Flash in the pan pt.2

I found most of the tiny treasures on my first day here. You’ll see this watch again later on.

Those old metal scissors always do well at yard sales. We also have a bus ticket from 1952, a mercury thermometer, a rubber tobacco pouch (“blague automatique”), a metal mirror in a leather pouch (bottom right), and an old print.

I thought this box (which is about the size of a lunchbox) was kinda neat. It’s wooden, hand-painted, and was once sealed with wax stamps. It has a coin slot in the back, so maybe it was made to hold cash. It’s pretty dirty, but would probably clean up pretty nice. I’d guess it’s from at least the 1930s, maybe earlier. I’ve never seen anything like it, so please let me know if you have!

This spot produced a fair bit of silver. Those two picture frames were 800 German silver, and sold together on eBay for 50$. The stubby little candle holder is British, made in Birmingham in the late 20s if I remember right.

Let’s finish with the little bits of jewelry. There’s a lot of good stuff here. That brooch near the top left is unmarked but probably silver & tortoiseshell, and the t-bar & c-clasp date it to the late 1800s.

I realized after taking this photo that the long chain connected to the pin on the left was probably supposed to be attached to the shorter, incomplete looking chain. That piece is also unmarked but probably silver, perhaps adorned with little bits of gold as well. It probably dates to the same time period as the brooch, given that it has the t-bar pin and likely once had the c clasp (it has since broken off). I’ve been told that similar pieces are made for holding watches, but I can’t picture how that would work. If someone can post a video of one being used, that would be helpful!

The watch you saw earlier has a transparent back, so it’s probably a salesman’s sample. It doesn’t work, but it’s still cool. I have no idea what that doohickey with the orange cap is. The metal looks like silver, and the cap material looks like Bakelite. The cap comes off pretty easily, and that resin looking stuff on the inside smells like sappy incense.

Otherwise, there’s some scrap quality gold and silver, like that long dangle earring missing all its stones (18k), the busted watch (farthest to the left, 14k), and that triangle shaped thing (probably off a fancy portfolio or album of some kind, 800 German silver).

My most valuable find though was probably this old Masonic medal. It’s definitely the best Mason piece I’ve found to date. Each segment is marked 585 (14k), indicating that it was likely made in Europe, and the eye is enameled. I don’t know much about the Masons, so please help me out if you can! I wonder if that oval piece (which you can see in the first piece) has a meaning I’m not aware of.

Regardless, there’s about 9 gram of 14k gold in there, making it worth over 300$ in scrap. But it’s definitely not scrap, and should sell for a fair bit more than that.

All in all this was a pretty exciting spot, even if it lasted just a couple weeks!


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16 thoughts on “Flash in the pan pt.2”

  1. the pin with chains on the left could be a chatelaine, as mentioned. The part with the clip would hook onto a pocket watch. Or maybe a watch fob, but I’ve never seen one quite like that. Good score on the Masons item – congrats on that!! And thanks again for another great post.

  2. Zowieeeee, Martin! That’s a really nice haul. So much interesting stuff and things!
    I so wish I could be down there helping you sort through it all, and helping in any other ways that might be helpful to you. You’re a one-man dynamo, saving all these gems from the landfill. Kudos to you!!!

  3. Well, you made quite a haul in this area. My favorite is the Masonic emblem. My grandfather was a Mason–twenty-second degree, I believe, although I’m not sure I’m remembering correctly. I know he wore a Masonic ring and had a tie tac with the emblem. The one you found looks quite different from the emblems he had, though. It’s nice that you saved it from disappearing into the landfill. A nice piece of Masonic history. They are an enigmatic and quite ancient organization with rather mysterious and questionable origins although I am not at all knowledgeable about their true history. I know they are a “secret society” and that one must be recommended by a member to join. There is some history involving the Catholic Church as I remember in the town where my grandfather lived someone in his lodge recommended a man who had been a Catholic and there were objections to that person becoming a member. Don’t know if any of that is helpful or relevant to you.

  4. At first glance I thought the circular brooch was an agate. It looks a lot like Scottish agate jewellery that was popular in the Victorian era. It’s a great find! So is the rest of course. I’m super glad you’re saving these from obscurity.
    I think the oval piece on the mason fob is just meant to look like a buckle. It’s a popular motif for that ribbon style of fob.

  5. I would assume that the clip on the fancy chain on the left attaches to the end of the chain forming a loop, which you could hang in a button of a waistcoat, so that the decorative bar dangles in front. The longer, plainer chain on the right of your photograph would be attached to the watch on one end (the one with the clip) and to the loop at the other end.

    Another possibility is that the decorative bar goes through the buttonhole of the waistcoat and the watch is somehow attached at the other end, with the clip in the middle being used to hold some sort of charm.

    But these are just a guesses, especially since I don’t know how long these chains actually are.

    These images more or less illustrate what I mean:

  6. The bar part of the chain would go through a buttonhole on a waistcoat. The other bit would hold a watch. However based on the delicateness of the chain I suspect as someone else did that this might be a chatelaine and title tools like a pencil, needle case, small scissors etc. would be on the chain for the housekeeper or lady of the house to use as needed. The buttonhole in the waistband of their skirt or apron would be for the t bar.

  7. Wow, I am always amazed by the things people throw away! Thank you for doing what you do, which reduces Global Warming by helping people buy used items instead of new, and keeping things out of landfills. I love seeing you turn your finds into cash. Gold! Yet again, just….wow….

  8. Wow,two great posts.I travel back and forth between Montreal and the US,though my main residence is in Montréal.I know a journalist at the Los Angeles Times who follows your blog and is subscribed to it.You have a lot to feel proud about.I hope you reach 7000 subscribers before the end of 2019.You have 6994 subscribers.Only 6 more needed.I hope you will come up with a couple more great posts before Dec 31,2019.Happy Xmas and Happy 2020 to you in advance.

  9. I think the black hand painted box may be a ballot box. They were sometimes sealed with wax. Maybe it seems a little fancy for such a purpose but I have seen some decorated ballot boxes before.

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