Blossom

I’m finally ready to do some blogging after catching up on my picture taking! This spot in Côte Saint-Luc provided some interesting and valuable finds over the span of a few weeks in September & October. The quality junk later turned to renovation materials, and I haven’t found anything of interest there since.

That first week was a good one, providing lots of great finds that made me excited to go back for future garbage days. I always love finding silver – its presence in the trash signifies that the tossers either aren’t paying attention, don’t know what things are worth, or just don’t care. These pieces are Mexican silver, likely made in the 50s or 60s. The pillbox, which was decorated with abalone sold on eBay for 40$ (the customer seemed pleased with their purchase), while the miniature perfume bottles and funnel are currently on sale for 55$.

I pulled these great green enamel industrial lampshades out a bag one night. They sold at auction for 40$ – I would have made more selling them on my own, but so it goes. I still have plenty of stuff that I don’t have time to list, so it’s inevitable that I’ll have to choose the fast nickle over the slow dime.

I found a couple of these vintage 70s outdoor thermometers, which appeared to be new in box. I love the green background on these!

These 1960s Montreal Masonic directory books were certainly unusual. Both had ads for 7-Up on the front and Dow (beer) on the back.

Inside were more ads, including some from Coca-Cola. I’m not sure what they’re worth, but I’m sure they’ll be of interest to a collector.

I found my first model teeth here. They were made by Columbia Dentoform, likely in the 60s and I’d guess that they were used to educate potential dentists. Mine has a dental bridge (made using some kind of silver metal) and well as a tooth cap. These sell for around 40-50$, but I love weird stuff like this and will likely keep it as a conversation piece.

I also found a bunch of plaster dental moulds / impressions, but those are more common and not worth much.

On the left is a ring of sample toothbrushes. I sense a theme? I also found a few old clocks, a neat promotional ruler, an old bar of Avon soap, and a nice makeup kit.

I saved four portable radios / Walkmans, the most valuable of which is the Sony Walkman II at top right. I haven’t tested it yet, but even if it doesn’t work it should sell for around 50$. Maybe more, as red seems to be a less common color for that model. Walkmans can be surprisingly collectible. FYI, from my experience Sonys are the main ones to look out for.

I love finding junk boxes.

This one wasn’t super exciting, but there’s definitely some yard saleable stuff here. To the right of the Swiss coin is a tooth with some gold in it. I don’t think there’s much in there, but I’ll leave that for my jeweler to figure out.

I found a nice pen, a Parker 75 ballpoint pen in sterling silver. It sold quickly for 75$ on eBay.

I also saved a cute brass pill box. On the inside is marked “Made in Italy”.

This vintage party sugar was a fun find. I’m a sucker for old food & packaging, so I think I’ll keep this in my personal collection.

Let’s finish with this cute vintage trash can that dates back to the late 1940s. It was in very nice condition for its age and I figured it would do well at the auction house. However, I wasn’t really expecting it to sell for 85$! I guess these old bins are hard to come by, and thinking about it now this was definitely the nicest one I’ve found over my years of picking.

Winter is definitely here but the finds haven’t slowed much. I’ll share some October trash from Côte-des-Neiges in my next post, and then I’ll get to sharing some more recent junk.

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Bordeaux-Cartierville

I mentioned in my last post that Cartierville had been my best destination of late. As it turns out, what I thought was Cartierville also included a small neighbourhood I’d never heard of called Nouveau Bordeaux. Despite the different names the two seem linked – at the very least they share the same garbage day (and the area is called “District Bordeaux-Cartierville” on the collection map). However, I’ve also found Greek and Armenian items in both neighbourhoods, so it’s likely that they share some ethnic similarities as well. If you have any insights into these parts of town please share them in the comments!

Geography lesson aside, these bags contained some surprisingly valuable items. They felt like renovation stuff at first kick, but my instincts said to investigate further.

Inside one bag was a collection of old silkscreens in wooden frames.

Three were old Pepsi advertisements. This one was the nicest looking of the bunch, and the lot just sold for 30$ at auction.

Another bag contained old silkscreen tools, paints, and miscellaneous tins. I wish I had taken more pictures of this stuff, but it was around this time that I was really busy dealing with other junk. Anyways, this picture I took for Instagram captured what turned out to be my most valuable find of the day.

Petroliana is a pretty hot market right now, and people are willing to pay big bucks for all kinds of stuff relating to the oil & gas industry of yore. Vintage oil cans are a commonly collected item, and some of the more desirable tins sell for hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.

