Sugaring off

Things were a bit slow last week, in part because someone decided to break into my friend’s car. They took only the registration and insurance papers that were in the glove compartment, which was a bit odd considering the car isn’t particularly valuable. Apparently criminal organizations sometimes do this to provide legitimate looking documentation for stolen vehicles that are set to leave the country via shipping containers.

Regardless of the motives, it was a minor hassle for all involved. We had to go get new papers, and it took a couple of days to get new glass installed. I missed out on a quality garbage run as a result. Oh well! Let’s hope this doesn’t happen again, as it cost around 300$ to get everything sorted out.

The weather also hasn’t been particularly picker-friendly. There’s been lots of rain (apparently a record amount for Montreal in April) which washed out a few of my preferred bike trips. Still, I made a few decent finds, and I have high hopes for this week as move-out day approaches.

The place in the Mile End where I found the jewelry and watches last week provided more neat stuff, mostly old bottles this time around. I love old bottles, but I will say that it feels kind of gross to look through bags full of medicines in the rain. Something about the wetness and the smell of weird old liquids makes me feel like I’m going to get a disease, even though the risk of anything bad happening is extremely low. Either way, I overcame that feeling and amassed a great collection of bottles, most of which date from between the 30s and the 80s.

My favourite bottles are the ones marked “poison,” like the synthetic wintergreen in the picture above. I think a lot of people feel the same way – poison bottles have good value in the market, especially the ones with the skull and crossbones logo like the bottle of iodine I found a few years back. I could probably sell that one for around 40$, but at least for now it’s part of my personal collection.

There’s another poison bottle in this bunch (this time iodine), as well as a tin of boracic acid. The bottle of Perry Davis Painkiller is hard to date, but I’d guess it’s from the 30s or 40s. Production started in the 1840s, and apparently it was mostly composed of alcohol and opiates.

Yeah, maybe it’s gross to take 40 year old Preparation H, but I just really like things in their original packaging!

The 1964 Montreal street guide is pretty neat, as is the small Lenormand tarot deck on the right. It’s probably worth around 20$.

I thought those Rawleigh’s tins were really old when I found them, but now I think they’re probably just from the 50s or 60s (pre-metrification). I’m pretty sure Rawleigh’s still makes tins like this today. The vintage safety glasses are kind of neat, as are the hairdressing scissors.

I haven’t noticed any trash at this place recently, so maybe the source has dried up. If so, too bad as I quite enjoyed its specific brand of junk.

The people who tossed the tarot cards from my last post threw out another deck last week! This one is called the New Tarot; it was self-published in the early 1970s by Jack Hurley and John Horler, both of whom were influenced greatly by Joseph Campbell. Apparently the deck was pretty revolutionary at the time – check out this blog post if you’re interested in knowing more about their history. There seems to be a healthy market for this deck, one pretty similar to mine (and in far from perfect condition) recently sold for 170$ on eBay.

The only thing I’m confused by is the number of cards that are supposed to be in the deck. I counted 79, but the deck is supposed to only have 78. Then again, the instructions say that the “fool card is zero” so perhaps it is not included in the final count. On the other hand, the listing I linked to above says it includes two “extra cards” without specifying what those cards would be. I don’t know much about tarot, so I find all that pretty confusing. If anyone can help clarify how many cards I should have let me know in the comments! I guess I could also compare every card to the ones mentioned in the instructions, but that would take a while.

I found a neat old chandelier in a bag in the lower Plateau. I’d guess that it was made in the 1910s or 1920s. “Com Fix 589” is stamped on the top but I can’t find any reference to that phrase online. Regardless, it’s a pretty nice piece! I put it on Kijiji for 100$, and we’ll see if anyone bites.

There weren’t that many noteworthy finds last week, so I’ll bulk up this post with a couple of finds from this week. I saved this chrome “eyeball” lamp from a bag in Villeray on Monday night. It was probably made in the early 70s. I think there’s a solid market for these right now, and I’ll find out for sure soon when I list it on Kijiji.

