Mercury pt.2

The “mercury house” (as I came to know it) kept producing unusual junk long after I found the jar of mercury there back in September. These folks were pretty crafty, and often the bags would be filled largely with old projects – homemade masks, dolls, ceramics, woodworking, glass, and more. These slides featured images of those projects, some of which you might see below. However, I didn’t have time to photograph many of the things I found here.

The house provided plenty of neat vintage junk as well. In this photo you can see some expired film (there’s a good market for that at yard sales), a Seagull pewter keychain, a container of pull-tabs, some copper doohickeys, a hat of some kind, and plenty more.

That orange medicine bottle is full of seeds. I find seeds semi-regularly, and always wonder if they’re worth trying to sell at yard sales. I know people like heirloom plants, and if the seeds are, say 30 years old the plants might be different from the ones grown today. I doubt the ones in paper envelopes keep very well over time, but ones stores in airtight containers like that pill bottle might still be good. So…

That guy with the violin was a fun woodworking project; when you pull the string, the head bobs up and down and the bow goes back and forth. It’s a little busted though – a cut penny, which I think is an essential piece, has come unglued.

This brass ashtray was a cool find. It’s not super valuable but should do well at a yard sale.

I took my first garage photos against the background of the floor. They’re ok, but the ones with the fabric background are better. There’s a few Red Rose tea figurines in this batch of junk, as well as a bunch of projects.

There’s some nice vintage ceramics here including the pot on the left, the Limoges dish near the centre, and the Beswick bird near the top right.

This little burner / needle sterilizer was a neat find. It might have been part of a WWII field kit, and should sell for around 30$.

I like that typewriter ashtray, as well as the vintage Cookie Monster doll.

Somebody at a yard sale will probably want these creepy masks. I forget what was written on the back, except that they were made in the 80s.

That box on the right is probably a homemade radio. That alarm clock radio didn’t work, unfortunately.

I enjoyed that handmade book near the top left. It seems to contain the lyrics to a bunch of scout songs (see below for a closer look). I’m curious about the rocks in the tin and the beaded necklace, if you know anything about them please comment!

I saved a bunch of scarves and miscellaneous fabrics, as well as a pair of wooden shoes.

One time I opened a bag was greeted by a vintage 1$ bill. It’s in excellent condition but still not worth much. I also found a Bérudollar, a “Bank of Quebec” note valued at 80c. It was made in the 80s by a trade union to protest something, what exactly I’m not sure.

Let’s finish off with another old political item. This record was made for the Rhinoceros Party, a satirical political party that promised to repeal the laws of gravity, among other things. The first Rhinoceros Party (it has since been resurrected) existed from 1963-1993, though 1979 (the year this record was made) was the first time they fielded a significant number of candidates. This recording looks to be pretty uncommon but I have no idea what it might be worth. If you do, let me know.

I think this spot has dried up for good now. I saw a moving truck there one day, and since then there’s been no trash on the curb. So it goes!

I happened upon a great pile of vintage stuff on Saturday. It’s going to take a while to process / photograph but I’m excited to share it here when that’s all done.

Otherwise, I finally sold this beautiful old art deco (c.1930s) Asprey catalogue I found a few years back. The book was in excellent condition and offered a great look at the luxury goods of the era. It will be featured in my next sales summary post, but for now I figured I’d let you guess how much it went for. Good luck!

Oh, and I started a couple more auctions last night, and four more are ending tonight. The beer label auction is doing quite well already with a bid and eight watchers in the first 12 hours or so. Not bad! A couple of my battery lots will sell as well, for how much it remains to be seen.


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

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

21 thoughts on “Mercury pt.2”

  1. Loving the little needle burner. My dad had a much bigger one from WWII for heating a cup of tea or a can of beans. It came from his kit. Unfortunately my brother sold it without telling me. I would have bought it 🙁

  2. Thank you for another great window into your life as a re-claimer/recycler/re-seller! I have never heard of Asprey. I guess some folks experienced the 1930s (wasn’t there a Great Depression then?) differently than others… Your voting options are a fun addition to your excellent posts.

