardly used Marc Jacobs purse will go for a tidy sum on eBay.


Here’s some random stuff, including a bike repair tool (never opened), a bluetooth speaker (which I sold recently for 27$), and a tiny camera made to fit on your keychain.


There were a few flower pots, one of which nicely matched one of my plants.


I also found a cool Fossil watch. It needed a battery, but I switched it out and now it works like new. It’s a nice design, and again looks to have been barely used. I listed it on eBay for 110$ + shipping.

The house now has a huge dumpster out front. The new owners are doing some renovations. That’s a common cycle actually, to the point where I now perceive the presence of a dumpster to be a missed opportunity. When I see them I always wonder if I could have found some great garbage there in the weeks and months prior, when perhaps the previous owner was getting ready to move or was clearing out the house. Either way, I can’t worry too much about that kind of stuff, as it’s clear I find more than enough garbage as it is!


I’ve made some other decent finds in the past few weeks, including a handful of change in the Plateau; …


… a cool vintage Victor “His Master’s Voice” belt buckle (Plateau);


… a debit machine, which is unfortunately missing a part of its power adapter (though this might be easily replaced – TMR);


… a gold-toned hammer of some kind (TMR);


… some coins, old bills, and other stuff (TMR);


… a nice kid’s tea set (TMR);


… more foreign coins and bills (TMR);


… an “Oh! Canada” board game / educational kit, which was distributed for free to Canadians in the 1970s by Trudeau appointee Keith Spicer in an attempt to promote bilingualism (Montreal West);


… an unusual, and probably hand made electronic device of some kind (any ideas as to what it was made to do? – Plateau);


… a camera / gimbal for a drone, which while likely broken still sold recently for a nice sum (TMR);


… and a few small boxes of printing blocks (Montreal West). These things are actually pretty cool. Many are solid and brass, and altogether they are very heavy. I think most were made between the 60s and 80s. I don’t expect they’re worth selling on eBay (particularly given the cost to ship a package that heavy) but I think they’ll be a hit at a future yard sale!

37 thoughts on “Privilege pt.3 (and more miscellaneous finds)”

  1. Gadzooks, you’re sure finding a lot of great stuff, and quite a few are larger money items.
    Given the gold tone, the lack of wear and the fact you found it in TMR, I’m thinking that hammer might have been used for some ceremonial purpose.
    Your electronic device looks like it could be used for reanimating the Frankenstein monster. 😀

  2. Love your blog. Thanks for saving stuff from the dumpster and providing entertainment for the rest of us. The purse is actually a Michael Kors (not Marc Jacobs). Good luck with your current sales!

    1. Oh right, I get those two mixed up sometimes. Not to make sure I didn’t make the same mistake on my eBay listing.

  3. That switched box could be a continuity tester or a switchable resistance box of some kind…..need to see what is inside to be more specific.

  4. i think the hammer is from “joke” gift sets, along the lines of hammer and glass enclosed case with one cigarette/or / one chocolate bar / etc , in it, with printing on case “use this hammer to break glass, in case of emergency”. It is rather too “decorative” for much else, unless it is more practical than it looks? (these used to be very common gag gifts)

    the “plant pot”
    I wonder if that is rather a “Chinese Fish Bowl”. I did a quick goolge on images under that, and it seems similar?

    again, great finds.

    1. You might be right about the hammer. It seems pretty sturdy (and it’s pretty heavy) but I don’t think there’s any practical reason to give it a nice gold finish.

      As for the pot, there is a hole in the bottom making it useless for fish bowl purposes.

      1. ah re the hole in bottom of pot, of course it might have been “put in”…

        re the hammer, the reason I suggested what I did, is sometime long ago, I was around when someone got a gag gift like that, and it seems similar.

        all good.

