Monthly Archives: November 2017

Night of the sterling garbage pt. 2

Part one

A neighbourhood security officer pulled up just as I was finished at this spot, telling me he had received a call about someone trash picking. He seemed like a nice enough guy and let me off with a verbal warning. I hadn’t seen him before, and I think he understands that the residents of this area tend to be, shall we say, “persnickety.” Regardless, I hope we don’t meet again anytime soon.

The first things I noticed were old boxes for jewelry and fineries. The hope of course is that some of them will have jewelry still inside, but the boxes I found (above is just a small sample) are also useful for packaging online sales. As well, a few of the watch boxes (like the Benrus above) are likely worth selling on their own.

Most were empty, but thankfully two of the last boxes I found had jewelry, mostly cufflinks, still inside.

Some were made of precious metals. The ones on top are Mexican silver with abalone, while the cufflinks on the right (I think I originally found both, but I seem to have misplaced one) are marked Birks 14k. The medical bracelet is marked 10k and should net me around 130$ for scrap. The Winnipeg Golden Boy cufflinks are just regular old metal, but I thought they were worth showcasing.

Near the bottom of one bag was a little Birks sleeve with a comb inside, the end of which is sterling silver. I have to glue the comb back inside the silver, but otherwise it’s in great shape.

I also saved a classic oval Birks sterling picture frame. I’ve found a few of these now, but this might be the first one with the original glass.

However, the best silver piece I found that night awaits you in part three…

I saved some other neat vintage stuff at this spot, like a collection of old pennants from Western Canada…

… some old walkie talkies, a scale, and a retro ashtray;

… two vintage razors, which look to have been barely used;

… a vintage plastic piggy bank;

… as well as two compacts and a pill box. I returned to the spot this week, but the bags didn’t seem all that interesting and I preferred to not see the security guy again just one week after getting warned. I’ll be there next week though if the trash looks good enough.

Elsewhere, I spotted this bin with two giraffes sticking out. One was broken, but the other was in good condition. The giraffe is about 6′ tall.

I opened the bin and found more large animal figures. This tiger is about two feet long, and looks to be covered in leather.

Same with this hippo.

This camel is pretty big too, standing about 2.5′ tall. I’ve never seen statuettes like these, have you?

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Otherwise, I happened upon this little pile in NDG.

I saved this little end table. It’s missing the top (which I’m guessing was marble, since there were some broken marble pieces nearby) and a bit of veneer, but it’s still a nice project piece.

On top of the table was an old Telefunken radio. It needs a little TLC, but seems to mostly work and is in great cosmetic condition.

Behind all that was an old ammo box.

Apparently it was made in 1941, so it would have been used during WWII. I can’t figure out what “O.W.O” (or “O.H.O”?) stands for though, so if you have any ideas let me know!

My current plan for the painting from my last post is to try to get a quote from a reputable art restoration company. I expect the repairs would cost at least a grand and probably more, but the extra expense would probably be worth it. I emailed one place already, but if anyone has experience with specific companies please let me know!

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

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

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Alleyn 65

I’ve been swimming in garbage of late, and as a result some of my finds take a while to get processed. This painting is a good example. I found it months ago and immediately thought it was really cool and very well done. Still, it went into my garage where it sat largely forgotten until yesterday, when I finally got around to doing some basic research on it.

(Note: all these photos are of high quality, so you can click on them and zoom in!)

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The top left is signed Alleyn 65. It didn’t take me long to find out that it was likely made in 1965 by Edmund Alleyn, a well regarded Quebec artist. The signature is very similar to ones seen in this Google image search. The work also bears resemblance to some on Alleyn’s bio for that time period; his “Période Technologique.” He died in Montreal on Christmas Eve, 2004 at the age of 73.

This piece is titled “Jour Z,” which I cannot seem to find reference to online.

By all accounts Alleyn was a brilliant artist, perhaps a bit ahead of his time. There was a retrospective of his work recently at the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art, and the National Gallery of Canada owns 11 of his pieces.

The painting is unfortunately a little bit damaged. There are a few stains from water dropping on it, and a few small places where the paint is chipped or the canvas ripped. However, I don’t think these issues take much away from the piece, and I suspect they could be restored fairly easily by a professional.

Assuming the painting was indeed done by Alleyn, it could be worth a fair bit of money. His work has sold at the Heffel auction house for between 1,256 and 16,250$. Because of the damage I expect that the upper part of that range is far out of reach, but I still think it’s likely that the painting could sell for somewhere in the four figures (for reference, this one is fairly large, roughly 32 x 21.5″). If not, maybe I’ll just keep it myself! I always thought it was really cool, even moreso now that I know its story.

Anyways, what do you think of the painting? And perhaps more importantly, what should I do with it? Let me know in the comments!

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

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

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Servire Populo pt. 1

On my phone I keep a record of the houses or locations that seem to be producing quality garbage. This helps me remember to check them out when I’m in the area.

This place in St Michel was first productive back in August when my mom was in town for a visit. I took her on one of my runs and checked the few spots I had logged in the borough. However, this one was a bit further away than the others, and after I had little luck at the other spots I almost decided to skip it. At the time, I couldn’t even remember why I added it to my notes.

However, I ended up giving it a chance, and I’m glad I did because the house ended up producing loads of quality junk. It’s also where I found that great collection of vintage clothes from a while back. Plus, it was nice to show my mom that little treasures can be found in ordinary looking trash (I remember our best finds coming from that bag closest to the bottom right).

Months later I’m still keeping an eye on this spot. In fact, I plan on checking it out again tonight. Finds have been a bit more sporadic of late, with the tosser skipping the occasional week (or two), but I’m loyal to my favourite spots and I’ll keep going back until I think there’s nothing left to find.

We took that solid vintage dresser, by the way, and it eventually sold for 50$. I found the matching vanity later on, and finally got it listed yesterday (pretty good price too if you ask me – I mostly want to get it out of the garage).

This was some of the stuff my mom and I saved that first night. As you can see, a lot of it is neat vintage junk. There’s a few vintage perfumes, a couple cool brooches, and some religious medallions, among other things. I’m surprised I never saw a bill authentication card like the one below the skate before. I wish this pic was better, but it’ll have to do.

The sterling silver pin I found that first night is why I titled this series Servire Populo. Apparently, this is the motto of Canada Post, and it translates as “to serve the people.” I also found lots of nursing stuff, so it seems that the people who lived here worked in public service.

I found a few nice watches, but none of them were exceptional or eBay worthy. Those eyeglass frames though are made by Yves St Laurent, and should make me a bit of money.

I found a couple of pipe bags but unfortunately no pipes. I did find a few stamps in that organizer though.

That figurine at the top left was actually a cookie. It ended up in a free box, but I doubt anyone took it. The Parker Pen box is nice, though it didn’t come with the actual pen.

I saved lots of vintage Christmas thingies, which I’m guessing are cake toppers. I think they’re still kicking around somewhere if anyone’s interested!

That Fragonard perfume went to a local buyer, and I remember selling that little notepad for 50c at my last yard sale.

The black cat was probably part of that collectible vintage Stafford tea set, but unfortunately I didn’t find any other pieces from it.

A couple of these pins are nursing related. The sunglasses are Polaroid Cool-Rays, but not the ones that can be sold for a lot of money.

That’s just the beginning, I’ll share more finds soon enough! And, if I’m lucky I’ll find some new stuff tonight.

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

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

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