Recent sales (May & June)

eBay sales

May: 12 sales for 1521.50$

June: 18 sales for 1357$.

Total: 30 sales for 2878.50$. With fees at around 10%, my profit on that is roughly 2590$.

Macbook Pro: 175$. I found this while biking in Outremont back in the spring. It worked but slowly, making me think that the hard drive was an issue. Still, a MacBook Pro in nearly any condition is worth selling on eBay.

Pal Kepenyes yin-yang necklace: 375$. As seen in the last post!

Isamu Nogachi vintage paper lamp: 325$. Ditto!

14k necklace clasp: 150$. I would have scrapped this in the past, but I found out that there’s a good market for jewelry findings on their own, especially a fancier looking piece like this. It ended up selling for over twice its value in scrap.

Gulden prism set: 100$. An optometry doohickey, part of a larger optometry haul that I didn’t get around to mentioning here. However, one piece in particular is very cool, and I’ll show you a picture eventually.

Speakman Anystream No.1: 210$. I’ve found two of these now, and both sold fairly quickly for 210$. They date back to the 50s (you can see some of the patent info in the middle) and are very heavy, made with chrome plated brass. It needed a good cleaning with CLR but was definitely worth the effort.

Silver George Jensen bracelet, No. 142B: 350$. Georg Jensen is one of the finest names in silver, and I made sure to get top dollar for this piece.

Local auction sales

3693$ – 923.25$ (commission fees) – 166$ (listing fees) = 2603.75$

Dualit toaster: 65$. Found at the bottom of a recycling bin in Cote St-Luc.

10k gold heart pendant: 40$. A piece from that Rosemont gold haul. I’m happy with this price. After fees I’m still getting around 1.5x the scrap value, and I doubt putting the work into listing it on eBay would have provided enough extra value to make the process worthwhile.

2 Nintendo DS Lites + games: 85$. I actually tested these ones – they worked fine. Found not far from Dawson College.

19.2k Portuguese gold ring: 95$. Another piece from that Rosemont haul. Again, I’m happy to have gotten above scrap here. It had diamonds and a pearl, but none were exceptional enough to be worth much on their own. I included a nice Birks box, I find them fairly regularly and they’re great for displaying the item.

90.70 in Euro coins: 130$. My collection of Euros got too big so I dumped them off on the auction house. It’s largely a symbolic victory but I was happy to get a little above a 1:1 exchange rate after fees. 1 Euro is worth 1.50 CAD right now, but finding someone to pay the exchange rate for coins is pretty difficult. I had similar results with a smaller lot of British pound coins.

Antique English semi-porcelain serving dish: 38$. Old china is a tough sell in general right now but this piece did pretty well. It made it to the curb unscathed! Found while walking around the Mile End.

Vintage exit lamps: 140$. I found this box full of them outside of a big apartment building near downtown when I was driving around with my mom. We didn’t go on a long trash run, but this find made it a profitable one!

Pineapple light: 36$. These spent a lot of time in my garage before I brought them to auction. I figured I should pair them with some other vintage light fixture, but all along they were cool enough for a lot of their own. Pineapples are in right now.

Peanuts garbage can: 20$. This isn’t a terrible price, but I’m kinda wishing I had just kept it!

Pokemon cards: 46$. With the help of family I was able to process a bunch of cards from that massive haul in the winter (I still have that horseshoe in my car by the way, it seems to be working!). This is just one of several lots, but they all sold for between 32-46$ (other than the Cardfight!! Vanguard ones, which were closer to 20$). There’s definitely money to be made but I decided it’s not worth driving myself crazy trying to find a valuable Charizard or whatever. These cards aren’t that old anyways, so it’s less likely that any particular one will be super valuable (most of the ultra expensive cards are from the early editions). Even after selling about 12 thousand cards, I still have huge boxes full of unsorted ones under my bed. That might end being a good winter project.

Vintage Fisher Price hospital: 42$. Found in Cote-des-Neiges.

Jacques Cartier bridge plans: 55$. I think this one had something to do with drainage. I had some others, but most were more technical. Still, the drawings were pretty cool!

Untested console lot: 65$. I hate testing electronics. Fortunately, they do pretty well at auction even when I don’t.

Copper fish cooking pot: 140/2$. I split the profit with a friend because we found it together and he helped clean it up. It was a real pain making this thing look shiny, but I guess it was worth it – it sold at the high end of what I was expecting.

Silver necklace: 40$. I found this several years back and wasn’t able to sell it on eBay or Etsy. I’m happy with the price I got here. The stones were probably rough rubies, and the necklace was probably Indian.

Lot of gaming controllers: 38$. Untested, but probably fine.

Big lot of glass chandelier dangles: 34$.