        Maybe you should check that hammer for markings, one would be best to make sure it doesn’t have gold markings before you peddle it at a garage sale, grin…

        if not
        you could peddle it as
        a Leprechaun’s gold mining hammer. (who knows, maybe so)

  5. oh..had a thought, on handmade electronic device..

    it looks to me like a child/youth science assignment/science fair experiment…

    1. Good point. I was actually wavering between whether it was a kids tea or not. I think I chose wrong. Maybe I’ll keep it myself, come to think of it. I like tea.

  6. Hi Martin,

    I found a 1/20 14K gold filled Cross pen, which has a persons name monogrammed on it. Would someone buy it this way or would it be better for scrapping from your experience?


    1. I actually going to ask my jeweler next time whether or not he buys gold filled. Most people don’t but some do. You will have to ask around to find someone who buys gold-filled for scrap, though you can also list it on eBay and people will buy it there.

      It depends how intrusive the monogram is. If it’s noticeable then it would likely decrease it’s value. I think these pens usually go for between 10-30$ online, before shipping. Maybe a bit more if you have the original box or case, or if it’s a special design. You could always try selling it on eBay, and seeing if someone bites.

      Here are some prices realized with similar pens

      1. OK, thanks for taking the time to give such a thorough answer and I will look into it further. You really have some awesome finds and I hope you decide to write a book one day to inspire other to reuse, reduce and donate whenever possible. One thing I hope you do, is back up the pictures you have on your website, just in case they are ever lost. It’s really cool how you have an archive over the years and it would be a shame to lose it all, if that website had problems/hacked.

        1. I plan on trying to write some kind of book at some point, perhaps soon. We’ll see how it goes. Ideally it would make me a bit of money.

          Good idea with the backing up… I’ve been thinking about it but haven’t done anything yet.

  7. Congratulations on finding loose change and valuable coins in the Plateau.While continuing to search in distant boroughs,you must not ignore the Plateau and the neighboring borough of Plateau.A lot of great stuff still gets thrown out very often in the Plateau.Maybe you can bike around in the Plateau and Rosemont more often and save fuel costs on some days.

    1. I do bike around the Plateau on a regular basis, particularly now that it’s warmer out. I enjoy the exercise. Plus, driving around the Plateau isn’t very effective, considering all the lights and one ways – it’s more stressful than anything. There’s not often a lot to find in the Plateau, and there are a lot of other pickers but I still find treasures there on occasion, and like I said it’s a good excuse to get on my bike.

      Rosemont I used to do every week, but not so much anymore. That’s another route that’s mostly just annoying to do by car (the western section moreso than the eastern one, which is fairly car friendly). Maybe I’ll try to get out there again when it gets warmer out. It’s actually a good trash day – most areas are picked up once a week, with a recycling day at the same time as the garbage. I also like the neighbourhood and the history.

      1. I’d be interested in the printing blocks – I’m a letterpress printer. 🙂 I suspect these particular ones were for foilstamping (basically letterpress + heat) since you say they are mostly brass and copper. If you could estimate a coat for shipping them to California (94122), let’s chat! Do you have an equivalent to flat rate postal boxes in Canada?

  8. Martin,I love your blog and your pioneering work.Do not give up this work of yours.I am a socialist who supports the idea of Guaranteed Annual Mimimum income for everyone in Quebec.This idea is gaining legitimacy in Quebec political circles and among the populace;in Ontario it is seriously being considered.Even Justin Trudeau is considering it and likes the idea.This would lift more folks out of poverty and replace part of the expensive welfare bureaucracy.Please support this idea and promote it.Citizens like you who have a popular blog can be very helpful in promoting this.Please do so.In turn I will promote your blog.

    1. I like the idea of the Guaranteed Minimum Income. I’m unlikely to mention it on the blog though, as I like my posts to be mostly apolitical. I don’t think most people care about my political views, and making a big deal about something or another is likely just to turn off people who may disagree with me.

