Bits and / or bobs

I’ve struggled to be focused & productive during this pandemic. I have more time on my hands than usual, but the days seem to fly by without me getting much done. I don’t think I’m the only one though – it seems like lots of people have a hard time being productive during this crisis.

Anyways, today I’ll share a few finds from one-off, pre-pandemic spots. One day I passed by an upscale apartment building and saw an orange bag poking its head out of one of the bins. Apartment dwellers rarely use orange bags, so I figured I’d stop and take a look. Inside one of the bins was some quality audio equipment.

Marantz made some of the best receivers back in the 70s, and the 2220b is considered a classic. I did some basic tests and it seemed to work fine, so it’s worth around 350$ give or take. The Bose radio is more modern but also high quality, and seems to sell for around 150-200$. I also found a couple of decent bluetooth speakers.

I never saw anything else there, but it was a good example of my “sixth sense” for garbage. Most trash is gross, so it pays to keep your eyes out for anything that looks unusual.

Here’s a bit of jewelry I found in NDG a couple months back. There’s a bit of silver in there, but the most interesting piece to me is that Montreal Olympics badge / pin. It seems to be made from bronze, and I haven’t been able to find any others like it online (though I haven’t tried super hard yet).

I also found a nice Bakelite prayer bead necklace, which sold for 25$ via an eBay auction. I was hoping for more, but I guess that’s around what it was worth.

Let’s finish with some Mile End finds. This spot was pretty junky by volume, but I picked up some fun bits & bobs. Those metal hockey coins were made for Shirriff, and distributed via different foods in the 60s. They seem to sell for between 1-10$ each. There’s also a little silver St Christopher medallion in there, and what looks to be an old celluloid brooch at bottom right.

I enjoyed finding that Midol tin and the old bottle of clove oil, which still smells strong after around 60 years.

My favourite item here is there copper ashtray, which was made to promote the old Montreal Pharmacy. I’m guessing at was made sometime between 1931 (when they became the first pharmacy in the country to offer their services 24h a day) and 1950 (when Charles Duquette’s son became a partner). Plus, the font used is pretty Art Deco-y.

I still have lots to show you, but I’ll leave it at that for now. I think I’ll share some more “part x of a million” finds in my next post.


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14 thoughts on “Bits and / or bobs”

  1. The brooches and necklaces are, as usual, my favorites. And the Montreal Olympics badge is a cool find. I think I missed your last post before this one so I don’t know what precautions you are taking because of the pandemic, but I hope you are being safe and super careful is you are still searching at all. Which I wouldn’t think would be a safe idea. Anyway, be safe and stay well.

  2. Looks like you have a Native American ring. Inlay is usually Zuni but that one has silver inlay between the stones so likely Navajo.

  3. I think your “celluloid brooch” is Bakelite. Those cherries are quite desirable. Are you aware of the Simichrome (or MAAS) test? They are metal cleaners, but you can rub a dab of it on a piece you suspect is Bakelite with cotton swab and if it’s Bakelite, the pink color of the creme turns yellow-ish. Works great and doesn’t hurt the item. A tube lasts about a lifetime. Note that it doesn’t always work on black Bakelite for some reason. Stay safe!

    1. I’ll look at them again next time I see them. They’re definitely some type of vintage plastic. I’ve heard of the simichrome test but have never used it. Usually I just go by the smell.

  4. The Midol tin made me honestly LOL. A tin!

    What is the deal with the orange bag, Martin? Where do those come from in Canada? I live in California and the only time I see orange bags are when they are used to roadside cleanup on the freeways? Just wondering. Glad you found some good stuff!

    1. It’s kind of the same here. People mostly use them for leaves & other yard waste. It’s rare to see them in apartment trash because people don’t generally have yards, so the orange bag might be an indicator that the contents are coming from storage or something like that.

      I’ve found that when people are clearing out houses they’re more likely to use whatever bags are available instead of adhering to “traditional bag roles.” I’ve definitely had luck keeping an eye out for trash piles with different kinds of bags (black, green, orange, brown, all of the above). In my head I refer to this as “multi-coloured bag theory” (I’d say it’s a fact by now, given my experience). Just one of the many weird quirks of the hunt!

  5. You found a BOSE! … golly, I’ve been dreaming of buying one of those since like, forever.
    Interesting batch of bibs (and bobs)! Got a batch of those hockey+ coins laying around here somewhere.
    I remember those Midol boxes … and back around 1960, I got an identical pair of scissors for successfully not chewing my nails for a week.
    Those thimbles look well used. You’ve got to wonder at the fashions that had been worked on with those over the years.

  6. Your posts are the best thing on WP right now.

    Have you had any vintage (pre 1980’s, preferable 1940s to 1960s) comic book finds in your time doing this? Mixed in with other items/magazines maybe?

    1. Glad you think so! I’ve found a few but none too exciting to date. I figure most people have heard that old comics can be worth money, and don’t throw them out, but all it takes is one clueless person to make my day.

  7. That could be an informal motto for your blog: “All it takes is one clueless person to make my day.” THANK YOU for another great blog post. I have been leading half-hour sing-alongs each night via Facebook Live during this period of COVID-19 physical distancing — and tonight I talked about your great blog and shared your blog address with my fellow singer-alongers. So maybe you’ll get a few new readers/disciples… The work you do is truly inspirational!!!

    1. I sell with Encans Quebec, which isn’t too far from home. I’ve heard Encans en ligne is good, but I’ve never been there. For higher end stuff, I’ve heard good things about the place around St Laurent and Bernard, but have never personally used it.

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