Growth

I recently received an email from someone writing a book about Gord Smith, the creator of this sculpture I found back in the spring (and which came in at #5 of my “Best of 2019” list). She was browsing the web, doing some research when she came across my blog. She was pretty excited to see the sculpture, and asked me if I still had it. She shared some details about the work that I didn’t know previously, which you can see below:

“The piece is made of cor-ten steel and bronze was braised on top of it to create the beautiful texture. This sculpture is from a series Gord did between 1961 and 1969 called Growth. These sculptures were inspired by plant and animal life i.e. seaweed, flowers, birds…etc.”

Eventually, she showed the pictures to Gord, who she meets with regularly, and he offered to buy it back for 750$. That seemed like a very fair price, so I went for it. A friend of Gord’s came to pick it up, and the transaction went off without a hitch. I quite liked the sculpture, but I need cash more than I need art, considering all the student loans I have yet to pay off.

This sale also shows how letting things sit around for a while can occasionally be a good selling strategy. My blog is popular enough now that the things I write about appear in Google search results (not right away, but they get indexed at some point), which makes it more likely that interested buyers will find my wares. Of course most items won’t sell themselves, but these days I’m finding so much stuff that a few things are bound to collect dust for a while anyways.

Given the nature of the sale and the final price I think I’ll unofficially move this sculpture up a few notches on my “best of 2019” list. I think it could easily move into the #2 spot, and you could definitely make an argument for moving it all the way to #1.

That Inuit sculpture (#4, and which I found at the same spot) is going up for auction soon enough. Depending on where that ends up, I may want to unofficially change its positioning as well.

I’ll fill out this post a bit by sharing some miscellaneous one-off finds from the past few months. I passed by a huge pile in NDG the week before Christmas and found a fair bit of stuff, including these chairs.

They were vintage Eames / Herman Miller fiberglass chairs. They needed a bit of TLC, but I was still able to sell them very quickly via Kijiji for 180$. This was the first time I found an Eames chair of any kind, hopefully more are in my future!

Other things I saved from that pile included: a NAD CD player, a number of junky brass decorations, a few books and magazines, a pair of lamps, some kitchenwares, and a few little bits.

On the bottom right is a cute brass lock, which was probably made in India. At bottom left is a pendant that looks to be made from silver and bone or ivory. That bracelet (or maybe anklet) at top right has little bells on it and makes a very pretty sound.

I didn’t see anything else here in subsequent weeks, so I guess it was just a case of someone clearing out their garage or basement.

In late October I found a bag containing the remnants of a jewellery box. There wasn’t as much in there as I’d hoped, but I still found a few nice pieces.

On the right is a bunch of gold. The pearl earrings are pretty nice, as are the ones with the shiny stones. The rest was scrap quality, other than the platinum ring. It’s quite old, and comes with two of three diamonds. It’s a tiny ring, a size three, so maybe it was made for a kid. Regardless, it should sell “as is” on eBay, perhaps to someone interested in repairing and resizing it. The Mount Fuji medallion is pretty cool, my guess is that it’s a tourist piece.

Here are my best finds from another nearly random trash bag near Vendome metro. Those medals are likely gold and both date to the early 1930s based on the engravings on the back. If they are gold, at 8.5 grams they’re worth between 200-400$, assuming the carat is between 10 and 18. The brooch is cute, it looks like silver but I haven’t tested it. No signatures, unfortunately.

I did a lot of trash runs this week. I wasn’t particularly successful on most of them, but I found a few intriguing spots that could provide dividends someday. The “part x of a million” person is still tossing lots of stuff, and has been my primary source of late. I’ll probably share some more stuff from that spot in my next post.

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search for something you want / research something you have (I’m a member of 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
5. Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com – note that it might take me some time to reply, and that I am unlikely to be able to fulfill requests for items

Pass-pour pt.2

Let’s finish up with this stuff. I found a lot of old electronics here, including a whole bunch of vintage calculators. I always have a soft spot for those, even if most aren’t worth that much. That Grundig radio is pretty nice, and that SeaRanger weather radio is kind of cool. It also worked when I found it, indicating that it was used relatively recently (many portable radios I find have dead or corroded batteries inside). For some reason this person owned a whole bunch of those pens with digital clocks on them. None looked to have been used.

I saved three of these old Nokia cell phones. I was surprised to see that they actually held a charge after all these years. Also, I was surprised when the lot of three sold quickly on eBay for 45$. I guess this model is a “classic” at this point, and one of the phones was in basically new condition.

Here’s a couple more calculators, a toy gun of some kind, and some engineering tools. I wonder if the previous owner worked in the field.

