Site icon Things I find in the garbage

Questionable judgment pt.1

My success as a trash picker depends largely on the questionable judgment of others. Sometimes I can totally understand how someone can misvalue their belongings – there’s a prevalent assumption that old things are worthless, for example. Other times it blows my mind what people abandon on the curb.

This spot fit the latter description and was one of my favourite providers for a couple months in the fall. Every week I was saving something vintage or novel, and a few of those finds are candidates for my upcoming “Best of 2017” post. Some of you might recall the heavy silver dish I found way back and sold to my jeweler for an easy 425$ – I found that the first night I stopped here. The art dump above came sometime later on.

That painting with the horses is pretty cool (if a little damaged). I don’t have a good photo of it right now, so it’ll have to wait for another post. This still life drawing of some flowers ended up being a nice find, however. It languished in my garage for a couple months before I gave it a closer look.

Only then did I notice the “Muhlstock” signature below one of the leaves. It looks like the signature of Louis Muhlstock, a noted Montreal-based Jewish painter. His most valuable works are his street scenes and sketches of the working class, but his other works have value as well. I wonder if selling this through an art auctioneer like Heffel might be my best choice – if you have any advice, let me know in the comments! The frame is a little busted, but the work itself is in fine shape.

That first night I saved a bunch of old framed photos from the bin. A lot of the frames were moisture damaged, but most of the actual photos were in decent condition. Some were taken by the Notman & Sons studio, which was a big deal in Montreal back in the day. These will be available at one of my yard sales if you’re interested!

This 1932 McGill yearbook was probably the most beautiful I’ve ever seen. It features a lot of great photos and art, including several pages of silkscreen prints – take a closer look below. I sold it to a reader for 20$, which I think is a good deal for a book like this.

I also found a framed magazine article featuring the signature of Artur Rubinstein, the famed Polish pianist. This recently sold on eBay for a good price and I got positive feedback to boot. It’ll be featured in my next sales post, but if you want to guess its value feel free to do so in the poll below.

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There’s a lot more to share, but I’m having some writer’s block so I’ll leave it at that. My luck has been okay lately, some quality finds but nothing incredible.


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