Glass case with old junk: 48$. I’m pretty happy with this price! Oh, and I didn’t include the coins with the lot. I have more research to do before I feel comfortable selling those.


5193.75$, 18263.95$ halfway through 2019. At this pace I will easily beat my previous records!





Little boxes of treasures / Restlessness pt.2


Today I continue my quest to finish sharing my spring finds so I can get to some more recent ones. This spot was great for a few weeks around the beginning of May, and it provided some “trash” that will compete for a spot on my end of year top-ten list. I still have lots of research to do though, and these folks could also end up making my list of all-time top providers (which is one that could make the book someday).

It’s also funny knowing that I found this stuff largely by accident. I was feeling bored and restless one night and decided to go on a run mostly as an excuse to get out of the house. The garbage on this particular street is usually picked up very early in the morning, and normally I don’t get there in time to see any of it – I focus on the other streets instead. So, I was definitely lucky to be in the right place at the right time.

Of course, I’m sure I’m in the right place at the wrong time often enough, but there’s nothing or nobody to tell you when that is the case.

Anyways, the boot in the video above is actual garbage. However, it goes to show that this stuff was probably packed away in a basement or attic for at least a few decades. I’d never before seen a rubber boot that crunchy!

Most of my best finds were packed away in little boxes like this one.

Here’s a look at all that stuff. There’s a lot of quality junk here, so zoom in for a closer look!

It’s always exciting finding a goodie box like this. I think the first piece that struck me was the fish brooch in the middle. It has a brutalist look to it, and indeed it’s signed G. Vidal on the back. It’s an unusual piece, and I wasn’t able to find any others online (he does have a different fishy design, however). The signature is also different as he typically used stamped symbols, but maybe it’s an early work. Either way, I think he made it as the quality is excellent and it seems to be made from pewter, his material of choice. It should sell for around 150-200$.

The snake bracelet was also a little different. It was hallmarked “333,” which is 8k gold that’s likely of European origin. It was pretty busted unfortunately, so I removed the gold from the steel coil and sold it as scrap. My gold guy told me it was more like 5k gold, but I had 19 grams of it so I still came away with a little over 100$. I did keep the head, which looks to have little rubies for eyes.

Next up on my most intriguing list is that chain like piece on the left. I’m not sure what it’s for, so please let me know if you do! It’s hallmarked with a star and the word “silver.” I especially like the details on that bit in the middle, it reminds me of “Arts & Crafts” designs but I’m no expert. Either way, I wouldn’t be surprised if this thing dates to the turn of the century.

That enameled brooch near the top is also cool. It’s signed with a tiny picture and the word sterling, and the design looks like a modernist alligator. Any info as to who might have made it would be appreciated. To the left of that you can see a wooden hair pin type object with a horned deer-like animal on top.

Otherwise, I found a Bakelite bangle; a Mexican sterling ring with a rough turquoise (?) stone; a pair of silver cufflinks marked “Hand Made in Greece”; a cigarette holder that looks to be made from ivory; a couple of bits of earrings for the scrap gold pile; a locket signed “K&L 835” (silver from Germany); and three gold-tone & enamel pieces that were probably part of a modernist necklace (none are signed, unfortunately).

You can see better picture and some of the hallmarks in the gallery below. (Note that you can click on the picture to make it bigger, and then within the gallery viewer you can make the picture zoomable by scrolling down and clicking the “view full-size” button on the right hand side).

As for the coins, there’s a few old ones in there, the oldest of which I’ll mention again later on.

One day I saved several wallets, all of which had foreign currency inside.

None of them were super exciting, but I did spot a Canadian silver dime. Also, a few of the wallets were still in good enough condition to sell at a yard sale.

There were lots of curiosities tucked away in this little box, including a bit more natural stuff.

That big Parthenon pendant (which is probably bronze) is covered with what looks to be sealing wax. That should come off pretty easily, though I still haven’t gotten around to doing it. I think the other pendant is a hunk of silver. A couple of those coins look pretty ancient, and you can see close-ups below.

I’m guessing that these coins are legitimate old, and not reproductions. The one on the right looks Roman and silver, while the one on the right looks bronze but is hard to identify. The middle coin is from that earlier collection – it’s dated 1601 and was made by the Polish-Lithuanian commonwealth that existed at the time.

I don’t know much about coins, so any advice would be appreciated. Zoom in for a closer look!

Occasionally the treasures were stored in little plastic bags. I took this shot at my garage before I got my new lights, but you get the drift.

That bib necklace is pretty awesome. I’m not sure what it’s made of, but based on the occasional green tarnish I’d guess that it’s got a lot of copper inside. Either way, it’s very pretty and all those pieces bouncing together makes a very nice sound. The clasp is missing which makes it a little harder (for me) to date, but if you have any ideas let me know. The amber necklace was busted, but I put the beads in a nice wooden box and sold they sold at auction for around 20$.

