Questionable judgment pt.4

I was organizing my garage with a friend the other day (well, more like the other week) when she noticed these candelabras. I hadn’t thought much about them since I found them in the fall, and I was prepared to give her one as part of her payment for helping me out. However, since I found so many other precious metal items at this spot I decided I should give them one more look over before giving one away.

Sure enough, this time around my eyes spotted some impressions I hadn’t seen previously. The candelabras are actually made from 80% German silver and likely date to the early 20th century – check out the stamps below and zoom in for a better look!

As you might expect this increases their value greatly. I might sell a silver plated candelabra for between 5-10$, but I should be able to sell these 80% silver pieces for a few hundred dollars each, maybe more if I clean them up nicely. One of them has a bit of a break on the arm, but that could probably be easily fixed.

I figured this was a great way to finish up this series. This spot provided my best ever haul of precious metal items, and I hope to be similarly lucky sometime in the near future!

I’ll offset the months-old finds by posting about some stuff I found this past week. I love seeing moving trucks in rich neighbourhoods (in this case, Westmount) on garbage day as often there’ll be some bags of “trash” waiting off to the side.

 

 

 

I found this mug inside a shipping box. I guess someone didn’t appreciate it?

(By the way, if you know of a program I can use to trim off parts of a video please let me know! I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of the useless sections, for example the bottom part where nothing happens).

I saved a bunch of yoga books (there were several others not pictured) and CD / DVD sets. The discs might actually be worth good money. For instance, that Master Immersion with John Friend set contains 19 discs and the cheapest one on Amazon costs over 100$. It’s probably a long-tail item, however.

I saved a bunch of nice soaps (the brown ones cost 10$ each) …

… some Chameleon Color Top markers (apparently these are fairly pricey);

… a working Kindle;

… some unopened food, all of which is barely or not at all expired;

… and a bit of jewelry. Most of these are silver. That white thing could be ivory, and I hope that nose piece is gold. Below is a silver snake, it’s quite large so I think it’s made to be worn on a leg.

One of the bags contained a smaller bag that held miniature objects which smelled like cat pee. Most of the items were charm-like, so maybe someone decorated their cat’s litter area? Regardless, this toonie and the metal (pewter?) shell were among those things. Fortunately, it was easy to remove the smell.

I also saved a nice feather pen with a pewter “quill” and stand …

… and a Parker Ingenuity 5th pen, which seems to be worth about 50$.

My best find though was this collection of fancy perfumes. The Byredo Super Cedar seems to be popular, I had many people asking about on Instagram but I ultimately sold it to a friend for 45$. The Salvatore Ferragamo “Tuscan Scent: Incense Suede” looks to be pretty expensive – there’s none on eBay, and a similar bottle sells for 260$ new at Saks. The Kilian “Smoke for the Soul” refill bottle and Terre D’Hermes are also very good finds. I should do well here!

The end of the month is near… here’s hoping I find more rich people move-out stuff!

Most of my success on Friday came while biking around the Plateau. This pile in particular contained some interesting quality junk.

I saved a bunch of vintage photography bric-a-brac, including glass slide-binders, filters, and a couple small lenses. I doubt any one piece is worth a lot, but a good number are likely in the 5-20$ range.

There’s a lot of neat stuff here (zoom in for a closer look!). I’m intrigued by that miniature light (on top, above the orange filter) as I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. Near the bottom above the other orange filters is a pin from the 55th Esperanto convention in 1970, or sometime around then. Esperanto is an interesting concept, a constructed language made up of a combination of many different languages in an attempt to bring world peace. It never really took off as hoped, though more people are learning it these days thanks to its inclusion in various language learning apps. You’ll see a few more Esperanto-related baubles in one of the next pictures.

I’m also curious about these glass pieces, one of which has a copper backing. I’d guess that they were part of some photography mirror, but if anyone knows for sure please inform us in the comments!

Here’s some more camera doohickies. The labels on those filters appear to be written in Esperanto.