My can was made for a St Laurent Petroleum company that was based out of Montreal (specifically, the borough of Ville St Laurent). I found few references to it online (the most informative being at the bottom of page 34 of this digitized 1954 document), and did not see any similar cans on image search. So, I figured I had stumbled upon a pretty rare can that might fetch a good price. I decided to list it on eBay using a 10-day auction. Usually I go with the Buy it Now, but I figured that an auction would work well given the popularity of the market. Plus, sometimes auctions are just more fun.

The auction went well. It was very popular, just as I had hoped, and by the end it had reached 40 “watchers.” However, that doesn’t matter so much as the final price, which was 355$. I’m pretty happy with that! Are you surprised that someone was willing to pay that much for an old tin? I’m not, but I’ve been doing this for a while.

I also found these oil can labels that were made for the same company. I assume these were prototype designs of sorts, as they feature different color schemes and differ greatly from the can above. Regardless, they’re also pretty cool and a great example of the graphic design of the day. I went with the 10-day auction for these too, but they’re not nearly as popular as the tin. At this point I just hope they sell for more than 1$. Click here if you want to check out the listing.

I’ve been hoping to see more trash coming from that house but so far it’s been a one-hit wonder. Fortunately other spots have produced quality junk, and one in particular has tossed enough to put most Westmounters to shame. More on that soon!

I’m having a bit of a writer’s block in terms of how to continue this post so I guess I’ll leave it at that. After a transformative summer I’m still trying to get into a rhythm when it comes to documenting my finds – posts should become more frequent once I discover it.

Due in part to the success of the oil can auction I’ve chosen that route for a couple other recent finds: a large tin VW bug and a 1960s Sharp transistor radio. I expect those to do well even though they’re still at 1$ currently – a lot of the time most of the bidding happens on the last day. Check them out if you’re interested!

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search for something you want / research something you have (I’m on the eBay Partner Network so I make a bit of money if you buy things [even if they’re not mine] or sign up for an account via these links)
3. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
4. Follow me on Instagram

The aged cardboard box

My most interesting finds last week came from a blurry pile not far from the owl house. The aged cardboard box caused me to do a double take while driving by – it ended up containing broken pieces of stained glass.

Inside one of the bigger bags was a box containing two vintage Czechoslovakian table lamps. They’re quite nice and have little noticeable damage, though one is missing its hanging bits and neither looks to have any wiring. I brought them to the auction house, check out the listing page if you want a closer look (the auction is ending tonight, so bid now if you want them!).

I looked inside another bag and saw a bunch of sewing stuff. It started to rain, so I threw the bag in the car and sorted through it at home.

This old Macdonald’s cigarette tin held a tangle of buttons.

Most were strung through a metal wire. Many are made from mother of pearl, which do pretty well on eBay when sold in lots. There’s also a few WWII buttons on there, those are pretty common but always cool to find.

Also inside the bag was an old, beat-up folder filled mostly with crochet magazines.

The magazines date to the 1910s and 1920s, making them around 100 years old! These are the ones that survived the past century relatively unscathed – a few others weren’t quite so lucky.

I think magazines like these sell for around 10-20$ individually. However, that would require a fair bit of effort on my part, and they would probably take a while to sell. My current plan is to list them as a lot on eBay. We’ll see how that goes!

My favourite folder find however is the unusual piece below…

It’s an old air raid precautions poster from around WWII. It measures about 14 x 10.5″ and was probably made to be displayed in public. There was some concern in Canada and the US about potential attacks from Axis powers, but the risk was obviously far lower here than in other parts of the world. As a result, this piece may be rare – I had no luck finding anything similar on Google.

Zoom in for a closer look. Below is the French version that appears on the opposite side.

Pretty cool eh? I’m not sure what I’ll do with it yet. It would likely have value to a collector, but maybe it would be better to give it to a museum or archive.

I fished these pieces from the bottom of one of the other bags. On the right is a very worn coin that I’m guessing is an old silver dime. On the left is a 1925 Jubilee medallion, and in the centre is a first communion souvenir dating from 1890. See the opposite sides below!

That’s all from this spot, at least for now…

I’ve been focused on clearing out my junk before winter; I’d say that the job is just about done. My garage is actually looking a bit empty after several purges, and I’m excited to begin a new era of organization and categorization with the auction house in mind.

My best recent finds have come from Côte-des-Neiges and Cartierville. I’ll be sure to share some of those here relatively soon.

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search for something you want / research something you have
3. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
4. Follow me on Instagram