  9. I like your find of printing blocks – they were probably used in letter-press production as decorative inserts. Do some research about print production from the 40s to the 60s before you let these beauties go! I love to follow you on your treasure hunting expeditions. If you ever find an old prosthetic (wooden) arm, let me know. Someone stole my precious one, It’s almost irreplaceable. G

    1. I’d guess they’re from the later part of that period, maybe the 50s at earliest. They’re pretty neat regardless. If I find a prosthetic arm it will definitely make the blog! Those go for some good money

  10. This story from The JOURNAL DE MONTRÉAL of March 13,2016 shows how bailiffs evicted
    a 73 year-old man with a large collection of artefacts and memorabilia for nonpayment of debt and threw out most of his artefacts in a landfill.This is very heartless.Let us change the laws.Please read this story.Can we help him by driving to the landfill and digging out his artifacts?

    Toute sa vie Ă  la poubelle

    Un aßné expulsé de sa résidence a vu un huissier envoyer la majorité de ses biens au dépotoir



    ComplĂštement atterrĂ©, l’expulsĂ© a simplement pris quelques effets personnels alors que l’ensemble de ses souvenirs partait vers le site d’enfouissement. Le vieil homme trĂšs religieux avait une centaine de statuettes qui ont toutes Ă©tĂ© jetĂ©es Ă  la poubelle.

    photo Nicolas Saillant
    ComplĂštement atterrĂ©, l’expulsĂ© a simplement pris quelques effets personnels alors que l’ensemble de ses souvenirs partait vers le site d’enfouissement. Le vieil homme trĂšs religieux avait une centaine de statuettes qui ont toutes Ă©tĂ© jetĂ©es Ă  la poubelle.

    Nicolas Saillant

    Nicolas Saillant

    Samedi, 12 mars 2016 21:16

    MISE Ă  JOUR Samedi, 12 mars 2016 21:16

    Victime d’une disposition du nouveau Code de procĂ©dure civile, un homme de 73 ans de LĂ©vis qui s’est fait saisir sa rĂ©sidence pour une dette non payĂ©e a vu les huissiers disposer de tous ses biens, quittant ainsi une vie de souvenir avec Ă  peine quelques vĂȘtements.

    Depuis le dĂ©but de l’annĂ©e, les huissiers exĂ©cutant un avis d’expulsion sont contraints par la loi Ă  agir avec beaucoup plus de force lorsque vient le temps d’expulser un mauvais payeur de sa rĂ©sidence. Sous l’ancien rĂ©gime, les huissiers vidant une maison pouvaient d’abord placer les biens au bord de la rue. Des employĂ©s municipaux venaient ramasser les objets pour les entreposer pendant 30 jours.

    Ce dĂ©lai permettait ainsi Ă  la personne ou la famille expulsĂ©e d’avoir quelques jours pour se trouver un nouveau logis, puis rĂ©cupĂ©rer ses biens. Or, depuis 2016, tous les effets personnels laissĂ©s dans une maison saisie sont dorĂ©navant «rĂ©putĂ©s abandonnĂ©s». C’est donc dire que ces biens doivent ĂȘtre vendus, donnĂ©s ou mĂȘme jetĂ©s sur-le-champ.

    «On n’a pas le choix, on est liĂ© au nouveau Code de procĂ©dure civile. Par contre, on n’est pas nĂ©cessairement d’accord avec cette nouvelle maniĂšre de procĂ©der», admet Patrick Bigaouette, huissier de l’étude ParĂ©, Ouellet, Bigaouette et associĂ©s.

    Tristes situations

    ComplĂštement atterrĂ©, l’expulsĂ© a simplement pris quelques effets personnels alors que l’ensemble de ses souvenirs partait vers le site d’enfouissement. Le vieil homme trĂšs religieux avait une centaine de statuettes qui ont toutes Ă©tĂ© jetĂ©es Ă  la poubelle.

    photo Nicolas Saillant

    La saisie d’une demeure par un crĂ©ancier impayĂ© est un concept non contestable, mais la façon dont les huissiers doivent maintenant disposer des biens des expulsĂ©s crĂ©e un malaise dans le milieu.

