The eviction

Today I finally get around to showing you one of 2017s better hauls.

While picking here I talked to a few people who were familiar with the situation, including the concierge, the building manager, and I think the building owner. Apparently, the trash was a result of an eviction in the fairly upscale building, and someone’s mad dash to empty the place before they were locked out.

None of the people I mentioned were particularly pleased about how this all went down. For one, that shopping cart in the foreground wasn’t intended to be filled with trash and abandoned outside. I ended up helping the concierge empty the cart, after which he brought it back inside. As well, the people doing the tossing sure did make a mess of things. They blocked the wheelchair entrance for one, and the general consensus was that the garbage collectors wouldn’t pick up the trash as it lay.

Perhaps most extraordinary though were the reports that the building’s garbage chute was filled all the way up to the third floor. One of the people told me there were a lot of books in there, in a way that made me think he didn’t put much value in books.

Eventually a guy with a truck and trailer, apparently hired by the tosser after what I’m sure what an unpleasant interaction with the building manager, came to empty the garbage chute. I so much wanted to see what was inside, but the manager said she didn’t think it was a good idea, I’m sure because of liability concerns. Here’s hoping the guy with the truck took a good look at what he picked up because I’ll bet there was some good stuff in there.

The shopping cart was mostly filled with clothes, but I did find a nice bracelet holding on for dear life to the bottom wire. More on that later.


My friend Sarah was with me that day and helped sort through the clutter. This might not be her best photo (she wanted me to assure you that she was having a good time) but it does show the pile as it was after the disappearance of the shopping cart. We ended up taking a bunch of clothes, most of which were vintage. As for furniture, a lot of it was in pretty poor condition – I doubt they were very careful bringing it downstairs. However, we did take that little end table on the right, the mid-century credenza by the bottom left of the stairs, and a few very nice rugs. I still haven’t really looked at the rugs, but now that I have the bigger garage space it should be easier to do so. I’ll share some pictures here if they’re noteworthy!

Let’s start with some of the quality junk. That vintage yoga book was pretty cool, as were the hammered bracelets and the old tin.

I apologize for the quality of these early photos, they were taken at my old garage where the lighting wasn’t optimal.

Here we have some old buttons, a manicure set, and a single silver coin that was made into an earring.

I found a flat-fifty tin like the one commemorating Queen Elizabeth’s coronation once before. It’s worth about 20$.

We saved plenty of buttons and miscellaneous sewing supplies.

The tins were full of that kind of stuff, as well as other miscellaneous bric-a-brac.

There was a cute pair of sewing scissors tied up in that ball of thread.

There was plenty of jewellery here. This is the yard sale / crafting quality stuff.

I also saved a couple nice old compass sets (perhaps a hint as to the profession of the previous owner) …

… and a Chinese fan, which looked to be of higher quality than the ones I usually see.

Now we’re getting to the slightly fancy stuff. The bracelet on the right is Chinese silver, but unfortunately the enamel is very dinged up. The black earring and button are silver over copper (I think), also made in China. The pocket knife is gold filled and looks to have never been used. The bracelet at top left is marked Leru and is probably worth around 20$.

I found a few watches here, the nicest of which was this Certina DS-2. Unfortunately the second hand is broken off inside, but the watch seems to work well otherwise and should be worth around 100$. The Timex below has some kitsch value, assuming it works. There’s a solid market for vintage watches with lots of (or unusual) functions.

Here are some of my favourite finds. The little box at top right is silver over copper and marked “China”. The rabbit paw brooch (unfortunately missing the needle) on the right is a weird one. At the bottom right is a silver bracelet link that’s unfortunately missing its mates. There’s a monogrammed silver bracelet at the bottom left, and a little brooch (maybe silver) with a photo in it nearby.

Some of these pieces are likely old Chinese export silver. Apparently there was no official assay system in China back in the day, so the markings are very inconsistent, and sometimes there are no markings at all. This was in opposition to regulated systems like in Britain, which has required makers to follow a specific marking guide since the 1500s.

