Pear Core

Hello there, just posting a quick update because it’s been a while. The finds have been pretty decent for the last little while, though there haven’t been any “omg” finds. On the other hand, my standard for “omg” is a lot higher than it used to be. I have the attention span of a goldfish these days, which I like to blame on all these modern gadgets that distract us constantly (I think my brain has been basically been re-wired), and I haven’t been doing much reading, writing, or other mindful things. My motivation isn’t all that great either, though I definitely feel more motivated to get out and pick now that it’s nice out.

I’m getting a little sick of having so much stuff. The pandemic shortened the last two yard sale seasons significantly, so maybe I’m feeling a little more “backed up” than I might have otherwise. My garage / office space is currently out of control. Fortunately, a yard sale is a great way to unload some of this junk while also getting some organizing done. I’ll be doing one tomorrow at 922 St Gregoire (near Laurier Park), from around 11am-6pm. Come on out and help me make sense of the hoard of crap that I’ve acquired.

Anyways, here’s a few things I picked from that first pile. It was mostly kitchen stuff, plus a bag of nice purses and one of board games. Here’s the finds that most caught my eye.

Here we have a pretty milk glass candy bowl…

… a set of cute plates made in England by Royal Leighton;

… a footed crystal candy bowl;

… a Goldilocks themed silver plated baby mug;

… and a very nice Dansk pepper mill. I did a bit of research and found out it was designed by Jens Quistgaard.

They’re pretty collectible. Some nerds even made a whole website about them (I don’t see nerd as an insult, it just means that you’re super excited about this one topic. I’m a garbage nerd). Thanks to that website, I was able to identify mine as a Model 1611, which they call “Pear Core.”

According to the pepper mill nerds, “[The Pear Core] mill is a rare design, so we have not had the opportunity to see many of these items in the resale market.” That makes sense, because I did a lot of looking around and didn’t see any quite like mine. Because of that, my 1611 is pretty difficult to price. Based on my research, I do know that Quistgaard pepper mills sell for between 50-1000$, which is a pretty big range. If mine is indeed rare, I like to think that maybe its value is somewhere in the middle, or if I’m lucky in the higher end.

I’ll do a bit more research before I decide, but right now I’m leaning towards doing an eBay auction. The market for these looks pretty healthy, which means that an auction might work well (I try to avoid auctions for more niche items). But first, I have to get that salt stopper piece unstuck. I’ll bet it’s been in the same position for many years. My idea right now is to leave it in the sun, and maybe that’ll loosen it up eventually. I’m not in a huge rush.

Anyways, hopefully I see some of you at the yard sale tomorrow. And hopefully I can write another post sooner rather than later.


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16 thoughts on “Pear Core”

  1. Always delightful to see a post from you. Wish I could make it to the big sale tomorrow, as I am sure I could find some treasures. Planning my own sale for July for my languishing Ebay items. Gotta keep it moving. A sale is a sale! Especially when you are getting items for “free”. Good luck!

  2. Glad to see another column, I love hearing about your scores. Worthpoint has 513 results for “Jens Quistgaard grinder”, I only found 2 of your style. Note that in both listings they call it an apple core.

    Sold for $588.88 US on Nov 14, 2018

    Sold for $650.00 US on Dec 18, 2020

    I think this is probably the actual apple core:
    Sold for $199.00 US on Jan 31, 2017

    I wouldn’t do an auction, at least not on eBay. I would price it at the high range, at least $950 or higher with best offer as there are none of that style on eBay (including sold), and from the info on Worthpoint, they do not seem to come up for sale very often.

    I would be careful about putting it in the sun as if might cause the wood to fade.

    1. Thanks for doing that research. I didn’t think to check Worthpoint because I don’t have a subscription. It’s good to have, but I don’t think it’s worth the money for me because it’s pretty rare that I’m not able to find a price elsewhere. Anyways, I was hoping it might be on the higher range, and I’m not super surprised that it is. I think I’ll take your advice re: a set price around that level.

  3. Brilliant post. And thanks for intoducing us to the world of Jens Quistgaard; I could look at that peppermill enthusiast website for hours!

  4. I’m with Steve. What I learned from looking at a few fan/collector sites, is that the names of these mills have been made up by them (which they openly disclose) which is why some refer to the mill as “apple” and some, “pear”. One thing for sure, is that people who collect (almost anything) know what’s what. Call it the “flat tire” and, they’ll know. Clearly you’ve found one that people will want. When you have scarcity and condition, which you do, I’d opt for letting the market set the price, with a floor. You work hard, and should reap the benefits 🙂

  5. Thank you for making time to create a blog post to share with us! As usual I am stunned by what people put in trash bags and leave by the side of the road. THANK YOU, as always, for the work you do. I hope your yard sale brings in fresh cash flow and helps clear out some items from your storage space. And I look forward to hearing about the eventual sale of this unusual pepper mill you have saved from the landfill or incineration!

  6. Great post, as always! I wish I were in Montreal this weekend, to peruse all the (undoubtedly) interesting stuff and things in your yard sale. I hope you’re able to clear out a good bunch of stuff, and ease your stress level by doing so. I can’t wait to learn how much you get from that lovely Dansk pepper mill. 🙂

  7. I agree with Steve Koepke and I would not leave it in the sun. I worry that it will fade and weather.

  8. Maybe apply some olive oil around the salt stopper to dislodge it? Might have to keep applying it and massaging it in with a Q-tip. Or, how about messaging the Quistgaard nerds and asking them how they’d do it? Al in all, a great haul, and glad to see your posts as always. I hope your sale went well. Didn’t have the time to bike there, unfortunately.

  9. It’s always great to see a post from you, especially with that lovely sunshine!

    I have ceased to be surprised at what people will throw out, after having spent part of this spring dealing with student move-out at a university. We could have outfitted a house several times over with just what was left behind in their rooms after they were supposedly cleaned out.

  10. Niche Lady’s got a great thing going. The stuff she sells would likely not harbour any interest at all when it comes to auction houses. Luckily there are other avenues. This woman must be making money hand over fist though. It’s not all about dollars and cents. Truth be told, if I added the selling aspect, I’d no longer enjoy picking. M. Is the original gangster, no one does it better.

    1. I don’t mind some selling. But I feel like I want a break from it after hustling pretty hard for the last decade or so. I wish I could just dump all the stuff I have somewhere and get a good return, but that’s not a reality right now. No matter what, you’re leaving some money on the table unless you personally sell the thing on eBay (even then, with fees). If you obsess with getting top dollar for everything, you’ll drive yourself insane, but selling stuff for pennies on the dollar sucks too. Inevitably you have to find a middle ground.

  11. I hope you are in good spirits.I am eagerly awaiting a blog post from you.Just to let you know I rescued a box full of jewelry from the trash last month and also a Rolling Stone magazine from 1971 from a recycling bin in lower Westmount.That is vintage stuff.Maybe worth a lot of money.
    You are doing great work.The landfill at Lachenaie is temporarily not accepting more trash from Montreal because it is quite full.You are doing great work for the environment.Please keep up your work.

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