The contraption near the top right of that picture is an old Kodak self timer. It’s not worth a lot, maybe 5$ but it’s cool nonetheless. Perhaps I’ll return to this spot on Friday to see if any other goodies make it to the curb.

You might notice that I added a couple new links to eBay below. I make a bit of money when people sign up for an account or buy something after getting to eBay via these links so keep that in mind if you’ve been considering doing either of those things! eBay is also a great tool for researching the value of an item so use that third link if you want to look up something you have lying around the house (I don’t make money from searches, it’s just a good idea). Keep in mind that completed / sold listings are a much more reliable indicator than active listings, so check those boxes if you want a more accurate assessment (I use completed listings for the unusual items and sold prices for the more common).

Links

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4. Kijiji listings
5. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
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Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. Staying on top of emails is not my best quality, so please be patient (but feel free to nag).

Questionable judgment pt.3

I’ve been sitting on these pictures for about six months now… it’s time to post them or get off the pot! As explained in previous posts┬áthese folks had legendarily poor garbage-related judgment, especially in regards to tossing precious metals. Anyways, I found a collection of cufflinks and other jewelry bits one evening.

A number of them were stored in this jewelry box.

Luckily for me a bunch of them turned out to be gold! I could have made more money selling them as they were, but at one point I needed some cash to fix my car and had to sell them for scrap. So it goes – that would have been more of a hassle anyways. The cufflinks ended up netting me several hundred dollars (how much exactly I forget), enough to pay for most of the repair.

You might be wondering what this thing is (as it’s definitely not a cufflink). It’s a custom kinetic ring of some kind – the stone ball on top has the ability to rotate. There’s an 18k hallmark on the inside but no other impressions that would help identify the maker. Just so you know, I didn’t melt this piece because it was so unusual, and the rest of the gold covered the cost of my car repair anyways.

I’ve never seen anything quite like it, so please let me know if you have! Regardless, it’s worth a fair bit of money for the gold alone. The piece weighs about 25g, and if we assume that about half of that is gold it’d be worth around 500$ just for scrap.

There were plenty of other cufflinks. A couple of these turned out to be gold as well, though most were gold-filled or made of some other type of metal. Quality yard sale stuff anyways.

These ones were silver. Unfortunately, they were either in poor condition or missing their match.

This Danish modernist cufflink was worth selling on its own, however. It was designed by Rey Urban and should go for around 40-50$.

Otherwise, I found another nice piece of art. This one has a couple of dings in the middle but is in nice condition otherwise.

It’s signed but I can’t make out what it says. Any ideas? Zoom in for a closer look!

Here’s another piece with a signature that’s hard to decipher. This little sculpture measures only around two inches long and seems to be made of brass or another golden metal. It quite well done, if only from my amateur perspective.

Here’s the signature. It looks like it ends in “rth” but beyond that I have no idea.

The stone bear on the left is part of a 90s charity golf tournament trophy. It also “bears” an unknown signature which you can see below. The elephant is made of stone, but is unfortunately missing its tusks.

DSC02749

I found plenty of other quality junk here but I think it’s time to move on to more recent trash. There will be a part four however, featuring a couple of pieces I only recently discovered were valuable.

You might have noticed that I changed the look of the blog. I liked the old theme, but apparently this one is more mobile friendly. I think it looks good as well, but what do you think?

Links

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4. Kijiji listings
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Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. Staying on top of emails is not my best quality, so please be patient (but feel free to nag).

Flotsam & Jetsam

I’ve found plenty of interesting junk this past month. Some was probably tossed as part of spring cleaning, but some was a result of┬ápeople cleaning out houses. This particular pile in Rosemont sat near a recently sold house so in this case I’d presume the latter.