The ring at bottom left is pretty cool as well. It’s designed like a lion and is hallmarked “950.” That silver standard isn’t in use anymore, and likely indicates that it was made in Europe some time ago.

This was the last treasure box I found, outside on a day when there were only a few trash bags out (a tiny number when compared the hoards I stumbled across on previous trash days).

The wicker apple contained some of the best stuff.

There’s a bit of silver here, but the piece that really sticks out is the large yin & yang necklace.

It was signed by Pal Kepenyes, a Hungarian-Mexican sculptor whose work is pretty sought after (though you should never believe any price seen on 1stDibs). I listed this on eBay and it sold pretty quickly for 375$. Can’t complain!

A couple of smaller boxes inside that box held some nice beads, a crystal necklace, and another necklace that’s probably faux ivory.

I saved some unboxed treasures as well. There was a fair number of doctor-related ephemera, including a large selection of Clinical Symposia magazines from the 60s and 70s. My favourite is the one with the nuclear blast, which was published in 1963 not long after the Cuban Missile Crisis.

I found a whole bunch of art. This piece is the one that most stood out, it’s got an interesting look and seemed to have been signed in 1946.

I also found this neat poster, which uses the image of Tintin on the Moon but rebrands it something like: “The Sciences, they’re also for girls”. I think it sold for about 8$ at auction.

One of my other most valuable finds (that I know of) was a vintage Isamu Noguchi Akari ceiling lamp. Made from washi paper, these lamps are very popular among mid-century enthusiasts.

This one was still in original box & in pretty good condition. I listed it on eBay and it sold extremely quickly, maybe even within the hour, for 325$. Not bad! When something sells that quickly you always wonder if you should have priced it higher, but I think my price was just “fair” and the buyer very passionate.

So, two things on this post have already sold for 700$. Let’s call it 850$ after counting the scrap gold from the snake bracelet and earring parts. There’s a lot of treasure still to sell, however, and lots of research left to do (and I hope you can help me out a bit!). Hopefully there’s a good amount of money yet to be earned…

Considering all the treasures I found here I can’t help but wonder at the value of some of the junkier looking stuff. For example, these pretty but seemingly useless crystallized bits of orange, red, green, and blue whatever in a small jar. I doubt they have any value, but if you know what they are please share in the comments!

I’ve been having decent luck later, in large part because I’ve been finding jewellery. For example, last week I didn’t have any luck at all before coming across a small bag of the shiny stuff on Friday. That definitely made up for a thoroughly mediocre Monday thru Thursday. The weeks before that were also helped by jewelry. I’ll get to sharing that sometime in the near future.


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The Wecolator

Thanks for all the comments to my last post! It does make me feel better to know that lots of people support what I do and enjoy the blog. I think a thick skin and regular words of encouragement are necessary in any misunderstood profession where people sometimes react harshly to your work. Off the top of my head I can definitely empathize with the parking enforcement folk, who rarely meet anyone happy that they got a ticket. If you can think of any other jobs where dealing with negativity is constant, please share them in the comments!

After discussing all that negativity I figured it was a good time to share a positive encounter with someone I met at the curb (in Westmount, no less). I first happened upon this pile way back in February – if you’re currently suffering in a heat wave like I am, looking at that picture might make you feel slightly cooler!

Most of that first pile was actual trash, but I did salvage this cute Birks silver dish somewhere amongst the clutter. It’s not worth a whole lot, maybe 20$, but finding silver is always fun and leads me to wonder what other valuables might get tossed in the future.

At some point I met one of the people doing the tossing. She asked what kinds of things I was looking for, a question I struggle with to this day because the possibilities are nearly endless. In general I’m looking for things with value, but that’s pretty vague and clearly I see value in items that other people don’t. I probably said something along the lines of “things I can sell at a garage sale,” but I should probably think of a better line than that. Either way she took my phone number, saying she had a lot of stuff to get rid of and maybe I could have some. She then lost my number, but we met again maybe a month later and actually got in touch.

In the meantime I picked the trash, often finding little of value beside vintage curiosities. I’m a sucker for old tins and jars, so I took this c. 1960s “Killex” lawn weed killer. “Killex” seems like a strong word for something that mainly kills dandelions and clover.

A couple of pieces ended up in my collection, like this “Yolk Egg Paste” made by Rose & Laflamme. I’m not sure what yolk egg paste does, but today it smells a bit like molasses. I’m guessing this is from the 60s as well.

Also, I saved what might be the cutest can of chemically destructive aerosol deodorant ever made! I’m pretty sure this is from the 70s.

