Questionable judgment pt.2

Today I’m sharing more finds from the house that tossed the heavy sterling silver dish in the fall. These guys exhibited some of the worst judgment I’ve ever seen in my career as a garbage picker – whether that was due to ignorance, total disinterest, or a combination of the two we’ll never know. Their treatment of precious metals was notably poor, but they also threw out other quality items like the art glass vase above.

The bottom was signed Orrefors (it took me a while to figure that out), the name of a respected glassworks company based in Sweden. It had no notable defects, and sold a while back for 80$.

This “boy with umbrella” Royal Copenhagen figurine also showed no signs of damage. It’s about 18cm tall and should sell for around 70$.

Some of these things were wrapped in fabric before being tossed. Or perhaps more likely, they were stored wrapped in fabric and then tossed. Either way, this clay sculpture survived its trip to the curb more or less unscathed. It’s signed by Demetrio Garcia Aguilar, a member of the Aguilar family of Oaxacan potters. It’ll probably sell for around 80$.

(For the record, I’m a bit like Alex Trebek – I may seem all knowing but I’m really just holding cue cards, or in my case doing a lot of research beforehand. For example, I knew nothing about the Aguilar potters before finding this sculpture!)

This unusual wood figure was made by J.M. Poirier, a fisherman and folk artist based in Nova Scotia / Îles de la Madeleine. I’m hoping to sell it for around 80$.

I think this old brass thing is a pull of some kind. It’s pretty big actually, measuring about 12cm in diameter. I’m not sure what to ask for this, so if you have any ideas please share them in the comments!

This set of lightweight midcentury etched glass mugs also made it to the curb in surprisingly good condition. They’re marked Schott Mainz Jena Glass on the bottom and would be great for coffee or tea. They’re worth about 10$ each, but I’ll give a customer at this vintage market a good deal when I sell my trash there near the end of the month (April 28-29, save the date!).

This little silver dish was made in Peru by Camuso. It should sell for around 30$.

The best silver piece however was this large sterling cigar humidor, which according to the inscription (which I’ve partly censored out) was given as a retirement gift to the President of a local congregation in 1944.

The box weighs about 1.2kg, probably 1.1kg of which is sterling silver. That puts the scrap value of the box at approximately 550$.

However, I’ll definitely be able to add a healthy markup to that. This box was made by Carl Poul Petersen, a Danish-Canadian silversmith who apprenticed under the legendary Georg Jensen. Inspired by this fruit bowl of his that recently sold on eBay for 4450$, I finally got around to listing mine recently for 4000$. I’m probably fishing a bit with that price, as the fruit bowl seems like a bit of an aberration (though his stuff does sell for good money) but hey, it’s better to start way too high than way too low. At the very least I expect this to be the first single item that I sell for four figures (those Expo 67 photos from a couple years back sold for 1200$, but that was a group of items; also, the George Nakashima chair sold for over a grand, but after shipping I made only 900$).

This is why I called this series “Questionable judgment.” I find sterling, mostly in the form of mediocre jewelry on a regular basis but it’s pretty unusual to find bigger pieces. This place offered me two of them, with a combined scrap value of about 1000$ and the potential for a fair bit more. I can understand throwing out silver plated stuff, which has little intrinsic value, but you’ve got to wonder what was going through this person’s head when they were bringing these things to the curb.

Part three will feature more quality junk and more precious metals, but that’ll be a little while yet. My “best of 2017” post is almost done so be on the watch for that. Otherwise, I’m swimming in great finds right now and thus have lots to talk about. These days I’m feeling like there’s not enough time in the world to deal with all the stuff I’m salvaging, and I’m trying hard to avoid getting burnt out over it.


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8203 Tanika

Today I’m sharing finds from two different houses on my Monday evening run. Neither of these spots developed as I hoped they would, but I found some cool blog-worthy stuff regardless.

This house (which also gave me the turtle magnifier and kitchen stuff from this post) produced great stuff for around a month before the source dried up, leading me to wonder if I was a little late for the party. Unfortunately, despite my best efforts I’m still bound to miss out on most of the great trash that gets tossed in this city! The cool vintage kitchenwares I found here should do well at future yard sales, assuming of course that nice weather ever actually arrives. The picture above also features a collection of skeleton keys and a single Birks sterling silver napkin holder, which I think was good for about 15$ in scrap.