    Si la plupart des mauvais payeurs partent dans les cinq jours allouĂ©s, certaines personnes s’obstinent jusqu’à l’expulsion. «Les gens ne rĂ©alisent pas qu’on a le droit et l’obligation de disposer de leurs meubles», explique M. Bigaouette.

    Cette situation est arrivĂ©e Ă  un homme de 73 ans de LĂ©vis. En vertu d’une dette de 81 000 $, le crĂ©ancier a entamĂ© des procĂ©dures en aoĂ»t dernier pour que soit saisie la rĂ©sidence du dĂ©biteur et ainsi ĂȘtre payĂ©. AprĂšs avoir reçu un avis d’expulsion cinq jours plus tĂŽt, le vieil homme a vu dĂ©barquer un huissier et un serrurier dĂšs 8 h le matin.

    OĂč dormir ?

    Sans malice aucune, mais complĂštement atterrĂ©, l’expulsĂ© a ainsi vu des dĂ©mĂ©nageurs remplir de ses souvenirs un camion qui s’est directement dirigĂ© vers un site d’enfouissement. «Ils viennent dĂ©valiser ce matin», a plaidĂ© le pauvre homme en pleurant lĂ©gĂšrement.

    L’expulsĂ© a ainsi Ă©tĂ© littĂ©ralement dĂ©pouillĂ© de tout en quelques heures. «Je n’ai plus rien, je ne sais mĂȘme pas oĂč je vais dormir Ă  soir», lĂąche-t-il.

    «Pas le courage»

    EncouragĂ© par l’huissier et un policier de LĂ©vis Ă  mettre le plus d’objets possible dans sa voiture avant son dĂ©part, l’expulsĂ© rĂ©pondait tout simplement «je n’ai pas le courage». «J’ai apportĂ© l’essentiel: mon linge, mon agenda pour Ă©crire, mes livres de priĂšres c’est ce que j’ai amené», a-t-il finalement Ă©numĂ©rĂ©.

    Quittant les lieux avec sa voiture vers une ressource proposĂ©e par le policier, l’homme a ainsi abandonnĂ© le reste de ses souvenirs. Comme le veut la nouvelle loi, les dĂ©mĂ©nageurs, quelques acheteurs et un organisme de bienfaisance sont ensuite venus piger dans les biens du pauvre homme pendant deux jours, tellement il y avait de matĂ©riel.

    Une journée cauchemardesque

    8 h

    ArrivĂ©e de l’huissier et d’un serrurier au domicile de la rue Penin, Ă  Saint-Jean-Chrysostome.

    8 h 35

    Une employĂ©e de la Ville vient s’assurer que les objets seront correctement dirigĂ©s vers le site d’enfouissement ou l’écocentre.

    9 h 05

    Arrivée des déménageurs.

    9 h 20

    Un policier récupÚre au moins 6 armes à feu.

    9 h 45

    Le policier convainc l’expulsĂ© de prendre plus d’effets personnels.

    9 h 50

    Arrivée de la Ressourcerie de Lévis.

    10 h

    Deux acheteurs appelĂ©s par l’huissier se prĂ©sentent, prĂȘts Ă  acheter les piĂšces de valeur.

    10 h 10

    L’homme de 73 ans quitte sa rĂ©sidence pour la derniĂšre fois. « Vous ne pourrez pas revenir », prĂ©viennent les responsables.

    Le lendemain

    Les dĂ©mĂ©nageurs prĂ©voient faire un dernier voyage vers le site d’enfouissement pour vider complĂštement la rĂ©sidence et la redonner au crĂ©ancier.

