The week before last was actually pretty productive for me. My first finds came from this spot, one which I had been keeping an eye on for some time. Over the previous few weeks someone had put several bags filled mostly with miscellaneous fabric on the curb. Not much of that stuff was particularly interesting. However, I also didn’t see any food waste, and the lack of food usually indicates that someone’s clearing out a house they don’t live in. Those places are much more likely to produce interesting trash than your average house.
This time around I opened up a bag and saw lots of costume jewelry and accessories, especially headbands. I put the whole bag in the car to sort through later.
I sorted it all the next day. A good portion of the contents were ruined, damaged, or otherwise not worth my time. I put these items in a box on the curb and they were quickly taken my someone else, so hopefully something good will come of them. This is the box of things I decided to keep.
There wasn’t much to be found in terms of precious metals but some of the pieces were pretty cool regardless. There’s definitely some Etsy-able stuff here, though I’ll probably sell most of it at a 2017 yard sale.
These were some of the pieces that caught my eye. The bracelet on the left in the second row is signed by Givenchy and was probably made in the 80s. It’s lost some of its gold tone but I expect that it will sell for a good price (between 30-40$). The serpent bracelet at the bottom left is pretty cool – it’s also signed but I can’t make out by who.
This necklace is signed Ornella Italy. Though the maker doesn’t seem to be that well known, some of their pieces are listed for big numbers on eBay. The string on this necklace is unfortunately broken, but maybe someone will want to buy it for the beads. They’re made of glass and look to be well crafted.
The most valuable piece in the bag was probably this 18k gold ring. Maybe it was overlooked when whoever was dealing with the rest of the stuff. 18k is one of the higher purities, and because this ring is relatively heavy it’s worth around 200$ for its weight in gold.
A spot in an unassuming part of CDN provided the rest of my notable finds.
One of the bags was stuffed with old photo albums, most of which contained family photos dating from the 50s to the 80s. There were other interesting shots though, like a series from a parade that presumably featured the Queen. The grand looking carriage in the middle of this picture looks like her Gold State Coach.
The albums also acted as scrapbooks. Inside one was a collection of ephemera related to the 1967 Progressive Conservative leadership convention, including signed letters from high ranking conservatives such as Duff Roblin, Davie Fulton, and George Hees. Someone who lived here was a delegate at that convention. There were no letters from the eventual winner, Robert Stanfield.
One of my favourite pieces of ephemera was this letter signed by longtime Montreal mayor Jean Drapeau. He sure wasn’t perfect (he was rabidly homophobic to start), but there’s no denying that he got a lot of things done over his roughly 30 years in power. It’s neat to have a copy of his signature.
Just in case you’re wondering where some of the words went, I edited these photos to make sure they show no personal information.
I was otherwise able to scrounge together some interesting bits and pieces from the rest of the bags. I found a vintage match safe (top right), some vintage dental floss (to the left of that, and now part of my collection of old junk), a “Respiration Service” pin from the Royal Life Saving Society, and a medal from a 1960 Volleyball competition, among other things.
The pens are the best part of this haul though. At the bottom is a nice 1960s Sheaffer Imperial pen, and above that is a Silverolex “Tribes of Israel” pen. It has a sterling silver barrel. From what I can tell this design was pretty popular amongst Jewish people in the 50s or 60s – I’ve found several similar pens over the years, and all were from Jewish households.
One of the pens is a Sheaffer desk model with a large 14k gold nib. I love finding gold in all its forms!
To my surprise however the most valuable pen was this relatively unassuming Sheaffer. A reader helped me identify it as a PFM (“Pen for Men“), a model released in the late 50s and early 60s. It wasn’t that popular at the time but it seems that pen enthusiasts came to appreciate it later on. Despite the fact that this pen needs work (the ink sac needs replacing, and the nib is slightly bent) my PFM just sold last night for 175$ + shipping. That’s a pretty good deal!
Another quick seller was the brush, which also served as a manicure tool holder. It was signed by Dunhill, a British luxury goods brand. I couldn’t find any similar brushes on the internet, but I listed it at 50$ thinking that was a good starting price. It sold within a day to a happy buyer who left me positive feedback.
I love vintage things in their original packaging, so let’s finish with this 1lb brick of Celluclay instant paper mache from the 1970s.
The back notes that Celluclay contains no asbestos, so I guess there was a time when instant paper mache did contain asbestos. Fun stuff!
Oh, and I found another tuque and two pairs of gloves in the Plateau. The gloves are used, but they still work great. I went on a bike ride when it was really cold out and didn’t have any issues with my hands being cold. I should be set for the winter now, even if I do lose a tuque or three!