Monthly Archives: May 2016

Recent sales (April 25 – May 22)

eBay sales have slowed a bit since the change of season. This is normal, as people are more active in the warmer months and spend less time browsing on the computer. Regardless, I had a good month in large part to one big sale.

I don’t usually do auctions, but I have a few up right now if you want to check them out. The Kaman photo negatives (which I found a long time ago) are doing a lot better than expected, while we’ll just have to wait and see where the postcard auctions end up.

1. Kaman experimental helicopter negatives
2. RCMP postcard lot
3. Vintage Chinese postcards

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1. Mid century modern Widdicomb chair: On Reddit for 750 US$ (~950$ Canadian). Not long after finding this chair I posted some pictures of it to Reddit’s MCM forum to see what people thought. I wanted to make sure it was authentic for one, not knowing that furniture knockoffs with fake labels are actually pretty rare to nonexistent. Someone who saw my post asked me if I wanted to sell it, and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse. We did the deal through Paypal, which is something I’ve never done before. I was a bit stressed out about that considering how much money was on the line but everything seems to have worked out. Apparently the appeal is that the chair was designed by George Nakashima as part of his “Origins” line. The buyer plans on reupholstering the chair. Found a little over a month ago in a nice part of town.

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2. Yard sale: 280$. Another pretty successful sale! My plan this summer is to do fewer yard sales, maybe holding them every three to four weeks. This will cut down on my workload, and ideally my profits won’t drop much because I’ll have more to sell when the time comes. Last year I made nearly 3k from yard sales, so we’ll see how it all works out.

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3. Toy car lot: On eBay for 45$. Most weren’t in particularly good condition, but they still made me some decent cash. Found a while ago in Montreal West.

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4. Vintage Porsche Carrera shield-style sunglasses: On eBay for 170$. That collection of sunglasses I found in Hampstead around a year ago ended up making me some big money. Without looking at the numbers I’d guess that they’ve netted about me around 600-700$ overall, much more than I originally expected. These Porsche glasses in particular have serious collectors value!

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5. Dolce & Gabbana frames: On eBay for 50$. Found a couple months ago in TMR.

6. Small change: Exchanged at the TD Bank coin machine for 98$. I found about 40$ in change while scouring the McGill Ghetto on move-out day (I have yet to post about this!). Otherwise, the tupperware container I found in TMR ended up containing 892 pennies (as well as two dimes and a loonie), and the bags of change from my second-to-last post ended up holding about 16$ worth of boring, run of the mill Canadian and American coins. The rest I saved from various spots across the city.

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7. Leak Trough-Line III tuner: On eBay for 105$. It doesn’t look like much, but apparently these old Leak machines are of interest to collectors. Found in NDG last summer.

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8. Replica “Tea Escape” perfume – Maison Martin Margiela: On eBay for 75$. Another McGill Ghetto move-out day find.

9. Haiti souvenir guide: On eBay for 6$. This took a loooonnnggg time to sell. I didn’t know much about selling when I first listed it, and I had it overpriced for quite some time. I’m just happy it’s gone. Found nearly three years ago in TMR.

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10. Apple iPhone 4S, for parts / repair: On eBay for 40$. Found a few weeks ago in the Plateau.

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11. Kaman experimental helicopter photo: On eBay for 20$. Found a long time ago in the Plateau. After this sold I finally got around to listing a collection of negatives featuring the Kaman helicopter, which I linked to above. Those are doing very well so far!

12. Liberty London soccer themed silk scarf: On eBay for 50$. This took a while to sell, but the profit was pretty good. Found a couple years ago near Snowdon metro.

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12. Miniature “Pearson Pennant”: On eBay for 47$. Found last summer in Westmount.

Total: 1936$, 11489$ since the new year.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
1. My eBay listings
2. Etsy store
3. Kijiji listings
4. My donate page

Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a long time to get back to you.

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Geneva pt.1

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I came across this spot a little over a month ago and found so much neat stuff (some of which dated back to the late 1800s) that it stressed me out. I was dealing with some burnout / overworking issues even before stopping here, and adding two carloads of stuff to research, photograph, pack away, and so on sure didn’t help matters!

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I’ll share some of the other finds in a future post. This one will focus on the large postcard collection that I found in the recycling bin. I’d guess there are around 400 in total, but I’m only going to share around 140 here. I’d love to share them all, but it’s a pretty time consuming process so I decided to just pick out my favourites, or at least the ones I thought were most interesting. It would have been nice to scan them as well, but the photos will have to do.

Most of the postcards seem to date from the early 1900s to the 1960s. A few are from later, maybe the 70s and 80s. Most are unused, but some were written on and mailed out. I’d say most originate from Quebec and Eastern Canada, but there are also some from the States (especially New York), Western Canada, and other countries.