The finds improved as the weather got warmer. One day I was greeted with this chipped plaster bust. I didn’t know who it was, but someone on Instagram told me that it was Adam Dollard-des-Ormeaux. He was a folk legend of sorts here in Quebec, especially in the 1800s, but his legacy is now a matter of debate. Regardless, the chips weren’t so bad as to ruin the piece, and it sold for 30-some dollars at the auction house. I think if it were re-painted most people wouldn’t even notice the damage, but I have no idea what the buyer did with it.

This vintage lamp was pretty dusty when I found it, but looked a lot better after I sprayed it with a hose (pictured post-hosing).

This teapot has unfortunately been busted in many places, the cover especially which is broken into over ten pieces (and missing a chunk maybe 1×1 cm2). Someone took the effort to glue it back together though, and I figured it was worth taking home. It looks pretty old, and I was thinking Chinese (but I don’t know ceramics that well). The pot and spout are actually intact, so that’s a good thing. If you know anything about this, please let me know!

One day I found a jewelry box. There wasn’t anything super exciting inside, but I did get some fun yard saleable stuff and trace amounts of scrap silver and gold. Also, those Duvalier-era Haitian bills were cool. I sold them to a friend who does art with old money – apparently even dirty bills like these clean up pretty well because they’re usually made with high quality paper.

This tin was a little more exciting. Under that Argentinian bill were a couple bits of silver, a few coins, and a tooth pendant of some kind. I’m confident that the top is made from gold, but it’s tough to make out the hallmarks.

Around this time I met the woman again. As it turns out she was clearing out her childhood home after her father had passed away. She offered me a range of free stuff, a lot of which I took. She let me pick the garage before she paid someone to empty it – I found several cool things, and gave her a bit of money to show my appreciation. She seemed like a very nice person.

One thing I got for free was this old Wecolator stair lift. I’d never seen anything like it before, and I decided I had to have it. The beast weighed about 300 pounds, maybe more, and the piece with the chair was especially heavy – I needed to get a roommate to help me move it. The rails were sturdy and reminiscent of an actual railway track.

Not long after I brought it to my garage it became clear that it was going to be difficult to sell for anything other than scrap. The local auction house wasn’t interested, and I put it on eBay just to see if anyone would bite (they didn’t). As you can imagine this thing took up a lot of floor space, and after a while I got sick of tripping over it. It had to go, but I wanted to see if I could find it a better fate than the scrapyard.

Fortunately I thought back to an old neighbour who is well known in the community for his steel sculptures. I gave him a call and he was happy to take it off my hands. I was very happy to get it out of my garage, so I’d call the outcome a win/win. Last I heard he was getting parts of it sandblasted – maybe I can post the results here sometime in the near future.

So that all worked out, but in the future I should avoid projects that require a lot of work and little (and in this case, no) profit!

At one point I was offered this neat plaque. I forget why, but she thought I’d like it. The plaque was made for the Wabasso Cotton Company in 1956 in recognition of their 25 years making Sanforized (basically pre-shrunk) textiles. I remembered the company because I found a 10k gold 35 year service pin early last year in Rosemont.

Later I noticed that the plaque was signed “Dieges & Clust Sterling.” I don’t know its exact weight, but based on the size I’d guess that it’s worth about 150$ for its weight in silver. I don’t plan on melting it though, it’s cooler as a decoration I think.

This was the last trash pile. A very colourful one as well! Most of the furniture was too worn out to be of value, but I found some cool little things inside the bags.

This yogurt container held a bit of junk, and also a minor treasure (I hope the fortune is accurate as well!)

That three leaf clover brooch came from the yogurt container. It’s signed but I can’t make out what it says (you can see the mark below). Regardless, the leafs seem to be made of little rocks and the piece looks quite vintage. That necklace on the right is also pretty nice, I think it’s silver but again the marks are pretty difficult to read (it might be double stamped). Otherwise, I found a cool Noras necklace (likely silver plated), a Parker Jotter, a tobacco pipe and a ring sizer.

On that last day I also saved a few cameras (none of which seemed to work, but all sold at a yard sale for a buck or two), some metals for the scrap bin and a few other curiosities.

One of my favourite finds was this old house number plate. I’m a sucker for these as well, and I’ll likely put it up on my wall at some point. It’s different from the usual blue enamel plate you find in Montreal, and I’d guess it’s around 100 years old.

On the whole it was a very pleasant experience. Hopefully I can meet more nice people going forward! My luck on that front hasn’t improved since my last post, however…

I’ve found a lot of great stuff recently, but I want to share a few more of my awesome spring finds before getting to those. I’ll try to finish that off soon, but writer’s block has been a challenge as of late.


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