Part one of a million pt.2


This spot (part one) continues to produce really cool trash on a near-weekly basis. It’s definitely one of my all-time best, but I hesitate to say much more while they’re still tossing – I have a (perhaps superstitious or irrational) fear that if I share too much they’ll find out somehow and quit putting such great things on the curb. An alternative, for example, would be to pay a company like 1-800-Got-Junk to pick everything up for an exorbitant fee, or to throw everything into one of those big red dumpsters. The former cuts me out from the process completely, and the latter leads to a lot of breakage and makes picking much more difficult. Either would make me sad, that’s for sure.

Oftentimes I’ll find a bunch of little bits at the bottom of a bag. This time they were kinda dirty – something else had spilled inside the bag – so I picked out all the good stuff and gently washed it in water with dish soap.

Here’s the accumulation after sorting and washing. There were lots of coins in there, several of which were silver.

The coins aren’t in good enough condition to be worth much above their scrap value (which I’d say is about 20$), but I love finding silver in any form. That beat up ring is also silver, as is the necklace chain. The cufflink is probably just plated, or covered with a thin piece of silver but it has an interesting spring-loaded design (pretty similar to these). It probably dates to the late 1800s, and I’m hoping the other one turns up eventually.

I’ve found a lot of jewelry boxes here, some of which are worth decent money. These ones are nice, but mostly quality yard sale material. The gold keychain fob is made to hold a Charga-Plate, an early form of credit card that was in use between the 1930s and late 1950s.

Here we have some very old sewing needles, some pottery sherds, a mother of pearl manicure tool, and what might be the oldest nail clipper I’ve found (below the blue pack of needles).

More interesting if not particularly valuable stuff here. That Lufkin ruler is nice, but one section in the back is busted.

I found this collection of carved fish and turtles inside a ziplock bag. The fish could be cutlery rests, but I’m not sure what the turtles would do. Either way, I think they’re made of soapstone, and are in fairly good condition overall.

More interesting doodads. That fish brooch is neat, but looks a little chewed up. I wonder if it’s tortoiseshell. Otherwise, we have a nice little pocket knife, some old keys, a cool rock, and an old pair of scissors.

This place has been great for old pencils and pens. The nib on that dip pen third from the top is very rusty, but it can be replaced – the rest is made from silver and bone. Below that is a Gillott dip pen that looks nearly new. The checking / marking crayons date to the late 1800s. I’d guess that the Hooper and Co. doohickey is a fancy pen or pencil cap, but I’m not 100% sure.

This dip pen is unusual. The glass “handle” contains some kind of hot pink, viscous liquid. I don’t think it’s ink – I’m not sure how you’d break it open and write with it – so maybe it’s just for decoration. Regardless, it’s pretty neat.

I opened this Georg Jensen box with high hopes. Inside were two watches and a Georg Jensen ying/yang pendant.

This is the second Jensen piece I’ve found, the first being that bracelet I sold for 350$ last year. This piece isn’t as valuable, but it should still sell at my asking price of 85$.

I really like this Mercury watch, perhaps because of its distinctive black dial. I may keep it for my personal collection, even though I never wear watches (though I guess I could always start). It was probably made in the 50s or 60s.

Let’s finish with this quality batch. The enameled ring is hallmarked “Made in China Silver,” and the silver earrings above it were made in Peru. The Timex watch is pretty cute, and probably dates to the 50s. The filigree earrings with the Jade-like stone are probably silver. The clasps on the back aren’t, but feature the patent number 1967965 which indicates that they were likely made in the 30s or 40s. Finally, the little bronze medal was made by a not particularly well known Belgian medalist named Louis-Antoine de Smeth.

On the back is written “Caritas Jodoigne Septembre 1918.” I have no idea what that means, so please let us know if you have any insights!

I have bins full of blog worthy stuff from this place. It’s going to take a long time to share it all, but it’ll all come out eventually!

Last week was pretty good for trash, one of my best since the year began. There was a huge dump of snow, about 40cm worth, over the past couple days. If this had happened on a Monday, that would pretty much write off the whole week, but because it started on a Friday my picking schedule shouldn’t be affected much. This city isn’t known for being well managed, but the snow removal services are generally pretty good.


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16 thoughts on “Part one of a million pt.2”

  1. Caritas: “We are a family of 165 national Catholic relief and development agencies working across the world”.

    Jodoigne: Walloon city and municipality located in the Belgian province of Walloon Brabant.

  2. I love looking through odd assortments of small stuff, in real life and vicariously on your blog! I’m sure you have your own methods for washing this stuff, but I will mention that I put buttons and beads in a fine mesh bag that closes at the top in order to wash them and rinse them. Makes it much easier.

    I hope this spot keeps producing for you.

    1. I love the small stuff as well. They can take up little space, but still be worth a lot of money. The mesh bag idea is good. I usually just put the stuff in one of those old plastic Rubbermaid dish pans and let it soak for a while in soap and water. Then I drain, rinse again, and then let it dry on a cloth.

  3. Love seeing your finds, keep up the great work!

    The little carved carved black fish look like hashioki, or Japanese chopstick rests, which come in sets of 5. The turtles might be the same, just an incomplete set.

    I tried finding out something about the little medal, which looks so intriguing. All I could find is that Jodoigne is a town in Belgium, and that Caritas is the medical center there.

  4. The ‘mother of pearl manicure tool’ in the fifth photo is a stiletto, a sewing tool used for making holes in fabric that are then oversewn to create eyelets. it’s identical to mine but in better condition!

    1. Ah, neat. Anytime I see something like that with a fancy handle I assume it’s for manicures or makeup or something, lol… not my expertise.

  5. “Caritas” is the latín Word for “charity”. In art, it is common to represent charity as a mother with her children, so the image on the medal is likely an allegory of this virtue. As others hace already pointed out, “Jodoigne” is the name of a Belgian town. As for the date, I wonder if it is somehow related to the Great War, (which ended in November 1918).

    1. If it helps, I have just checked; Jodoigne was under German occupation at the time (until the arminstice, just like most of Belgium).

  6. Congrats on finding another Georg Jensen piece!! I’m sure that’ll do well on ebay.

    Question: what do you do with the pennies you find? Do banks no longer take them?

    Also – can you please save your Euro and Brit coins for me? I’m happy to buy whatever you have, and can come pick them up from you at a Spring garage sale.

    1. Banks take them if you roll them. But I did the math, and rolling pennies is basically wage slavery, and also something I don’t enjoy doing. So I put mine in the change counting machine at the store, which takes about 12 cents on the dollar (which I figure is better than spending my time rolling pennies). The penny isn’t in circulation any more, so I think all pennies that are cashed in end up getting melted down at the mint.

      I save the bigger Euro coins (usually 10c and above) and British 1 pound coins. The rest I leave for big foreign coin lots, which I usually sell at the auction house these days. But if you email me before one of my yard sales, maybe something can be arranged.

  7. Wow, all that stuff came out pretty spanking clean. 🙂
    Hope you find that second cuff link. I see a skeleton key!
    My mum would have liked that leaf brooch. She once had quite a few leaf brooches. That one looks particularly nice.
    I always loved those folding rulers. They remind me of my dad. If it’s not saleable, I’m happy to take that one off your hands.
    I remember wearing screw-back earrings. After an hour or two, they always felt so painful!
    Great job, as always, Martin.

    1. Wish she was still around so that I could give it to her. Ah well.

      It’s saleable, just not eBay worthy. I think it’s packed away in a box now, but maybe I’ll find it in the spring.

      I suppose that’s why the screw-backs went out of style!

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