Click on the picture if you want to zoom in for a better look! This particular photo came out a little bit blurry, but the rest are a fair bit better.

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I’m always a sucker for old hotel postcards. Those old buildings just look so distinguished.

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These postcards feature dumb jokes, jokes I don’t understand, and holiday greetings. The one at top right is just creepy. Was there ever a time that it wasn’t?

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This postcard was one of my favourites. It’s printed in a way that gives it a cool texture and depth. I’d guess it was made in the 1920s.

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These are all from the Montreal area. The “Caughnawaga historique” up top is actually a booklet full of different postcards. The Prince of Wales Hotel postcard on the right proudly notes that it has running water in every room. The hotel once sat at 1421 McGill College, but from looking at Google street view the building appears to be long gone.

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There were plenty of postcards featuring the RCMP, including one titled: “Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Indian” (middle right).

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These ones have a Canadian military theme. Some were mailed, sent out by an RCAF serviceman in 1941. I expect they were all printed during WWII.

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I thought these were part of a set, but I realize now that the one on the right isn’t related to the other two. That one is the weirdest of the lot; its title is “begging lepers,” and the image is about what you’d expect.

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My guess is that the real photograph postcards with handwritten (or hand-etched? I’m not sure how the script was added to the photos) descriptions tend to be more uncommon than the others. I’m not sure of that though, so if anyone knows better teach us a lesson in the comments! Most of these are from places in Quebec. The Chateau Frontenac postcard at the bottom is very cool, and might be worth listing on eBay.

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Let’s finish up with these guys. On the left is a photo of a band (specifically, the Vancouver Kitsilano Boys’ Band) that apparently won something during the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. Their conductor was Arthur Delamont, who is notable enough to merit a Canadian Encyclopedia page.

On the right is a photo of Mount Eisenhower as taken by Byron Harmon, an early photographer of the Canadian Rockies. This postcard must have been printed between 1946 and 1979, because before and after those dates the peak was named Castle Mountain. Apparently the powers that be decided to rename it in honour of General Dwight D Eisenhower after WWII, but it didn’t go over particularly well with the general public.

Pretty cool collection eh? I like postcards because they’re like little windows into the past. They’re definitely fun to look through, especially when you find them in the trash and don’t know what you’re going to see next.

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The magic of garbage

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Last week a friend and I went for breakfast at a cute restaurant in the east Plateau. As we were walking back to the car I looked up the street and saw an intriguing (if only to me) pile of trash maybe 40 meters away.

Trash picking can feel magical sometimes. There’s something exhilarating about pulling treasures from garbage bags, especially considering they’re pretty much the symbol for valueless filth. It’s a lot like that old magic trick of pulling a rabbit from a hat, except better because everyone assumes the hat is full of kitchen scraps.

We walked over to the pile. I kicked a few bags, and one of them sounded great.

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Inside I found three large ziplock bags filled with coins! As you can imagine it was pretty fun to pull these from the bags, particularly since I had company and was able to show off my unusual talent. As you can imagine she was impressed, and also a bit depressed that someone would throw these away.

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There was about 16$ in Canadian and American coins, at least the types the coin machine would take. There were also a few silver dollars (but not the ones that were actually made of silver); six American half-dollars; several tokens, two of which are from the Quebec Carnaval; about 10$ worth of Euro coins; and three American Sacagawea dollars.

There were a few older coins as well. In this bunch, you can see a 1931 British half-penny and two 1940s French coins. The contrast between the two French coins is interesting. One was made in 1946 and features the longtime motto of the French Republic: “Liberté, égalité, fraternité” (liberty, equality, fraternity). The other was made in 1942 by the Vichy France regime that was subservient to the Nazis during WWII. Their motto was “Travail, famille, patrie” (Labor, family, fatherland). The other side of that coin features an image of an axe, which you can see in the link above.

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A few of the best coins were silver, including a 1967 Canadian quarter, a Canadian dime from the same year, and a 1963 American half dollar. I also saved four American 1$ bills and an 1871 Prince Edward Island penny, which was by far the oldest coin of the bunch. It looks to be in pretty nice condition for its age.

On top of all this, I have about one bag’s worth of miscellaneous foreign coins. None of them are too exciting, but I’ve sold similar collections before on Kijiji for a modest profit.

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Otherwise, I saved an iPhone 4S that appears to work fine. Unfortunately it’s permanently locked to its previous user, but I should still be able to sell it for about 40$ for it given its fine cosmetic condition. Someone will want it for parts.

Easy money, right? My eye for garbage ended up paying for breakfast, and several other future breakfasts!

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