Cahier confectionné pt.2

Garbage is funny sometimes. The folks that tossed that handmade book of floral arrangements last spring didn’t throw out anything else for somewhere around a year. I kept an eye on the place regardless, because usually when a housed is cleared out or sold someone else will move in, renovations will take place, etc, after which you’ll rarely find anything else of interest on the curb. However, there was no such activity in this case. Anyways, as you probably expect by now, another good haul came a good year after the last one. This time it was a huge collection of photos, the most interesting of which I’ll share with you today.

It’s clear that the previous owner cared a lot about these photos and their family history. A great example is this group photo, which was stored in an envelope upon which someone drew a rough image of the photo, with all the names of the people in it listed (when possible, it seems). That would have taken a lot of effort.

My favourite photos were the ones in little antique frames. Those wood frames up top are particular cool, I hadn’t seen any like that previously.

According to the note on the back, this one features a soldier based in Morocco during WWI. The glass is nearly 1cm thick, which seems excessive though I suppose that makes the image pretty durable. This soldier appears in several other photos in this collection.

Here’s that same fellow again, this time in a wooden frame with the glass not intact.

I think I found two or three bags full of photos all in all, so this is a very condensed look. The photo on the left and right are also from WWI.

It seemed that this fellow had some French connections. I found a bit of stuff relating to an event attended by noteworthy French politicians, including former President & Prime Minister of France / then mayor of Paris Jacques Chirac. On the right is a photo signed by Chirac.

Last but not least we have a framed elementary school certificate from 1903. I brought it to the auction house, where it sold for a bit of money.

I suspect I won’t find anything else here, but you never know with garbage. Otherwise, I’ve been pretty lucky lately. In particular, after a summer bereft of quality jewelry hauls I’ve had several over the past couple of months… I’ll try to share some of those soon. Also, given that yard sale season is more or less done I’ve been working hard this week and last consolidating my remaining yard sale junk into lots of the auction, items for the free pile, and so on. I like to have lots of storage space available for the winter, and also a fresh supply of yard sale stuff in the spring. Anyways, that should all be done soon, and then I can get into “winter mode,” which involves more eBaying and (hopefully) more blogging.

Jack of all trades pt.1

This spot first caught my eye in early May. After a couple of months of regular production and intriguing finds, there was a period of maybe five weeks where nothing was put on the curb. That led me to take a break from that route, but when I returned maybe six weeks later I found that the trash flow had returned.

I call this post “jack of all trades” because it’s been hard to tell what these folks did for a living. I’ve found such a wide range of things here, many of which could indicate a profession, but nothing that conclusively says, for example “ah, this person was a doctor.”

For instance, one day I found around half a recycling bin full of old Montreal bus/metro transfer tickets.

This seems like the kind of thing that only someone working for the STM (or past versions of it) would own. However, I’ve found nothing else which would indicate that. The collection was pretty well organized, and tickets were often bound together with elastics or paper sleeves indicating a route and date. I brought about 20lbs of these to the auction house, and they sold for 55$. I have no idea what the purchaser plans to do with them.

One thing’s for sure, someone who lived here was a tinkerer. The bins never contain bags, which is unusual, but instead are stuffed, often to the brim with loose junk. So far, most of it has been stuff you’d find in a basement or garage. My guess is that the tossers wheel the bin inside the house and then just go around dumping things inside. I always make sure to dig all the way to the bottom so I don’t miss a thing. The only item of any value in this pic is that brass vase, but there was lots of hardware bric-a-brac underneath.

I’ve picked lots of metal out of those bins, including bits and section of scrap copper, brass fittings, copper wire, motors, aluminum, and so on. My run on this day wasn’t too exciting, but the scrap helped make it a little bit profitable.

I’ve saved some cool toolsy things, like this old hanging brass scale made by Fairbanks Morse…

… and this cast iron doohickey made by the Victory Tool & Machine Company right here in Montreal. Looking it up now, it appears to be a can sealer missing the bits that would attach to that screw end near the centre-right. Either way, it’s gone to the auction and hopefully a collector will appreciate it.

I also saved this neat cubby hole / printer tray thing. People love these, and this one was particularly old & nice. It sold for 120$ at auction, which was more than I expected.

There’s lots more cool stuff from this spot to come, but I’ll leave it at that for now. I’ve been pretty distracted lately, there’s so much going on in the world and I have a hard time not reading about it! Also, since business has been going well I’ve had a bit of money to invest in stocks for the first time and I’m reading and learning a lot about that. Anyways, for today I’m happy I managed to focus on writing for a few hours, which is long enough to get a blog post out there.


Part one of a million pt.8

This spot was legendary for tossing many little boxes full of junk. It also produced the most silver coins of any house ever (at least for me). The coins in this beat-up old jewelry box were mostly American mercury dimes, with a few other mostly American coins from that era mixed in.

The box also held a tiny surprise that I didn’t notice until after taking this photo. You can see it wedged in between the bits of wood on the left.

It’s a little gold padlock pendant. I’d guess that it’s Victorian and 15k gold (the hallmarks are indecipherable). Regardless, very cute.

Other notable items from that haul included a real old Oris watch, a souvenir key from the 1933 World’s Fair, and a bracelet made from late 1800s Guatemalan silver coins. I also like that old medicine box, which I’d guess dates to the 30s based on the font.

Another little box held a mix of actual junk and fun bits & pieces, including some old charms (I think), some dip pen nibs, a hunk of Victoria-era seal wax, and a few bullets.

Here’s some more stuff that was loose in a bag. I really like vintage electronics, so that funky handheld calculator clock radio was a fun find. Collectors like these as well – I think it’s worth around 50-60$.

Here’s some more interesting bits, including an old silver ring.

This thing looks pretty old. I’m guessing it’s a pocket watch fob, and made with vermeil (gold plated silver) in Victorian times. There was a lot of Victorian era stuff in this house…

Many parts of this story remain. In the meantime, I’m doing another sale at the 4096 Coloniale space tomorrow starting around noon. I’d like to unload as much stuff as possible before the real cold gets here. There will be a carload of new stuff that wasn’t at the last sale, and a bit of fresh junk that hasn’t seen a single sale.