My silver testing acid is old and expired, and I no longer trust it. However, I’m pretty sure this bracelet is solid silver. There are no signs of plating wear, and it did turn up a bit of red when tested (I think my old testing fluid is more likely to produce false negatives, not false positives). The piece is quite heavy and ornate and could be worth a bit of coin! Click on the picture for a closer look at the design.

Here’s the stamp on the inside if you’re curious. If you happen to know anything about this kind of thing, please educate us in the comments!

This piece could be silver (perhaps a lower grade than the last one, since it didn’t turn up any red) but I’m not sure. Regardless it’s quite beautiful and old. According to my research, this type of piece is often referred to as a “panel bracelet.”

This one is marked “China.” The silver plated copper box has a similar mark, as does the old button.

The stones on this bracelet look a lot like the ones in this eBay listing, which are apparently amethysts. However, again I can’t be sure if this is silver, though it does scratch the right colour on my test stone. It has a Chinese character stamp on the back (see below) and a clasp that says 925, though I think that part is newer than the rest of the bracelet.

This cute brooch features a plum blossom-like flower and a little birdhouse charm. I thought it was silver at first but it seems to instead be silver plated copper, since it scratched a coppery tone on my testing stone. Either way, it’s very nice. It does have some marks on the back, which you can see below (you’ll probably have to zoom in to see them).

The stone (or glass?) on this adjustable ring matches the earlier bracelet. It also has a plum blossom motif. I’m confident this one is solid silver, even though there aren’t any markings on it.

This necklace has a silver clasp and enameled beads. I’m not sure what the metal under the beads is.

This bangle is bakelite, and has a sort of mottled / inconsistent look that I haven’t seen before. Any ideas as to what it could be worth?

As you can probably tell I still have a lot to learn about these pieces. No matter what, this will be a great opportunity to expand my knowledge of things vintage and antique. However, I should be able to make some decent money here as well. From what I can tell so far that heavy silver bracelet might be the most valuable piece of the bunch. The design looks pretty labor intensive, and it compares favourably to bracelets that are selling for hundreds on eBay. I’ll let you know what ends up happening with it.

I’ll probably take it easy on the trash picking front this week. I haven’t had much luck after boxing day in previous years, and the weather seems to be taking a turn for the worst – this coming week will rarely see a temperature above -20c. So, it’s going to be pretty cold! I guess it’s a good time to get some indoor work done…


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Servire Populo pt.3

Here’s another collection of fun junk from that house in St Michel. It hasn’t produced many finds of late, but it seems like a new crop of trash makes its way to the curb every three weeks or so. None of the recent junk has been as interesting as my previous finds, but I’ll keep an eye on the place nonetheless.

I staged these two shots using an old drawer I found on the curb in Rosemont. I think they look pretty good! I may use it more going forward.

That KFC thing is inflatable, any ideas as to what it could be?

I liked these old chalkware pieces. I’d guess they were bought at a tourist shop somewhere in the Carribean in the 50s or 60s. They sold at one of my last yard sales of the season.

That swan was a funny DIY project. I forget if it actually served a purpose, but I do remember that there was an actual brick in the bottom of it. These folks were crafty, that’s for sure. The swan ended up selling for a dollar.

Those house embroideries are always fun to find. That Roseline wall plaque (also chalkware) is cool, though I can’t find a reference to the ship itself.

These old puzzles and games should be a hit at my next yard sale, which unfortunately is still many months away.

This folding rocking chair was actually pretty decent. The crochet covering though was a bit worn out. Fortunately, it could be easily removed.

This midcentury-ish lamp is still around, and should fetch a decent price.

I also found these two unusual prints featuring mimes. They’re kinda neat (or creepy, depending who you ask) and should sell at next year’s yard sale.

Otherwise, it’s official – I have the bigger garage! I have a lot of organizing to do, but once that’s done I’ll have more space to work with than ever before. I should be able to save more garbage as a result, and I think the blog will improve as well.

