Last of 2018 pt.1

Before I sum up my 2018 campaign I figured I’d share the rest of my now year-old photos and start 2019 with a fresh slate. These finds came from another interesting spot in Nouveau Bordeaux, a part of town that is quickly becoming one of my favourites. I met the folks doing the tossing and they didn’t mind my looking through their trash at all, in fact they encouraged me to do so. I haven’t seen anything there since, but I have the feeling more will appear on the curb at some point in the future.

I really like these old aluminum canisters. They feature both French and Arabic writing and I wasn’t able to find any similar ones online (though perhaps I was searching in the wrong language). Either way, I expect them to sell for a bit more than the usual vintage canister. I currently have them priced at 90$, which I think is a high but reasonable valuation. They were pretty grimy when I found them, but they cleaned up pretty nice!

This place provided a couple of cool ashtrays, including this one from Florida …

… and the 1964 New York World’s Fair Unisphere one at top left. Those Expo 67 trays were in great shape, and while common they still sell pretty easily.

I found some decent kitchen stuff here, including the pie plates above and the sturdy old pizza pan below. I also saved some miscellaneous pieces of Pyrex that are now part of a lot at the local auction house (edit: the lot sold for around 40$, I wasn’t able to get the post up before the auction ended).

I think these are bowls for a hookah pipe, though the flat tops are a bit unusual. The auction house didn’t want them, but I think they might do well as a lot on eBay.

I also found a bunch of jewelry and mending materials. Much of it wasn’t worth keeping, but I did set aside several Bakelite and glass buttons, some yard sale worthy jewelry, and a few more interesting bits.

The enameled scarab brooch is hallmarked with something that looks like “300” or “500” but neither seems to be a known gold purity (500 would be 12k, but that’s not a commonly used purity or hallmark). I’ll have to have it tested, or maybe it’s time to figure out how to test gold myself. To the right of that are some WWII-era “wings” that were turned into a screw-back earring. The copper bracelet also has a military look to it. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, so please let us know if you have!

Lastly, with the encouragement of the tosser I took home a suitcase full of old clothes, most of which dated from the 60s and 70s. Judging from the patterns and tags I’d guess that these made their way to Canada from somewhere around the Middle East, perhaps Turkey, Egypt, or Lebanon. I figured an eclectic consignment shop would have the most interest, so I brought them to Eva B and got a 150$ store credit. Not bad! I hate shopping for clothes and rarely do it, but fortunately this place also lets you buy tasty and reasonably healthy food with your store credit (I’d recommend a visit if you’ve never been!). Below is a selection of the most notable pieces according to me, plus a picture of a tag I found inside one of the jackets.

Now let’s travel way back to the summer when I was too busy to focus much on the blog. This jewelry haul was my best find from one particular spot in a rich part of town. There was a bit of gold and a lot of silver, the most valuable piece being that bangle near the middle of the picture.

It was made by the Georg Jensen company sometime after 1945 (I’d guess the 50s or 60s). His name carries a lot of prestige, and I expect this piece to eventually sell for around 3-400$.

I also fished this old 80% Italian silver pill box from the bottom of the recycling bin. It should sell for around 100-150$. I like to think I saved everything good from that bin, but it’s pretty hard to look through a 360 liter container when it’s stuffed full of junk.

Elsewhere, I found this Tiffany collar in its original packaging the same night I found a Montblanc pen also in its original box. That was a good run!

It’s not that often I find luxury products in their original boxes, so this was definitely an outlier. However, as a trash picker I’m bound to beat the odds (in one way or another) a few times a year. The sterling silver 1837 collar was in great condition and should sell for 300$.


I’ll try to get part two up soon, and then it’ll be time to close the book on 2018 with a “best of” post.

Otherwise, I want to apologize to all the people who have sent me emails in the last six months because I’ve been very bad at responding to them. I don’t think my brain is made for multi-tasking, and my emails often fall to the wayside behind picking, eBay, blogging, and so on. I will try to catch up soon however, and start fresh in the New Year.

On a related note, from now on I can no longer fulfill most item requests. I may make an exception for uncommon items that provoke a specific nostalgia, but for things that can be easily found elsewhere I would suggest buying from someone else. For one, my brain explodes when I try to juggle too many things at once, and organizing a private sale requires more energy than if I sold the item as I normally would. Also, these days a lot of my junk is already listed, packed away, or long gone by the time it makes the blog. If you consistently like my finds your best bet is to keep an eye on my eBay listings, come to my yard sales, and sign up for an account at Encans Quebec, the local auction house I frequent. I’ll try to link to their still active listings of my items when possible (unfortunately, there’s no way to link you to a specific account page like I can with eBay). They do offer shipping, so even if you’re nowhere near Montreal you can still buy their stuff.

There was quite the snowstorm on Sunday, and it’s been very cold to boot. I’ve skipped a couple garbage runs as a result – the potential (but not guarantee) of quality garbage did not outweigh my desire to not go outside and not lose my parking spot. However, the streets should be cleaned up soon, and the temperature is expected to rise so I’ll be back out there soon enough.


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18 thoughts on “Last of 2018 pt.1”

  1. Thank you for another great blog post. I continue to be amazed at what our fellow human beings discard — and you, blessedly, recover… Maybe you continue to innovate as needed in 2019.