Maple syrup is one of my favourite things so I’m always pumped when I find some in the trash. It comes around semi-regularly, but not often enough that I never run out. Anyways, I found an unopened wooden box containing a bottle of syrup and jar of spread this morning. I ate some of both already, and it was great! Thanks are owed to whoever for satisfying my maple cravings for the next little while.

I also came across a bag full of old photos and slides. I haven’t had time to look at most of them yet, but one envelope contained a bunch of photos featuring former Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Elliot Trudeau. They were taken at a “sugaring off party” in April 1976. Current PM Justin (age 4) may be there too actually, it’s hard to tell – check out the photo at bottom left and let me know what you think. It’s a pretty neat find regardless! Here’s hoping more of those photos turn out to be interesting.

My yard sale the other day went very well. I’ll let you know exactly how well in the next sales summary post. I still have lots of stuff to sell so I’ll be doing another sale soon, maybe next weekend if the weather is nice. I’ll keep you posted!

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to

Email: I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.

15 thoughts on “Sugaring off”

  1. Have you considered giving the photos to Justin Trudeau? Who knows, he might be happy to have those XD

    1. Haha. No not really. His dad was probably Canada’s most photographed person from the late 60s to early 1980s so I’m guessing he has more than enough already.

  2. Hi there! Loved your garage sale! I am so happy with my finds! Next one I will go though all the boxes…..

    1. Glad you had a good time! Could you remind me of a couple of the things you bought? Just curious, it was a long day and it’s all a bit of a blur now, haha.

  3. Dude,Identity theft,!! tell your friend to change & red flag All her financial & identity stuff!!! Cancel all her old numbers & red flag the rest, it’s Years of heck if someone runs shit using her name! Always keep anything identity on your person or locked up!

  4. re
    “They took only the registration and insurance papers that were in the glove compartment”

    sort of sounds like someone is going to sell it for “Identity Theft” / to “Illegals for use in getting “Identity Cards” /Health Cards/etc…

    Have read about this..besides the usual of friend changing numbers, flagging things, etc.,
    routinely google friends name, and submit the theft info to places like Health Care/S.I.N., Drivers Licence folks etc…

    that big eyeball thing…maybe a lamp?

    1. Yeah I’ll warn her about that. From the article I think it’s probably not what they were after (especially considering the car’s not that nice) but it’s a good idea to be careful.

  5. Oh man! Neat find with the maple syrup. 🙂 Down here in Texas we don’t have a lot of that stuff (the real maple syrup in the store is pretty expensive). I’ve had Vermont maple syrup once and it puts the fake stuff at the grocery store to shame. Mmmm.

    And I love looking at old bottles. I hoard them myself, but I can never seem to think up practical uses for them. Hmmm.

    1. It’s still pretty expensive here, even though it literally grows on trees (well, in trees). This bottle would have cost close to 10$, maybe a little less if you got it on sale. How much does it cost down there?

      I try not to collect too much, but I do have a few bottles on display. I was thinking of maybe doing a blog post about my collection at some point.

  6. According to Vintage Lights, many of the numbers on antique lighting fixtures represent casting marks that showed the installer how to connect the pieces. As a result, some antique fixtures have multiple numbers, primarily used for internal use by the manufacturer. These numbers weren’t usually recorded as serial numbers and aren’t necessarily useful for identifying the fixture; however, they do help distinguish originals from reproductions.

  7. The chrome lamp looks like it is by the Italian maker that the Antiques Roadshow has featured a couple of times. I suggest you really study this item before pricing it.

  8. Late post on the American coins you found in needed-to-be-busted bank a while ago. Seems they are all silver, pre sandwich of alloy, so they are worth more than face value.

    1. Thanks I’ll look into that. My understanding was that anything pre-1963 was silver, but I could be wrong.

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