The show must go on pt.1

I happened upon this trash pile while out for a jog in the fall. I ended up walking home with a big box of junk, and stashed another bag to pick up later.

I had one other good haul here a few weeks later. After that the supply dried up, and I soon learned that there would be an estate sale held at the house. I was a bit disappointed to hear that, because I rarely find any exciting trash once the professionals get in there.

I found a whole bunch of pens that day. I ended up going to the estate sale, and I think I can say with confidence that this person never once refused (or discarded) a free pen. So, most of these were junk, but I did pick out a few nice ones.

The middle pens are the fanciest ones here. Both were made by S.T. Dupont and have 18k gold nibs. The brownish one (I’m not sure what the material is) also features gold-plated silver accents. Both of those should be good for 50-100$, maybe more. Otherwise, I saved ballpoints made by Waterman, Reform, and Waterford.

Many albums full of photos were tossed out on the curb, but I only took a handful of the oldest ones. Here’s a selection of what I found, including some paper ephemera. There were some neat letters from the 1910s written on House of Commons letterhead – it seems that a relative of this person was an MP at some point. If anyone’s interested in those I brought them to the auction house, and they’ll be sold by Thursday at around 8pm.

Many of the photos I saved dated to the late 1800s and early 1900s. That one of the girl on the toy horse is pretty cute, here’s a better look.

That photo of the building collapse is intriguing. Anyone know where that might have been? At the top right is a small silver Birks picture frame.

Speaking of silver frames, I also saved this fine example. It was made in Chester, England in 1903 by James Deakin & Sons. I recently sold it on eBay as part of a silver frame lot, which ended up going for 51$.

I also saved a nice old Quebec history book and a Radio Canada record from 1956. The latter looks to contain a news reel about some political goings-on in Cambodia. I wonder how many copies of that recording are still out there… Perhaps it’d be an interesting thing to digitize.

I haven’t had a lot of luck finding trash in the new year (so far), but I still have lots of great finds from 2019 to sort through and share. I’ll share the second batch of finds from this house soon, and then get to talking about a couple other productive spots.


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9 thoughts on “The show must go on pt.1”

  1. Good morning Martin. The collapsed building is the Bishop’s residence in Nicolet. There was a major landslide on
    November 15th 1955. The adjoining cathedral was also demolished because it was no longer safe.

  2. Although I don’t comment each time you post I just wanted you to know that I enjoy all of them very much, so please – keep them coming!

  3. Great posts.I am sorry about your grandmother passing.I too would be happy for you if she could have made it past 100.
    You should have rescued the other photo albums too .Maybe they contained a lot of interesting stuff.Throwing out vintage photos in the trash is so heartless.

    1. Thank you. I looked briefly at the other photos, but they didn’t look too exciting from first glace. Plus, especially when I’m picking during the day I’m careful about looking at photos, taking photo albums, etc. in case someone is watching and disapproving. I figure a certain number of people might not confront me about regular picking, but might be passionately against me taking their photos. I’m more willing to take the chance with older photos like these, and will often take them out of the bags in a way that’s a bit less visible (I have my techniques).

  4. WRT the building collapse, not sure if this is Montreal, looks like a sinkhole or something…. Try posting it on “Montreal – Then and Now” or to “Montreal Vintage Gallery”

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