One-hit wonders

Sometimes a house will provide great trash over a period of weeks or months, but occasionally I’ll find noteworthy junk on the curb on just one trash day. Today’s spots fit into that latter category. Whether I was just late to the party, or whether only a limited quantity of things were purged we’ll never know.

By the time I was done here those bags were largely empty. I also found some nice stuff in the bins.

I saved a nice old set of plates by Simpsons Potters of England that made their way to the curb. A few were broken, but thankfully around 6-7 were still intact and in pretty good condition for their age. They might have a bit of value on eBay.

Otherwise I found several toolboxes filled with various hardware related bric-a-brac. I don’t think any of it is super valuable, but it’s definitely yard sale worthy! I don’t know what some of these tools are for, so feel free to share any insights you might have.

My best find though was a bag of jewelry in one of the bins.

Here’s the cream of the crop. The two irregular brooches / pendants (red stones, colorful pattern) are both Israeli silver. The Star of David is also stamped but I can’t make out what they say. It’s likely silver, however. On the bottom right are a set of mostly silver charms including an Italian horn, another Star of David, a Chai, a hand holding some keys, and and a wooden fist. I don’t know the symbology of the last two, so feel free to fill me in. The most valuable pieces are likely the ones at bottom centre, all of which are stamped 14k gold. For scrap they’re worth close to 300$, but I’ll try to sell them as is.

I thought that piece at top right was nice but I didn’t see any marks on it. Until yesterday that is, when I finally spotted a 14k stamp near the base of the pin. It weighs a hefty 9.75 grams, making it worth around 300$ in scrap. That’s a nice bonus!

I’m lucky to have chanced upon this spot that first night. Since then, I’ve seen nothing of interest.

Another house produced great stuff on a heavy garbage day but very little otherwise. I saved the pieces to an old Raymond sewing machine table, which should be an easy sell at a future yard sale or auction.

These former trees are pretty unusual. I’m not sure what they were made for, but they’d make a nice jewelry display at a yard sale.

I saved a bit of ephemera including postcards, tourist items, and university related papers. It seems someone graduated from UBC as a mechanical engineer in the 1950s.

I found a cookbook that was published in 1877! Unfortunately, someone glued a paper dust jacket to the cover and I don’t think it’s going to come off cleanly.

I found plenty of neat miscellaenous junk, including an old brass ashtray (one of two) made for a Thomas Robertson Company, a glass ashtray from the Monteleone hotel in New Orleans, an antique baby bath thermometer…

… the decorative part of an old orange box, a vintage fly swatter;

… and some old car stuff. I found a bunch of trophies related to rallies and driving (maybe a dozen in total), two Triumph car badges, and one for a 1970s Oldsmobile Cutlass.

I also saved four old car plates from the early 60s. I couldn’t find any reference online to the “Canadian Capers” or the Tulip or Quebec rallies, so let me know if you have any information as to what those would have been. I listed the four together for 100$, we’ll see if anyone bites. It’s hard to price things accurately when there’s nothing out there like them. In my mind it’s better to ask for too much than too little.

We’ll finish with more car badges, which fortunately were relatively easy to price. Both the RAC (Royal Auto Club) and Triumph Sports Owners Association badges sold fairly quickly for 50$ a piece.

I would love to have found more here but so it goes. Vintage car stuff is a great seller.

I’ve recently commissioned my first items at Encans Quebec (Quebec Auctions) after meeting someone who works there and talking with some folks who’ve had positive experiences. I’m hoping that it’ll be a good way to unload things (especially large things) quickly and at low effort while reducing the stress caused by owning way too much stuff. We’ll see how it goes, but I expect I’ll be doing this regularly going forward. I’ll definitely keep using eBay for most items though, I think it’s the best way to maximize value (especially in niche markets).

Otherwise, the warm weather has made me more adventurous in terms of my garbage routes. I had good luck on a Ville St Laurent heavy garbage day last Thursday, and ended up in Anjou on Friday (though there was no garbage). This week I’m thinking of checking out Montreal Nord and Laval, but if I feel lazy I’ll go somewhere closer.

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24 thoughts on “One-hit wonders”

  1. The fist pendant is an amulet called “figa”. It has its origin in ancient Rome, there the fig sign, or manu fica, was made by the pater familias to ward off the evil spirits of the dead as a part of the Lemuria ritual.

    Is still in use in many mediterranean countries as Portugal, Spain, Italy, etc… is usually made of jet.

  2. Tools……second down on right is a tap and die set, import probably and worth about 5 to $10 if complete.
    Next down is a socket set, worth maybe $5, more if it has a recognized name (Mac, Snap on, Proto, Challenger, Gray, etc.)

