2022

After a lousy 2021, it was heartening to start this year off with a couple decent scores. I haven’t been going out as much recently due to the cold, the curfew, and some indifference (it’s harder to get excited to go picking when you’re having bad luck), but sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

This was last Friday. I stopped here largely due to that Turkish leather bag on the left, which looked interesting enough from the car. There was some quality junk inside, so I took the whole thing, though I eventually left the bag for someone else as it needed some TLC.

Some of my best finds came from the trash can, and were revealed after I removed the top white kitchen waste bag (and dug around a bit).

Here’s most of my take, in one picture. You can have a closer look in the gallery below. I wish I had a better photo of that Indian wooden box at the back left, but the one I took didn’t turn out. I’m wondering if it’s vintage or a relatively recent tourist piece… but either way it’s pretty nice. A friend quickly claimed the Gato Negro (black cat) wall plaque, and the two WWF decorative plates.

This wooden box, made by an artist named Clarence Wills, stored some “junk drawer” type stuff. That’s my favourite type of junk to find, because it’s fun to look through, is small / doesn’t take up much space, and is often partly composed of overlooked treasures. That little wooden lidded trinket box at the bottom right held a few nice pieces of jewelry, which more or less made my day.

The two pieces on the right are gold. The ring is old, 18k white gold and inscribed with the date “1943,” and some other words or names that are hard to make out. It has four small diamonds, but the center stone is missing. Together they have a scrap value of around 300$. The rest of the pieces are silver. That cocktail ring is quite something! It’s about an inch and a half tall.

There were a few other nice pieces in there, like three beaded bracelets, a couple of silver chains (one broken), a Haida brooch, and a necklace featuring a donut-shaped stone & (I think) solid silver beads.

I expect this spot will be a one-hit wonder. I passed by again this week and saw nothing of interest. But I had luck again on Monday in the downtown area, and I’m hopeful that I’ll get a few weeks (or more?) of quality trash from there.

15 thoughts on “2022”

  1. Nice, and glad to see you back at it! I’m always hitting the local Renaissance, etc. stores here and 2021 wasn’t great there overall either. This year, have almost had more luck already than last. Luck = opportunity and ability….keep at it!

  2. I was very happy to receive notification of this, your first 2022 post! Keep them coming please. I enjoy them all immensely, no matter their length.
    You are my absolute favourite blogger, and I am rendered forlorn without at least a monthly “fix” to tide me through these bleak pandemic times. (Okay, that’s a tad dramatic, but you get my drift, I’m sure. hahaha.)
    This is a nice little grouping of finds to start off your year. May your trash-to-treasure search be all uphill from here.
    Would that top left silver ring be my size? I’ve a birthday coming if it is. (I can be so subtle!) 🙂

  3. How I wish I could find such great treasure! You inspired me to dumpster dive one day last month as I was throwing things out into the dumpsters at work. Saw bags with “vintage Christmas” written on them, one of my favorite things, so I pulled them out and kept some very cool vintage ornaments, both for myself and for sale. It was so satisfying. But how does anyone toss vintage Christmas items? That dumpster was meant for me. Happy New Year and best of luck hunting treasures!

    1. Funny that they were labelled “vintage,” because that’s a term usually used by sellers. Most of the time when I find old Christmas stuff, it’s just labelled “Christmas”. Maybe someone planned on trying to sell it but didn’t. Either way, good score for you!

  4. THANK YOU for all that you do! I love that your blog, among many other things, “acts as an archive for things beautiful and historic that would otherwise have been destroyed.” I am always AMAZED to see what other human beings have thrown away. What you do is a profound service to all of us. I hope that 2022 proves to be a lucrative and satisfying year for you!

  5. love to read about your finds you have some real nice items this time.. as u do most of time love all
    take care and good luck

  6. Haha I recognize that street and those buildings! What great finds … so glad you had a good score at the start of a new year. It always saddens me to see monitors and other electronics dumped in the trash like that. How irresponsible, especially given that there’s a free drop-off site for e-waste that’s not very far away. Those beaded bracelets are all very nice; I hope you find a good buyer for them. Is that a pair of binoculars at top right in the third pic? Are they any good?

    1. I’ve never bought a new LCD monitor. I found my first when the McGill students were moving out. A second one was bigger, but a simple repair and it’s been working for five years.

      “Old” electronics is what I want to find. I’d say a lot less is visible now, so I assume it is going to “recycling”. But I have my doubts that anything but a few select items goes to reuse.

      Most of what Martin writes about nowadays seems completely useless to me. But why should the things I’m interested in be seen as more wasteful in the garbage?

      1. I’d say it’s more wasteful in a way (maybe there’s a better word… irresponsible?) because for example, most of the stuff in this post is pretty inert (except for the old cell phone in the leather case which you can’t really see), but electronics often contain toxic & valuable materials that are bad for the environment and best reused or recycled. I would hope that these e-waste drop off centres have deals in place with individuals or companies to sell for re-use certain products, like monitors, for bulk prices, because a lot of them still work or could be repaired easily. But stuff like old computers, CRT TVs, etc are more or less useless in today’s world and are best recycled versus going to the dump.

    2. People aren’t very good at dealing with their e-waste, which is unfortunately because there’s so much of it. I haven’t tried the binoculars yet… but they look ok at first glance. Good brand

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