There was a bit of nice pottery here. They’re signed on the bottom, and I should probably do some research before selling them.

I haven’t found any particularly noteworthy teacups since that huge collection I saved years ago. However, this Royal Stafford cup & saucer is pretty cute, and in good condition outside of some fading to the green on the near the middle of the saucer. I found more nice saucers but no cups… I wonder if those went out on previous trash days.

I also found some cool paper ephemera here, including this Sears catalogue from 1966. I’ll likely add it to my small catalogue collection that includes a 1983 Sears catalogue I found back in the fall.

I just did a bit of research and found that the vintage Christmas / “wish book” catalogues sell really well on eBay. I hope I find some soon! This particular catalogue seems to sell for around 35$ plus shipping.

I love vintage road maps, and this spot provided a whole bunch of them. Most were from the 60s and 70s, and should be easy to sell at a yard sale.

I’m not sure why the map of Warsaw has a topless lady on the cover, but there you go.

These map were stored in that little Texaco plastic folder. These folks did a lot of travelling!

I think these pressed flowers were stored with the maps, and were likely picked during one of their many roads trips.

I also saved a neat old newspaper from the time of the Warren Report. It’s not worth a lot, but it’s still pretty cool.

Finally, I picked these old leather “Gorilla shoes”. I doubt they’re worth much, but they’re in good condition I’m sure someone will appreciate their slightly distressed look.

Unfortunately that’s about all I got. I wonder what I missed out on?

Elsewhere, the house where I found that Robert Larin collar necklace was reasonably productive afterwards. “Reasonable” though isn’t what I was hoping for – I was dreaming of an MVP-like performance à la the generous (or perhaps the opposite of that) folks of the Very Rich People series. Alas, true GOAT contenders don’t come around very often.

If I were to guess I’d say that this trash was the result of an older person downsizing before a move to a smaller home. One day I opened the recycling bin and found a small collection of great ephemera. This is the cream of that crop – zoom in for a closer look! I really like the leather bankbook holder at the top of the screen. The bankbook contains entries from the 1910s, so I’d assume the holder dates from around that time as well. There’s also a McGill student card from 1949, a YMHA and YMHA library card from the mid-40s, two old photos of a guy working shoe repair in front of a hospital, and some other stuff.

This little pineapple looking thing was a fun find. It’s made of bakelite and measures about an inch tall. I’d guess that it’s a pendant, but there’s only one hole drilled into it so I’m not sure how you’d hook it onto a necklace. Regardless, due to its unique shape it should have some value on eBay.

That stockinette doll in the middle is kind of interesting. It was made in the Soviet Union, and most eBay sellers seem to think it dates back to the 1930s. I have no idea if that’s true, but it does look pretty old. I think that well worn bouquet of flower on the right goes with it. The pendant with the four red spots was made by de Passille-Sylvestre, a Quebec couple who did quality enamelwork in the 60s and 70s.

Lastly, I found that nice purse thing on the left. Inside was a pair of lacy black gloves and a very pretty scarf. The latter looks barely used and has a tag saying “handblocked print – 100% pure wool – Made in Switzerland.” I don’t know if it’s worth a lot, but it’s definitely a good find.

Barring an unexpected revival that’s all she wrote from these places. Fortunately, lots of other great spots have emerged to take their place.


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Recent sales: March

1. Vintage Revlon compact: On eBay for 30$. I had this listing up for about a year and a half – I was glad to see it hit the road. Found in TMR.

2. Archos 605 portable media player: On eBay for 80$. I found this while taking a walk in Outremont last month. I was surprised to see that there was a solid market for them – the technology, particularly the user interface felt ancient. Maybe there’s some hidden appeal I don’t understand. Either way, it was a nice sale.

3. Sony Walkman NWZ-S544 8gb: On eBay for 80$. This digital Sony Walkman also exceeded my original expectations. Found in Outremont.

4. Montblanc pen box: On eBay for 30$. This seems to be the going rate for a generic / modern Montblanc pen box.

5. Sony CD Walkman D-NE240: On eBay for 40$. Found in Outremont.

6. Vintage Ralph Lauren Polo Green Cologne: On eBay for 115$. I really liked this scent and was a little sad to see it go. However, I need the money more than I need to smell like a pine tree. Maybe I’ll find another some day. Found near Vendome metro.

7. Vintage Shell portable file holder: On eBay for 30$. I was hoping this would be worth more but 30$ is better than nothing. Found in the Mile End.