  3. With regard to the tulip plate, it names the Netherlands Association of Canada. Canada has a long association of receiving tulips from the Netherlands because of Canada’s help in WWII. The Tulip Rally may be related to that relationship.

  4. i thnk, maybe it is some offspring of an older couple, the offspring are chucking stuff out…Stuff they likely have no clue about…

    –thing is, I BET you these “things” (especially the tools/boxes) were of huge import to the owners, and they would have been devastated to find the “kids” had chucked them. They would likely be very glad you have rescued these (especially the tools) and they will find homes with folks who appreciate their worth/use. Well done.

    1. Quite possibly. I like to think that the previous owners of some of these objects would be happy to know that someone saved them, and that someone else will appreciate them.

  5. The Remington Power Actuated Tool is for driving nails into concrete or mortar. It take a charge that looks like a bullet. I bought one new about 10-15 years ago, at the time they were only about $15-$25 new, they make their money off of the cartridges. The three flat boards with handles are probably for smoothing plaster or small areas of cement, also not worth much. On the other hand, the car trophies, depending on age and event sometimes go for quite a lot $20-$100. Great finds, I’m always amazed at people that throw away gold and silver. I always wonder if they just do not know or care.

    Happy hunting

    1. Thanks for the info, I’ll have to look into the car trophies. I suspect most people who throw out silver & gold either don’t know or don’t care. In the case of gold, if they know but don’t care then it probably means that they don’t know the value of gold, as even a small collection can be worth a fair bit (and is quite easy to unload).

  6. I am interested in your trophies. Would love to see them all and learn their sizes. I’m in the US so I don’t know if that means the shipping would make purchase prohibitive?

    1. If you send me an email maybe we can figure something out. None of the trophies are super large or heavy, so I expect shipping would cost 25-30 Canadian dollars.

  7. To remove the paper from the leather book cover: you could apply a moist(not wet) rag over the affected areas.After a bit when the paper is moist see if the glue has released its grip.Scrape gently with a dull knife.

    1. I’ll probably list them eventually but I don’t have much time at the moment. In the summer I typically don’t do eBay as much because there’s less people on it anyways, and the weather is a lot nicer for trash picking. I usually start listing again come October / November. But send me an email and if I have time I could make an exception.

  8. I have successfully used lighter fluid to remove paper stuck on items, even books, and leaves no damage.

  9. Love the jewelry trees.

    I usually shake my head as I read your blog because I can’t believe people throw so many things away that other people could use. It makes me wonder if it is hard to donate in Canada, or maybe it is the same in the US, where I live. So, Martin, there is this store near me that woman opened in 2011. It is a thrift shop, so all of the items are donated, and most of the employees are volunteers, and the store has donated over $1.2 million to various charities for sick children. I could see you doing something like that when you need a change of pace. The owner and her brother who helps, probably get a salary at their Non-Profit. Also, a 21 year-old college student started a company in the US called 1-800-GOT-JUNK and they charge people to haul their stuff away. People would actually hand you their things and wouldn’t mind what you did with them. So many ideas. But mainly I just thank you because your blog is my favorite of the many that I read.

    1. Maybe I could do something like that at some point. For now I like the niche I have carved, as I save things that neither a thrift store nor a junk company would receive. But I might want to do something more profitable one day.

      I think I make Canada look worse than it is, haha. Keep in mind I spend about 15 hours a week (on average) looking for garbage in a big city, and I also open bags which often contain the best finds. I’ve sure if someone did the same in a large American city they would have similar results.

  10. HI, I am just wondering if the Mercedes trophy has sold, and if the hood ornament is real. My son has just purchased a ’92 Mercedes but sadly is missing the hood ornament. Has it sold and if not, how much would you like for it?
    I love your blog; it is endlessly fascinating.

    1. It might be a real hood ornament but I don’t know for sure. It’s metal so that’s a good sign. The trophy is from 1961 though so I’m not sure if it would match a 1992. I’m not sure when I’ll get around to listing it, but you can send me an email.

    1. It’s sitting in a box right now, I’m not sure when I’ll get around to listing it… There are probably similar ones online however.

  11. No point in donating cosmetics like perfumes,shampoo bottles,lipstick to charities like Salvation Army,Renaissance or VIllage Des Valeurs.They do not sell them even if the items are almost new and are not allowed to sell them.
    Use cosmetic items for yourself or give it to a friend instead of donating them or throwing them out.

  12. So much lovely vintage stuff saved from the landfill! I’m happy that you found gold again 🙂 Easy money for you which is wonderful!

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