Part one of a million pt.7

I don’t think a spot has ever produced such an overwhelming amount of stuff as this one. I currently have around 12 big bins worth of this stuff at my garage waiting to be dealt with. Given that my first find here came over a year ago, I’ve decided that I have to accept that not all of it can (or needs to) make the blog. I’ve begun looking through it all again, taking pictures of some, relocating others to the yard sale pile, etc. I keep an eye on this house still, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this spot has produced its last great trash pile.

Anyways, I have a tonne of pics to share still, even before I get to the other 12 bins of junk. In time I’ll share more (if non-specific) details about the location as it’s an interesting place historically, but for now I’ll keep that to myself. The tosser was furious the one time we met on the curb, which makes me a bit hesitant for now…

Anyways, this is more stuff that came from the dumpster that arrived relatively recently. Those wooden dolls are Japanese and signed – there was a fair bit of 60s & 70s Japanese stuff as someone residing here visited there at some point. They’re currently an auction lot, ending in about a week and receiving a good amount of interest. I like old containers, especially if they’re 1970s flea powder and have cute dogs on the front. I also love old glass vessels where the numbers were in the mold, like that shot glass-sized measuring cup in front of the doll.

Otherwise, “Word taking and word making” is a turn of the century era version of Scrabble or Bananagrams. The pieces (they look the same as the ones in this similar example found on Google) had spilled into the dumpster, and I remember doing a pretty thorough dive to make sure I didn’t leave any (or, at least many) behind. I don’t think it’s super valuable, but anything that old is cool to find.

Here we have a couple copper vessels, which probably aren’t anything too special, a bit of silver plate, another old glass measuring bowl with the numbers sticking out, and a brass doohickey (bottom right). If you have any idea what it’s for, let us know.

The most intriguing thing here is probably that ceramic container with the wood-like exterior. I’m not sure if the “wood” part was originally there because under that is some old writing. I want to see what’s written underneath, but I also want to make sure I’m not devaluing it by removing the “wood” (which I think is probably artfully-shaped pulp). It probably dates to the late 1800s or early 1900s, as does that thingy in the center, which was broken and repaired at some point.

Lots of old tools and junk here. Nothing too fancy, but great for the yard sale.

I saved a whole bunch of vintage and antique knives. Most went to the auction with some other cutlery but didn’t sell for much. I kept one or two that I figured might be listing on eBay (I forget which right now). Old knives and cutlery sets can sometimes be worth good money depending on who made them.

I saved four beautiful Victorian fireplace tiles, which survived their trip to the dumpster (and also 100+ years on Earth) in excellent condition.

They were made by Minton & Co. in Stoke-Upon-Trent, England, probably in the late 1800s. They’re about 1″ thick, so I think they were made for the fireplace. I haven’t been able to price them yet, but I suspect they have some value.

One of the first bags I pulled from that dumpster contained a few really old bottles, as well as some unused antique cabinet-style and other photography card stock (top right). I found more of the latter later on. I ended up collecting a medium-sized box worth, which I brought to auction before they went on their 2-week vacation last week.

A few of the bottles contained medicines, but most held paints or other artistic materials. The bottle second from the left broke and released some stinky ammonia-like substance, but fortunately it broke in a way that wasn’t super noticeable from the front.

For a closer look, click the thumbnails below. To zoom in, go to the bottom right of the thumbnail page and click “view full-size.”

The “catarrh snuff powder” on the far left is pretty cool. It was made for general lung ailments, including excessive phlegm (which used to be called “catarrh” apparently). My other favourite is the Winsor & Newton’s “Indian Red” watercolour paint, which was stored in a cool ceramic vessel with a bit of steel fastening the lid in place. I haven’t done any research into these bottles yet, but I suspect the medicine bottles are fairly uncommon and potentially valuable (especially to a local collector, as they come from Montreal pharmacies).

Anyways, as you can see there was a tonne of really old stuff here. I’m not used to dealing with so much at once, which is part of the reason I’ve taken so long to post it! Anyways, there’s lots more to come…

I’ve been doing a “pay what you can / what you think is fair” sale in my front courtyard for the past couple of days, and will do one tomorrow as well (I’ll bring some fresh stuff as well). I wanted to let you know earlier but I’ve felt a bit overwhelmed of late. Anyways, you can come to 147 St Joseph Ouest anytime between 9am and 8pm, and just leave whatever cash (or Canadian Tire Money, broken silver/gold jewelry, other small valuables) in my mailbox. I may or may not be there to say hello. The sale is obviously a fair bit smaller than the usual sale, but there’s still lots of quality junk. I do plan on doing a “normal” sale sometime soon, once I have a plan in place that complies with the city’s guidelines.


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15 thoughts on “Part one of a million pt.7”

  1. Oh yeah on the Minton fireplace tiles. Send those suckers to eBay!! And the rest of the load is fascinating too. Thanks once again, for trashpicking for those of us who no longer can.

    1. I didn’t know that, looking at pictures now and it’s quite beautiful as you’d expect. I’ll probably list them on eBay, and if someone from DC buys them I’ll let you know, lol

  2. You continue to be a HUGE INSPIRATION to many of us, Martin. Thank you for finding time to write any blog posts at all. You have so many other things to do! Definitely don’t stress out about not being able to share everything with us (“Given that my first find here came over a year ago, I’ve decided that I have to accept that not all of it can — or needs to — make the blog.”) We appreciate whatever you are able to do.

  3. I thoroughly enjoy reading about and seeing your finds. Many things you’ve posted bring back childhood memories. Stay safe!

  4. Yay, you’re back!
    That’s such a cute little cut glass salt cellar in the centre of that first photo. Love the tall ship plate too.
    Wow! That old “Word Making and Word Taking” game you found is pretty cool. Here’s an interesting article on what’s collectible in vintage board games
    Those glass measuring bowls are great. I’ve never seen them before. I always learn new things reading your blog posts. Learning keeps the brain sharp, I’ve read, so keep on educating me. 🙂
    Some of those Minton wall tiles are worth a nice $$$ figure. Here’s one along the same lines for $44 US. Hope your 4 are worth at least this much each.
    I know you love old bottles. I hope you kept a few to add to your own collection… particularly the ones with disused ailment names, like that Catarrh Snuff one.
    I hope your ‘invite” yard sales are a great success, as they’re one method of sale that involves a little less work for you.

  5. I love reading about your finds. This one is amazing. We do the same thing on a smaller scale…today it was a free wheelbarrow, and free firewood. Yesterday it was material, lamps and some drawers.. Always on the lookout! I sell some on etsy and ebay! We also just love using the free finds!

    1. Nice. Any scale can be good! It can just be a fun hobby, a once a week outing, or a way to make a few extra bucks on the side.

      It’s easier for me to do this “full-time” because I live in a fairly big city, and so there’s so many different garbage days to choose from. But I also have a well trained eye after doing this for 10-15 years.

  6. That copper do hickey thingy is a candle holder I believe, the little spikes are for piercing and securing the candle in place.

  7. Don’t worry about documenting everything! I don’t know how you post so much already.
    Those bottles are awesome. And from the other comments, it sounds like you’ve got a treasure there with those beautiful tiles.
    I wish I lived close enough to go to your sale! It’s a bit of a drive from Nova Scotia, though. hah

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