8. Antique Chinese export silver panel bracelet: On eBay for 300$. Part of that great collection of jewelry I found last fall in Westmount.

9. Anime DVD: On eBay for 10$. Only a few left…

10. Collection of 1960s Corvette convertible slides: On eBay for 20$. I figured someone would have interest in this Corvette photoshoot. There were around 20 slides in all. Found in Outremont.

11. Logitech A-00007 Clearchat Wireless Headset USB Receiver Dongle: On eBay for 30$. Just goes to show that there’s good money in doohickeys.

12. 10k gold cross pendant: On eBay for 60$. Found in Rosemont.

13. Apple iPod Nano 1st Generation: On eBay for 50$. I was surprised that these were still selling for around 50$, so I listed both the ones I had sitting around.

14. Apple iPod Nano 1st Generation #2: On eBay for 45$. This one was a bit cheaper because there was an engraving on the back. Found in Westmount.

15. iPod Classic, 160gb (for parts / repair: cracked screen): On eBay for 61$. Found in Hampstead.

16. Cute vintage charm bracelet: On eBay for 20$. Found near Square St Louis.

17. Gucci watch box: On eBay for 38$.

18. Marx tin train carriage: On eBay for 20$.

19. Silver curb chain necklace: On eBay for 35$.

20. Cyma watch: On eBay for 20$. This one’s definitely a bit of a project. Found in Rosemont.

21. 1936 Little Orphan Annie decoder pin: On eBay for 25$. Found in Westmount.

22. Vintage 1970s US military recruitment posters: On eBay for 48$. The buyer ordered my only copy of this poster, as well as one of the twenty I have of another. Found in Outremont.

23. Wee Forest Folk trick or treater figurine: On eBay for 35$. I was wondering if my Wee Forest Folks would ever sell. Found in Westmount.

24. Claiborne sunglasses: On eBay for 20$.

25. Sony Bloggie camera: On eBay for 40$. Found in Westmount.

26. Apple A1468 Lightning to 30-Pin Adapter: On eBay for 10$. Apple doohickeys always do well. I also love things I can easily ship out via lettermail.

27. 1960s PC Party convention letters, signatures: On eBay for 80$. These letters were signed by some of the more notable Canadian conservative politicians of the time. The fellow who received them was a delegate and the letters were an attempt to gain his support. However, none of these particular candidates (including Duff Roblin, Davie Fulton, and George Hees) won – Robert Stanfield received that honor, though he never became Prime Minister. Found in Cote-des-Neiges.

28. Rodenstock aviator glasses: On eBay for 40$. Found in NDG.

29. Schiit Magni 2 headphone amp: On eBay for 45$. I didn’t have the cord and didn’t feel like testing it so I sold it “as is.” I’m happy with the price and the quick sale. Found in Hampstead.

30. Parker 51 fountain pen, gold filled cap: On eBay for 80$. One buyer bought both my 51s. This one was in nice shape outside of that small dent in the gold-filled cap.

31. Parker 51 fountain pen, steel cap: On eBay for 55$. This one’s cap had a bit of surface wear. Plus, I think the gold-filled caps are a bit more collectible. Regardless, I love finding 51s – they seem to be worth an easy 50-100$.

32. Parker 75 gold nib + box + extra part: On eBay for 60$. Parker 75s are popular as well. Found in the Plateau.

33. Vintage Irving Oil credit card: On eBay for 25$. More Petroliana. I photoshopped out the name in case you’re wondering where it is. Found in Outremont.

34. Chinese export silver & enamel bib necklace: On eBay for 200$. Another nice piece from that Westmount collection.

35. Silhouette M 7138 glasses: On eBay for 90$. I find a lot of nice Silhouette frames – they typically sell for a good price.

36. Perfumes: To a reader for 100$. The deal included the Prada and Annick Goutal from this haul, as well as a bunch of others that I found over the winter.

37. Vintage melamine table: On Kijiji for 50$. I loved this table (yellow is my favourite colour) but there wasn’t any room for it in my current apartment. Found in Glenmount.

38. Vintage sled: On Kijiji for 35$.

39. Vintage windows: On Kijiji for 70$. I didn’t sell these two specifically, but they were of a similar vintage. I started collecting old windows relatively recently, after I realized they had value to crafty folks and interior designers.

Total: 2222$, 6307.50$ so far in 2018.