The pile featured a large pile of wood. Usually wood isn’t worth poking through (it’s often a better source of tetanus than quality junk) but I gave this collection a chance; in previous weeks I’d found some interesting stuff at this spot, and it seemed like the previous owner wasn’t keen on throwing anything out. I ended up finding two great pieces mixed in with the debris, if you look close enough you can kind of see the first one in the middle of this pic.

As a lover of politics and political ephemera I great appreciated finding this vintage PQ election sign. This would have been from the 1976 election when the Parti Quebecois had their first electoral victory. Paquette won his riding (Rosemont) and held it for around 10 years.

I’ve now found two 1976 PQ election signs. The last one was from the Plateau – it sold for 130$ but also had a cool separatist mural painted on the back. I’d guess that this one is worth a bit less than that, but I’ll bet it’s still worth around 80-100$.

I hope to find more election signs. A vintage Pierre Trudeau might be my holy grail – he served the riding of Mount Royal, so it’s not a total stretch that I might happen upon one someday.

I found this awesome wooden cabinet near the bottom of the pile. I’m not sure what it was made for originally but its future is probably as a curio cabinet. For reference, the piece is approximately 26 x 25 x 3.5″ and each box measures roughly 2.25 x 2.25 x 3″. Some on Instagram suggested it might have been for sorting mail, but I can’t see it given the small size of the boxes.

On top of each box is an old label that looks to reference a place in Quebec, or sometimes towns in provinces nearby. The white papers sometimes hang over the old labels and also feature more mostly Quebec place names.

If you have any ideas as to what it was made to do please let us know in the comments! Regardless, it’s a great piece that I’ll be tempted to keep for my myself. If interested take a look at the photos below – click on the picture and then the “view full size” button on the bottom right if you’d like to zoom in.

I also saved a collection of old toolsy stuff, most of which I’ve since given away or sold at a yard sale. I was hoping to find more quality stuff at this spot, but I think this haul was its last hurrah.

I found this three pronged flag stand while touring around Westmount with my mom. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before – my guess is that they were made to go on the front of a car. Each flag measures about 8 x 4″.

“Fast colours” and “British made” are printed on each flag while the metal base is marked “Stadium” and “Pro Pat.” I can’t be sure when this was made, but I’d guess that it dates at least to the 40s and quite possibly before that. Two of the flags are pretty stained but maybe they could be cleaned up. If you have any insights as to how this would have been used let us know in the comments!

Later that day I saved an old electric soldering machine by made by the P.W. Ellis company. The patent date is 1923, making this device quite vintage. I know, it looks pretty grungy but I think it’ll clean up pretty nice. It could be a fun decor piece, or maybe it still works…

A bag I found in TMR contained more intriguing junk.

I have no idea what this doohickey is. My first guess was a thurible, one of those incense burning things that are used in church, but I’m not sure of that. For one, there’s only one hole in that bottle left piece which would make it unsuitable for distributing incense. I’m also not sure why there would be little wheels on the top section. Do you know what this is? You can see a couple of different angles below.

Inside that old soiled Birks bag was a collection of silver.

Despite the green tarnish (most often seen in copper) all these pieces appear to be solid silver. The little bird dishes, the small plates, and the small spoon all look to have Egyptian 90% silver marks. The larger spoon (stamped 925) is a Mexican tourist piece from way back when. The sterling salt shaker, if I read the marks correctly was made in London in 1882. Most of what I find is from the 20th century, so it’s always fun to find something older than that.

I tried cleaning these and was surprised how easily most of the blue stuff came off. There’s still some work to be done though as some of that tarnish is pretty troublesome! If you have any tips on cleaning it off let me know. For now I’ll soak the pieces in soapy water to see if that breaks down the grime. Unfortunately, the little spoon snapped when I tried to wipe it down.

The weather has been great lately and I’ve gone on more garbage runs as a result. I had some success in St Michel yesterday morning and in NDG last night. Here’s hoping the good weather and finds continue through the rest of the week!

Links

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4. Kijiji listings
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Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. Staying on top of emails is not my best quality, so please be patient (but feel free to nag).