    Nouveau Code de procédure civile 693

    Lors de l’expulsion, si le dĂ©biteur laisse des meubles dans l’immeuble, il est rĂ©putĂ© les avoir abandonnĂ©s et l’huissier peut les vendre au profit du crĂ©ancier, les donner Ă  un organisme de bienfaisance s’ils ne sont pas susceptibles d’ĂȘtre vendus ou, s’ils ne peuvent ĂȘtre donnĂ©s, en disposer autrement Ă  son grĂ©.

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    Michael Cuddy

    Michael Cuddy

    5 jours plus tĂŽt

    bonjour a tous,cette nouvelle m’as enormement Ă©branlĂ©..Alors j’ai fait une recherche pour savoir,SI par hasard il y avait des statues religieuses a vendre receamment,,et oui j’ai retrouvĂ© les statues du viel homme a vendre sur kijiji a quebec un certain mr nolet de la rue laurent a a vendre beaucoup

    1. This was a very sad story and I feel like driving the 300 miles to help this man recover his possessions. I translated this article for people like me, who read this blog, but don’t understand the french language, here it is:

      All his life in the trash

      A senior evicted from his residence saw an usher send most of its goods to the dump



      Completely overwhelmed, the expelled simply took some belongings while all of his memories was going to the landfill. The old man was very religious one hundred statuettes which have been thrown away.

      Photo Nicolas Saillant
      Completely overwhelmed, the expelled simply took some belongings while all of his memories was going to the landfill. The old man was very religious one hundred statuettes which have been thrown away.

      Nicolas Saillant

      Nicolas Saillant

      Saturday, March 12, 2016 9:16 p.m.

      UPDATE Saturday, March 12, 2016 9:16 p.m.

      Victim of a provision of the new Code of Civil Procedure, a 73-year LĂ©vis who made seize his residence for an unpaid debt saw bailiffs have all his property and leaving a life of remembrance with a Just a few clothes.

      Since the beginning of the year, bailiffs executing an eviction notice is required by law to act with more force when it comes to evict a deadbeat his residence. Under the old regime, bailiffs emptying a house could first put the property on the edge of the street. Municipal workers were picking up items to store them for 30 days.

      This period and allowed the person or the evicted family to have a few days to find a new home, then retrieve his property. But since 2016, all personal effects left in a foreclosed home are now “deemed abandoned.” That is to say that the property must be sold, donated or even thrown on the spot.

      “We have no choice, it is linked to the new Code of Civil Procedure. By cons, we do not necessarily agree with this new way of proceeding, “admits Patrick Bigaouette, bailiff of ParĂ© study, Ouellet, Bigaouette and associates.

      sad situations

      Completely overwhelmed, the expelled simply took some belongings while all of his memories was going to the landfill. The old man was very religious one hundred statuettes which have been thrown away.

      Photo Nicolas Saillant

      Entering a default by an unpaid creditor is not debatable concept, but how bailiffs should now have the expelled goods creates discomfort in the middle.

      While most defaulters depart within five days allocated, some people persist until the expulsion. “People do not realize that we have the right and obligation to dispose of their furniture,” says Bigaouette.

      This situation has reached a 73-year LĂ©vis. Under a debt of $ 81,000, the creditor has initiated procedures last August that is before the residence of the debtor and thus be paid. After receiving an eviction notice five days earlier, the old man saw land a bailiff and a locksmith from 8 am.

      Or sleep ?

      Without any malice, but completely thunderstruck, the deportee has seen movers fill his memories a truck that was directly taken to a landfill. “They just robbed this morning,” pleaded the poor man crying slightly.

      The expelled has been literally stripped of everything in a few hours. “I have nothing more, I do not even know where I’ll sleep tonight,” he loose.

      “Not courage”

      Encouraged by the bailiff and a police officer from LĂ©vis to put as many objects as possible in his car before his departure, the expelled answered simply “I do not have the courage.” “I brought the essentials: my clothes, my diary to write, my prayer books is what I brought,” said he finally listed.

      Leaving the scene in his car to a resource provided by the police, the man has abandoned the rest of his memories. As is the new law, the movers, few buyers and a charity came next dip into the property of the poor man for two days, so there was equipment.