  2. Always happy to see one of your posts in my Inbox. Thanks for taking the time. I am always amazed by what you find.

  3. I subscribe to this blog and your Instagram Stories, and religiously check out your ebay listings every day … I can never get too much of my favourite garbologist. 😀

  4. That little pill box is sweet.

    I’m so happy that you find so many things to keep out of the landfills, and can make a living at it.

  5. I’m always fascinated by the wonderful finds you come across. And, like Jenny_o above I also am happy to see these things saved from the land fill. Your work is really a community service.

    Looking forward to the next “chapter”. Stay warm! It’s cold–single digits–here in Michigan, too!

  6. Yesterday my friend told me she accidentally threw a hundred dollar bill in the garbage. Too late to retrieve it. I guess these things do happen. Could you give me the name of the auction house you use? I’d like to go have a look-see. Continued success in 2019. Absolutely fabulous work that you do. Thanks for helping save the world.

    1. I’m sure it happens all the time. For every person who figures it out (a little too late) I’m sure there’s at least 10 more who don’t, or take the location of their secret stash to the grave…

  7. Wow on those finds, particularly the bangle and the Tiffany necklace in the box! I found a Tiffany keychain in the little baggie in a tossed out jewelry box once. I cleaned it up and I’ve used it for my car keys ever since. It makes me feel fancy lol.

  8. I love the blue ‘eye’ beads necklace in the first jewelry pic.
    I understand throwing some stuff away, if you don’t know the value, but I can’t understand why anyone would throw away a necklace, still in the BOX, from Tiffany. I think it’s great that you find such neat things and, as others have said, keep valuable stuff from going to the landfill.

  9. You inspire me so much—I love the cool ashtray from Florida with an alligator on top.I never saw such an ashtray before.I do not smoke but collect these kinds of things in my apartment.I live in Laval in a duplex and my apartment has tons of vinyl records and knick-knacks like masks,figurines,toy cars,unusual porcelain items,etc.I love being surrounded by eclectic and knick-knacks.Some would accuse me of having too much clutter,but my landlord who lives on another floor has so many boxes and appliances in his garage he can only get Inside by squeezing his way through.He did some plumbing work and when he saw my collection of knick-knacks and memorabilia,he praised me for collecting so much art.
    Not all building owners view clutter negatively.My landlord has even more clutter than I do.

  10. I live in a town of Quebec with the population of 75,000.In the summer I found interesting garbage in my town and took home many necklaces,vinyl records and a couple of lamps.I sold the necklaces when I went to Quebec city during a friend’s garage sale.I made $65 easily.You inspire me to search the trash occasionally.
    Near my town the banks are removing several ATM machines in order to push townfolk to give up cash and start paying with credit cards,debit cards or e-transfer.But I love cash for transactions under $200.I am against a cashless society.Many of my townsfolk have complained to the financial institutions about banks removing several ATMs.As a result ,a couple of them were reinstated.But 7 or 8 others that were removed have not been put back.I wrote to The Montreal Gazette about what the banks are doing,but the Gazette refused to publish my letter.The Gazette and many other media want a cashless society.
    I am against the cashless society.For people in your trade and many others the cashless society is a very bad idea.Please do not forget the dangers of the cashless society.

  11. How much do you expect for the Florida ashtray with an alligator?It is a very interesting piece.How much do you expect for those cool Expo 67 trays?My friends and I want to know.

    1. The Florida ashtray would probably sell for 20 bucks, maybe a bit more. I plan on keeping it though, I like that kind of kitschy stuff. I think the Expo trays would sell for around 10-15 each because they’re in near pristine condition.

  12. Great finds.I cannot understand why people would throw out such beautiful ashtrays and Expo trays.Many people care not about what they junk.I just saw Marie Kondo’s show on Netflix.She insisted to people on the show that they discard most of their knick-knacks and memorabilia. Many others may love her show,but I have decided I will no longer Watch her show or Netflix.
    I want people who appreciate the past to boycott her show entirely.I hope the Marie Kondo boycott grows.I am tired of Marie Kondo already.I love the past.

  13. Nouveau Bordeau has a lot of rich or solidly middle-class Arab résidents,especially Lebanese.They tend to be very consumeristic and lead flashy lifestyles and often throw out old stuff even if it is valuable.Your decision to go to Nouveau Bordeau is a good one.The eastern and central part of Ahuntsic are much more francophone than the Nouveau Bordeau part.
    When you see a lot of hookah merchandise in the trash,it is usually from an Arab home.Keep going there.
    Also go more often to Laval where there are a lot of Arabs and other ethnic communities.

  14. These clothes that you found are amazing.Thank you for sharing that link about Eva B.Some readers could benefit from that.
    When the weather is this cold this you should just hibernate on some days and try to walk around a bit on other days to see if you can find treasures in your own neighborhood.I would be very curious to know how much you sell those wonderful eagle figurines that you found last year.

    1. Yes the weather has been rough recently. I’ve taken days off due to snow, ice, and cold temperatures. Fortunately, there’s always something I can get done at home. I ended up selling the owls to my stepdad for a relatively good deal, he plans on giving them to various relatives in the coming years.

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