A while back I talked about doing an IndieGogo campaign to buy my car. However, now I think it makes more sense to do one to fund the purchase of the equipment I’ll need to make the space great. Good shelving racks are a must, and I also want to create a medium-size photo studio so that the pictures I take there are top-notch. So much stuff doesn’t make the blog simply because I don’t have an easy way to take quality group shots of larger miscellaneous objects. Anyways, I’ll keep you posted on that front.

I found a bit of neat stuff today in Outremont, including a 1$ bill from 1967. It might be a while before those things make the blog though, as a fair number of them are the larger miscellaneous objects I previously mentioned. Either way, I’m still sitting on a lot of photos from the summer, so you’ll be seeing some of those soon!


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Here’s a smattering of finds from the summer. This spot produced some cool, often old trash over a couple of months. The house has since gone on the market (as evidenced by a “for sale” sign) so I guess the tossing was an attempt to make the place more attractive to potential buyers. I’ve seen nothing here but food waste for some time now, but perhaps they’ll throw more out at some point.

I found some cool perfumes in the first few weeks. This is a collection of 1/4oz Christian Dior scents, mostly vintage Diorissimo but also a few Dior Dior. The boxes have “not for sale” written on the back so perhaps they were part of a promotion back in the day. I expect these to be of interest to collectors – Dior scents are always desirable, and the boxes and bottles are very beautiful.

I found a few boxes full of O de Lancome samples. These aren’t as collectible as the Dior, but they’re still good for yard sales.

Fidji seems to be a pretty popular scent – I sold a bottle a while back for 75$. These samples should do well.

My favourites though were two packages filled with samples of Sortilège by Le Galion. Le Galion scents are sought-after, and by my estimation these samples are probably worth around 10-15$ each. However, it might make sense to save myself some time by selling them as a lot. Perhaps a store would have interest.

Those first few weeks also produced a bunch of old stamps. From my experience most stamps aren’t worth much, but I’ll be sure to do my research before selling them just in case. They’ve been sitting on a shelf doing nothing since I found them, but maybe I’ll make time to do that now that it’s cold out.

This old stamp book was very old but water damaged and mostly empty. I sold it to one of my regular yard sale buyers for a dollar.

This old Daignault & Rolland baseball glove was a fun find. It’s in great condition, and I’d guess that it was made sometime between the 30s and 50s. I think it’ll sell for around 50-70$.


This Balinese face thingy originally cost 54$. One of the ears has broken off, but that would be easy enough to fix.

This olive branch “graphite object” (basically, fancy pencil) by sculptor Agelio Batle is kind of neat. I just got around to listing it recently; it’s worth about 30$.

This Hohner Melodica had a slightly busted mouthpiece, but I was still able to sell it for 10$ at a yard sale.

If you hate needles this find might not be for you. I feel like I’ve seen similar syringes in movies, particularly in scenes where children are scared by doctors or dentists. It’s in pristine condition, and might be worth around 40-60$.

Instagram went crazy for this vintage mid-century lemon side table. It was pretty cute, but overall it had too many dings to sell for a massive profit. In the end I gave it to a friend for a token sum.

There’s a lot more to share from this spot, but it’ll have to wait for another post!

I didn’t find much of anything last week, but I did save a cool vintage electronic piece last night. I’ll share that here sometime soon. The weather this week is going to be funny to say the least, with lots of rain as well as snow in the forecast, but if things aren’t too messy out there I’ll go on some runs regardless.

Christmas is coming up, so check out my various listings (links below) to see if there’s anything that might make a good gift! I can give better deals as well, particularly if you’re a local buyer who can pick up. Just email me first, at or on Facebook. Unfortunately, with only four business days before Christmas (maybe a couple extra, if your mail service works weekends) it’s doubtful a package would arrive in time going to the States or out west (ie: anywhere past Toronto), but if you’re not far from Montreal a theoretical package should arrive by the end of the week.


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