      A nightmarish day

      8 pm

      Arrival of the bailiff and a locksmith to the home of the Penin Street in Saint-Jean-Chrysostome.

      8 h 35

      An employee of the City is to ensure that the objects will be properly directed to the landfill or the eco-center.

      9 h 05

      Movers arrive.

      9 h 20

      A policeman recovers at least six guns.

      9 h 45

      The officer convinces deported to take more personal belongings.

      9 h 50

      Ressourcerie arrival of Levis.

      10 am

      Two buyers called by the bailiff present, ready to buy valuable pieces.

      10 h 10

      The 73 year old man left his home for the last time. “You can not come back,” warn those responsible.

      The next day

      The movers provide to make one last trip to the landfill to empty the residence and give back to the creditor.

      New Code of Civil Procedure 693

      During the eviction, if the debtor leaves the furniture in the building, it is deemed to have abandoned and the bailiff can sell them to the creditor, give them to a charity if they are not likely to be sold or, if they can not be given, otherwise dispose of at will.



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      Michael Cuddy

      Michael Cuddy

      5 days ago

      Hello everyone, this news made me enormously ébranlé..Alors I did a search to find out IF by chance there were religious statues for sale receamment ,, and yes I found the statues of the man viel sale quebec on kijiji has a certain mr laurent nolet the street aa lot sale

      1. HUGELY sad.

        it horrific. I truly hope someone can help this man. Can you just imagine how lost/depressed/hopeless he feels?…too horrific.

        As if this is not bad enough, I have seen in the news several other similar sort of cases..

        two I recall.

        one an elderly man, live(d) in his home..big collector of memorabilia and such. Some do gooders feel he is just a hoarder (it looked like collectibles to me in pics), and should be forced to institution and stuff junked/sold.

        another, an elderly woman, already forced in to a seniors residence. Managed to take some boxes of stuff with her. Staff/do gooders there, (at the seniors residence) , insist the boxes of stuff is junk, and she is just a hoarder, and she has to give it up, or get evicted…


  11. I used to have an oh Canada board game when I was a kid. So neat to see it again. â˜ș

  12. We live in a civilized society.The government,the law or municpality has no right to throw out the elderly man’s artifacts ,memorabilia and stuff in the landfill.They could have evicted him legally but still
    must have stored his stuff for one or three months for him or his family members to retrieve his belongings.This is very cruel and barbaric.No.No.No.This should not be allowed to happen.

  13. This is a shockingly sad story.I thank your reader for posting this story on your blog.What an idiot handled this eviction!To send valuable religious figurines and memorabilia as well as furniture to the landfill is environmentally unfriendly;of course it is very callous to do this to an elderly man or woman,or any other resident too.The bailiff was a callous idiot.

  14. I have sold individual printer’s blocks for as much as $100 and some can go for even more. I would not assume that yours only have yard sale value without doing some research first.

    1. Maybe you’re right. Looking up “printers blocks” on eBay provides better search results than what I was looking up before. I’ll look into it.

  15. ”because I wanted to clean it up with some CLR first (and was hoping to find some in the garbage).”

    AWH! that’s right… eventhough CLR is pretty costly at the store (enough for thinking twice before picking it up…) WE FIND THIS quite REGULARLY on garbage runs… and 20$ white plastic medium kitchen garbages… with the black liner and the pedal in perfect working order. Perhaps it’s taboo to use the garbage from a former tenant? badluck? same with a half full thing of CLR forgotten under the bathroom sink? OOOoooh… I found a lot of sociology in the garbage… but there is no science in wasting, mostly lack of conscience for everything.


    1. It is expensive yes, and it’s the kind of thing you can find pretty regularly when people move. I see a lot of those bins too, but I don’t pick them up unless they’re vintage. I like the old metal ones.

  16. theories re. the device: 1) cable/electronics tester 2) early theremin

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