    1. Glad you like the voting / polls, I may do more of that going forward. I think a lot of people did quite well in the 30s, though a lot more people were doing pretty badly as well. It’s a bit like today, where the top 1% do pretty well regardless of the economy, outside of the occasional person who loses their fortune through stupidity or misadventure.

  3. Love the little polls you included in this blog post! I think it’s great to involve the reader that way.
    What happened to the old compartmented drawer you used for some of your pics a whil;e back. I thought that worked very well too, for presentation.
    That little burner / needle sterilizer was an interesting find, for sure … and something else I learned about that I didn’t know ever existed.
    Re: the viability of old seeds, see
    Hope that Asprey catalogue went for the highest price. 🙂

    1. That drawer is in my storage, maybe I’ll dig it out next time I go (I need to pick up some things there anyways).

  4. Old seeds might sell on Ebay or Etsy. Just be clear they are mystery seeds. There are seed swap groups on Facebook. We have a cabinet at the library in ON. where anyone can take some or leave some. If I were you curiosity would cause me to stick a few in a pot and put it on a window ledge.

    I went to Montreal in late Dec. I made it to two thrift stores best find was a blow up retro Bozo punching clown for $2.50. It kept my son busy. I found vintage alphabet cards from 1973. Three different sets in the box. 38 cents with a sorry you waited 30 mins in line discount. LOL. I kept the ones that showed cursive and gave the other 2 sets to my sister in law who teaches English.

    1. A free seed-swap cabinet in a library? Awesome! I tip my hat to you! 😉
      “If you have a garden & a library, you have everything you need.” -marcus tullius cicero 105 b.c. (roman statesman)

  5. I’m not sure why you’d need such a cool instrument to sterilize needles; did you guess or does it say that’s what it is? No matter, it is my favorite from this post just because. Love the questions too!

    1. I guessed it. The only thing written on it is “Patent Applied For”, and a little logo on the top I’m not familiar with. I figured it might have to do with needles because the little area on top is roughly the size of a needle, and a needle is something you might want to heat up. I’m proud that I guessed it actually, ha ha.

  6. Hi,
    In your first picture of all the Knick knacks, on the right side near the yellow doll, under the elephant there is a bird with wings and tails made of what can look like nylon filaments ( could be spun glass) That’s a mercury glass bird ornament some of them are quite valuable, specially the German ones. Maybe it’s worth doing a bit of research on it! Good luck.

  7. I would try to plant the seeds and if they grow, you could sell the plants in your garage sales. Of course, this is if you want to start in the business of growing large amount of plants.

  8. I love your posts! I used to collect Red Rose Tea figurines where I live in the San Francisco Bay Area, back in the 70s, 80s, 90s. I read somewhere that the Canadian Red Rose Tea figurines had more than one color of glaze on each one, but the U.S. figurines only had one color of glaze per figurine. Sometimes I would find a figurine with 2 or 3 colors on it in an antique/collectibles store, and I’d get so excited. I’d wonder how it made its way from Canada down to California.

  9. The necklace looks like African beadwork, specifically Ndebele beadwork from South Africa or Zimbabwe.

  10. The camel ashtray is pretty cool. I bet you could sell it on Etsy for $25. Someone might like it to display their collection of seaglass or stones or ?? But you probably know the market better than I do. Like the new picts but it is a bit harder to see the objects on the cement backing. But the photos are great!

    1. I think you’re right, but it’s another one of those things where shipping will eat into my profits to the point where it’s not worth the effort of listing. I think I’ll try to sell it at a yard sale instead.

      Glad you like the photos. I agree on the concrete background, those looked better on the camera than on my computer. At the time though I just wanted to process that stuff as it had been sitting around for quite some time. There shouldn’t be any more concrete photos going forward.

  11. Might those rocks be chunks of iron ore? My husband was given a piece recently and it looks similar.

    1. I thought about that. Maybe in the summer I can do something like that. The fabric is decent though, it’s stuff I found recently with those clothes in St Michel. If I wash it I should be able to get rid of the wrinkles as well.

  12. The camel ashtray is very cool and could be repurposed /sold as a candle holder

  13. The beaded necklace looks SW to me. I recently sold a more modern one on ebay for $60 so price well on that item.

Comments are closed.