The cat pee house / the cow

For a few months in the fall I was excited to visit a spot on the curb that I referred to as the “cat pee house.” As you probably expect, a lot of the stuff here reeked of cat pee, which is up there along with tobacco smoke for smells that ruin otherwise quality junk. Needless to say I passed on the loads of bags filled with fabrics, but I held my nose and went digging when the kitchenwares and ceramics made their way to the curb. That stuff is easy enough to clean.

Altogether, for all my digging I saved about a medium-size box of glassware and ceramics. Most was yard sale stuff, and there were a few things for Instagram like a cute giraffe planter and a weird egg pile ceramic.

(FYI, if you want bonus garbage content, keep an eye on my Instagram accounts! Lots of stuff never makes the blog, but you can see some of it there… and no need to buy anything, you can just window shop. Links below).

One standout was this Moorcroft tea set. Unfortunately there is damage to each piece (left to right – cracked lid, cracked lid, repaired handle, albeit nicely executed) but the actual canister and teapot pieces survived damage-free. They’re probably worth something, but I haven’t looked into it much yet.

My nicest find was likely this old enameled Ekers IPA beer tray. It’s hard to find out much about these guys, but it seems like they probably haven’t been around since the 1950s. These are most often used for display pieces now, and this one is in excellent condition (the stains cleaned off very nicely) so I’m going to aim for something in the 300-500$ range. That auction site claims it was made in the 1920s, and they might be right, though I wouldn’t be surprised if it was made in the 30s or 40s either.

I was checking out this spot for a while too. No cat pee, just a decent flow of quality junk. One day, I happen upon this massive canvas. I was expecting the usual landscape scene, but was surprised to see a much more unusual subject.

It was a huge cow! A Hereford to be precise. This painting is close to 6′ wide, and maybe 4.5′ tall (just guessing) and I had to take it out of the frame to get it in my van. If I still had my old car, I would have had to strap it to the roof and hope for the best because there was no way this painting would have fit into that thing.

Anyways, I love it. It’s now a centerpiece in a spare room at the apartment, and other people appreciate it as well. I have to wonder about its history though, as a gigantic cow painting is not the kind of thing you’d generally hang in a home. If you look closely, you can see drill holes in the frame on the sides near the top, and also on the bottom near the sides. My theory is that this was likely used as decoration somewhere commercial, perhaps up on the walls at a livestock auction? If you have any theories, let us know in the comments! The artist appears to be “E. Denuit,” but that name is a dead-end on Google.

Otherwise, my recent finds have mostly been books, books, and more books (still). The books are good though, thankfully. It’s finally March though, and spring is near. At the very least, that means more people moving, and more people trashing.


1. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay (Canada, US), Search for something you want / research something you have (Canada, US) – FYI these are Ebay Partner Network links, so I make a few bucks if you sign up for an account or buy something after getting to eBay using these links
2. Facebook page
3. Follow @garbagefinds and @garbagefindssells (selling account, operated by someone else) on Instagram
4. Email: – note that I can’t fulfill most requests for items, many are already gone by the time they are posted here.

10 thoughts on “The cat pee house / the cow”

  1. Dang that cow painting is amazing. What a find! I feel like the cow is smiling. It’s just so fantastic.

  2. Very nice Cow painting…it is nicely executed.Thanks as always for the amazing posts! would you let us know when is your next garage sale please!

  3. Hello Martin, I agree that your cow is a bull. You might be able to get some information from Canadian Hereford Association | Better Your Beef (
    Breed associations sometimes have collections of historical artefacts. It would be fun to know if he was a famous sire, although in that case I would expect to see his name on his portrait. Anyway, the painting is wonderful – I particularly love the way the artist gave him such an expressive eye – and if I had found it I’d probably hang onto it. Thanks for this interesting post.
    Joan in Westmount

  4. Martin, there are sellers on Etsy who make buckets of money selling decorator bundles of books. If you have access to Chit Chats, you can send cheaply as media mail.

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