Grumpy gus pt. 1

I happened upon this spot in Montreal West when out with a friend this summer. I found some nice jewelry that first day, which enticed me to come back the next week. I was alone then, and had the misfortune of meeting the tosser who wasn’t particularly happy to see me. I forget how our conversation went exactly – I think she asked “can I help you?” (in a tone that made it clear that she had no interest in helping me), and asked me to leave her garbage alone. But I was more assertive than I often am: I told her what I was doing wasn’t illegal and showed her an example of something I saved (in this case, a full bag of IKEA tea lights). Eventually she decided I wasn’t worth the bother and drove off somewhat miffed. Her passenger was an older woman, probably in her 80s, who seemed mildly amused by the whole scene.

Anyways, right after she left I opened a bag and quickly found cash. The contents were a bit damp from rain, and my theory is that the cash was in an envelope that fell apart when I started moving things around. Regardless, there was 280$ in total, which was a nice reward for dealing with the grumpy lady!

This is my second cash haul of 2019, the other one being that collection of foreign bills (worth around 175$) I found in TMR. That doesn’t compare to my legendary 2018 cash hauls, but I can’t complain.

I found plenty of interesting junk here. That wool knitting bag is quite nice (any ideas where it might come from?), and the radios have some value as well. The brass napkin holder is marked “handarbeit”, or handmade in German.

I saved some flower pressing stuff, including a well organized collection of flowers in that “Pocket Simon” box. I remember selling all this to a friend at one of my yard sales, I think for 5$.

Here’s a few more bits and bobs. I’m wondering what the word for the thing in the middle is, if you know please share in the comments!

Here’s a look at the jewelry, which if I remember right was stored in a nondescript plastic shopping bag. The most expensive piece might be that black & gold locket to the right of the ring in a box at the top. I couldn’t find any hallmarks but my jeweler told me that it’s 15k gold, and likely Victorian. The stone is probably onyx. It seems to be worth a few hundred dollars, maybe a bit more. The ring is 10k gold, and the large stone is probably cut glass. The bracelet below that is silver, hallmarked 835 (835 parts per 1000), a mostly obsolete standard which appears to have been only been used in a few European countries.

That vintage sealed Lancome Magie Noire was a good find as well. It sold pretty quickly to a local buyer for somewhere between 60-80$.

Here’s some more quality jewelry. I saved a few bits of gold, like that St Anthony medallion near the top centre and the earrings inside the bangle. There’s also a number of silver pieces, my favourite being that bracelet with the charms. Two of the charms are silver, and the Innsbruck one is 14k gold. The bracelet itself is marked RBH 900, which means it may been designed by Rasmus Bjorn Halvordersen, a Danish Arts & Crafts era silversmith. I don’t know if his work is particularly sought after, but it’s a nice piece regardless.

I also thought this ring was neat. There’s no hallmarks I can see but I’m sure it’s silver. I don’t know much about the design, so please let me know if you do!

I found more quality junk here, but I decided to divide it all into two different smaller posts. I should get the second edition up soon enough.


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19 thoughts on “Grumpy gus pt. 1”

  1. The knitting bag almost looks native in design. The “thing in the middle” looks like a little shrine for the home. The ring has interesting crosses. Google those because I think more than one group has used that.

  2. Looking up the cross, that type is apparently called archiepiscopal. I wonder who could have originally worn that ring. Very intriguing.

    Some very nice finds. Too bad some unpleasantness had to be endured in acquiring them but looks like the result was worth it.

  3. Congrats on the great haul! It sounds like you dealt with the grouch with the perfect touch. The gold and onyx locket looks like a Victorian mourning piece. It probably contained a lock of hair of a deceased loved one. The charm bracelet is gorgeous. I think it would be even nicer on its own without the charms. What would you want for it? Please let me know.

    1. I think it would be nicer without the charms as well, I don’t think it was made for that purpose. I don’t know yet what I want for it. You could send me an email about it but in general I’m not good at responding to item requests (generally they are harder / more time consuming to organize versus listing something on eBay, and I get a bit stressed out when I have to price things for individual people and not the general, faceless public, lol).

  4. I still can’t understand people who throw money in the trash..that’s a nice amount too! Good for you Marrtin. Love that silver bracelet and the ring. Some good finds here!

    1. My guess is that no one throws away a bunch of bills like that on purpose, and that they get tossed because people weren’t paying attention. Sometimes I find big collections of coins, which I think people do throw out on purpose – if you’re rich, they’re just not worth the effort, or something.

  5. The picture is a nice copy of Madonna of the chair by Raphael. It is probably Italian and for a dresser or hanging on the wall.

  6. Another mind-boggling post. The things we throw out!!!!!! Bless you for all that you do, Martin. I LOVE seeing what you discover/re-claim.

  7. The thing in the middle is called a triptych. I agree with JW that it was probably for the home, seems too small for a church. That Madonna with child painting is pretty famous and has a lot of copies I think.

    Also, it always boggles my mind that people will straight up throw away CASH. I’m sure misc foreign bills can be a pain and people may not want to bother, but local currency?? At least donate it or something!

  8. After reading your posts, I wonder how much money and gold actually goes into our landfills. I would guess that the woman was cranky because she knew they threw away useful and valuable items and she felt guilty for not donating them. The Goodwill win the US has a website, where you can shop online for items including jewelry. Someone donated a 3 plus carat diamond ring set in platinum!

  9. Cash Money = a good day at the outdoor office. 🙂 especially if it offsets having to deal with a cranky “donor”.
    You came across some very nice bits of jewelry there.
    That triptych (see looks homemade. The image is a copy of Madonna della Seggiola, or the Madonna of the Chair, by Italian Renaissance master Raphael.
    That little bullfighter pin is likely Mexican, like this one
    Could that woven Aboriginal-motif bag be a medicine pouch?
    I believe that’s a patriarchal cross on that ring. See
    Yup, your flower press is a tennis racket holder … but I imagine it would make a very good flower press. 🙂

  10. This is an outstanding post.Money in the trash like that—you are a very Lucky and smart Young man.A Genius.How many truckloads of useful stuff from the trash must you have diverted from the landfill since 2012,by your estimation?My guess would be 15 truckloads at least.Maybe more.Curious to know what your estimate is.I wish you a happy November and fantastic December.

  11. Martin, I think the light blue pendant stone is Chalcedony, If it is set in sterling, it would be Ebay. worthy. I read that the last quarter of the year is the best for thrifting as people donate items to make room for holiday gifts etc. I found a vintage Panama mola, 3 Heidi Lange batik hangings and 2 Waterford paperweights for under $12.00 because Wednesday is 25% off for 55 and older

  12. So glad you got the cash after dealing with that nasty woman! She deserved to lose it!

    Lots of interesting pieces–especially the jewelry. The “little piece in the middle” you mention is a triptich (SP?) or three-piece religious shrine for the home as the other reader said, I believe. A nice little piece. Of course the silver “charm” bracelet is lovely and better I think also without the charms.

    I hope your travels garner you more valuable stuff that people are throwing out. Thanks for sharing. It’s always amazing to see what you come up with.

  13. I strongly suspect the triptych & accompanying stars on right thingy & crosses on left thingy of being russian or ukrainian orthodox, the ring is most Definitely orthodox due to the double cross.

    1. I have the exact same piece on the left of the triptych. (the three red crosses on the black and white patterned background). I purchased it years ago from an Hmong woman in a craft market in Oregon. I never put it together, but I think you’re right that it’s of Christian religious significance. How amazing that I found one just like it on this website!

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