Those old parallel rulers are kind of cool, as is the slide rule (a Diwa 913). At top right is a nice brass A.W. Faber “Mentor” pencil sharpener, which should sell for around 25-30$.

I really liked this old wooden toy CPR train, which I imagine was hand made. I’m sure it has a bit of value, but I’m tempted to keep it for myself.

At top left is a nice silver baby rattle. When I was digging through the bags I spotted that mother of pearl end piece, but left it because I assume it was broken off a manicure tool or something. Once I got home I researched the rest of the rattle and realized what I had left behind. So, I drove all the way back to find it again, which is something I rarely do. However, I knew it would bother me if I didn’t complete the rattle. Anyways, it was made in Birmingham, England in 1930 and is worth about 100$.

Otherwise, we have a nice Waterman pen, an old wood & brass slide caliper, and a J&R Weir Marine Engineers pin.

These buttons, stored in an old cigarette pack, were not to be thrown out (but were). They’re from the Lower Canada College, a private school in NDG, and look to be silver plated. I found a few more LCC buttons in a small plastic bag.

I found a bit of jewelry, mostly cufflinks. The Fenwick & Sailors silver gun cufflinks at top right are probably the nicest ones in this collection, they should sell for 60-75$. That grey and red stone thing is silver too, but it looks to have broken off of something.

My favourite cufflinks were the gold ones. I found around four pair, each of which were 9 or 10k gold. With the price of gold where it is (over 2000 Canadian dollars per ounce), this small collection is worth around 450$ for scrap.

However, my coolest find here might have been this silver plated nutcracker, which appears to be from the RMS Lusitania.

The Lusitania was sunk by a German submarine in 1915. 128 Americans were among the dead, which influenced their decision to join the war effort in 1917.

The Lusitania was only in service between 1907 and 1915, and I doubt they decided to switch the silverware in that length of time. My guess is that someone stole this from the ship way back in the day. I wasn’t able to find any others like it online (or Lusitania silverware in general, besides souvenir spoons), so it must be kind of rare.

It’s definitely a cool piece. It’s hard to research, but I’d guess it’s worth a bit of money, and might even be a worthy of a retroactive add to my best of 2019 list. If you can help me appraise it, please share your wisdom in the comments!

In other news, I decided to start a new Instagram account where I trace old business cards and other ephemera (most of which I found in the trash) back to whence they came. It’s a fun way to explore the history of the city, and is also a good excuse to get out for a walk. If you’re interested in such a thing, check it out!

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search for something you want / research something you have (I’m a member of 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
5. Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com – note that it might take me some time to reply, and that I am unlikely to be able to fulfill requests for items

Pass-pour pt.1

I happened upon this pile about a couple months ago. It was pretty great, but unfortunately I haven’t seen anything there since.

I saved a lot of “smalls” here (I don’t know if that’s a term many people use, but I heard someone in the estate sale business use it to describe masses of small items). I love smalls, because they’re fun to look at and don’t take up much space. Also, they can be worth good money, if they’re made of gold for instance.

Here we have a bus ticket, a TTC token, a brass button, a brass link of some kind, a nice compass (though it might be broken), and lots of other stuff. That “distance and speed tables for shippers” book is pretty cool, it shows the number of nautical miles between different cities by boat.

I don’t remember seeing a date inside, but I’d guess it’s from the early 1900s.

Here’s some brushes, tins, and a first aid kit made as a promotion for the Maine Lions club.

I found several cell phones here, all of which were at least 10 years. That protractor / parallel rule is old and neat, as is that little brass footed box. I’m not sure what it was made to do. The box has a mark on the bottom but I haven’t been able to decipher it.

Old notebooks and organizers like the one at top left do pretty well at my yard sales. The black box is made of Bakelite and was probably made to store sewing accessories. Otherwise, we have a sealed vintage bottle of Antartic (Yves Rocher) aftershave and a pill bottle with teeth inside. They’re gross, but make for an interesting photo.

That “Qebec Passport (Pass-Pour)” is a 1970s parody of the separatist movement. Someone else took pictures of the inside, which you can see here. The Zippo was made for Ayers Felts, a local company that made wool blankets as well as felts for pulp & paper (though I’m not sure what that actually means). Those Air Canada wings are plastic. I think the pilots in those days had metal wings, so the plastic ones must have gone to someone a little less prestigious.

Here we have some tobacco pipes, a few miniature colognes, a nice cigarette case, and a couple basic but quality pens.

This printing paper wasn’t an exciting find, but it was useful. It means I won’t have to buy any for a while!

Soon I’ll share part two, which will feature some of my best finds from this spot.

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search for something you want / research something you have (I’m a member of 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
5. Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com – note that it might take me some time to reply, and that I am unlikely to be able to fulfill requests for items