Here & there

Here’s a few finds from miscellaneous, short-lived destinations. This spot was cool for a week, but I didn’t pick up much after that.

It seemed like a Scot lived here. These are sporrans, part of the traditional Scottish attire. Apparently the horsehair ones are typically used by pipers & drummers, and the smaller one is a more formal dress sporran. I’d guess they dated to the 60s or so, and I sold the lot on eBay for 150$.

I also found a lot of Boys’ Brigade stuff, including a nice leather sash with a matching pouch. I’m not super familiar with the Boys’ Brigade, though they seem to be similar to the Boy Scouts. I have someone who wants to buy the collection, but we haven’t figured out a price yet.

Otherwise, it seemed like someone had a love for music. I found a cover of an old music book, probably from someone’s childhood, and a grand piano jewelry box made in Occupied Japan. I also picked up four sweaters from a Montreal barbershop group. My only other find of note was a non-functional Wittnauer watch, which I sold quickly on eBay for 65$.

I got pretty excited about one particular spot in TMR, but I think I was late to the party because after two weeks of decent trash the gutting (renovation) of the house began. That was a bit disappointing. Anyways, I saved some neat ephemera, including an old bus transfer, a very vintage bookmark, and a framed picture of King George. I grouped that Santa tin with a different Santa tin I had from the same era and sold them on eBay for 100$, though currently they’re lost in the mail…

My best find though was an antique Waterman Ideal fountain pen in sterling silver, which was part of a small collection mostly featuring promotional pens. Dating to somewhere around the 1920s, these pens seem to sell for around 200$ Canadian, give or take. I might just do an auction for this one and let the market figure it out.

Finally, a spot in NDG excited me after a fun first week, but was mostly disappointing after that. Excluding some copper pots I didn’t include in the shot, this was the creme de la creme. That copper thing in the middle is a bit of a mystery to me, it’s marked “URYEA” (or something close to that, I don’t have it with me right now) but that doesn’t ring any bells on Google. I also like that little lidded sugar bowl (?), the frog planter, and the salt & pepper shakers, the latter of which were made in Japan. But two things stuck out to me the most.

First, this really old thermometer made by Charles Wilder of Peterborough, NH. It was likely made in the late 1800s, given that apparently Wilder died in 1900 (though the company continue on briefly). I like how it has “blood heat” and “sumr heat [sic]” etched on the side in that very old-timey way. Some of his stuff seems to go for decent money, though I’m not sure what this particular model sells for. If you have a Worthpoint account maybe you can tell me! Aside from it being cool, it also contains mercury which isn’t something you should be casually throwing out.

Lastly, that pouch in the front contained a small collection of coins. There are a few pre-Canadian Newfoundland coins here, including a couple of silver 5-cent pieces (which were quite small). I also like the big cents and the Philadelphia transit token. The oldest coin is near the bottom left, it’s an 1843 US 1-cent piece. I’d say it’s in pretty good condition, and probably worth at least 30$. Check out similar coins on eBay for a better look at the coin design.

I still haven’t shown you some of my bests finds of the year yet… I tend to like to wait a while before making those public. However, I think I’ve waited long enough, so expect to see one of them in my next post.

Part one of a million pt.9

While organization my room / office space recently I laid my eyes on a couple old finds. And by old, I mean I found them a long time ago and they’ve been kicking around for way too long. I took this picture in August of 2019, to give you an idea, and haven’t gotten around to posting or doing anything at all with them since then, besides looking at them occasionally and thinking that I should do something with them of course.

They’re also old in the other sense of the word. They were fairly early finds from the “Part one of a million” spot, a multigenerational home that produced much antique junk from the spring of 2019 to the spring of this year. I often find vintage stuff, but rarely do I find so many century plus old items at one spot.

Anyways, this is a neat little piece.

Based on the sheet below, it kinda seems like a proto etch-a-sketch. You have a glass “board” with dimples on both sides (one side is a square, the other is shaped like a diamond), and little glass marbles of different colours to put in those dimples to create different patterns or designs.

Like a lot of nice glass stuff, it was made in “Czecho-Slovakia.” That spelling might give a hint as to when it was made, since the hyphenation was apparently only used just after the end of WWI and for a little bit right before WWII. Based on the design and materials used, I feel safe saying it likely dates to the late 1910s or early-mid 1920s. I’m not sure what it’s worth, but it’s a very cool thing that’s in very nice shape considering it’s about a century old and was left in a bag on the curb.

I found this puzzle the same day. Raphael “Father” Tuck & Sons operated in London between 1866-1959. They’re probably most known for their postcards but they also made paper dolls, pop-up kid’s books, and apparently the occasional “picture building puzzle”. It’s hard to find specific information about these, but I’d guess this was made around the same time as the proto etch-a-sketch or maybe a little earlier.

The subject is Alice in Wonderland, which is likely good for its value given Alice’s cult following. There’s three puzzles in total, only one of which is complete, but considering its age I’m probably lucky to have that.

I’ve never read Alice in Wonderland, but lots of people have recommended it!

It’s pretty hard to find other puzzles like this online, so maybe they’re pretty scarce. A museum in Vancouver seems to have some puzzles, but maybe not the box (FYI, on the back of the puzzles are written some verses I didn’t notice before, which you can kind of see via that link although the pictures are fuzzy). This Tuck devotee compiled a couple of pictures and some pages of similar Tuck products from old catalogues, but doesn’t seem to own a copy. The only sale I found is listed on Worthpoint, which I don’t have a subscription to (but if you do, I wouldn’t mind some info ;). That one looks like it was never used, though my box is probably in better condition.

Regardless, these are pretty neat and fairly uncommon finds. Whatever they’re worth I’m glad I saved them from the dump.

Part one of a million pt.2

 

This spot (part one) continues to produce really cool trash on a near-weekly basis. It’s definitely one of my all-time best, but I hesitate to say much more while they’re still tossing – I have a (perhaps superstitious or irrational) fear that if I share too much they’ll find out somehow and quit putting such great things on the curb. An alternative, for example, would be to pay a company like 1-800-Got-Junk to pick everything up for an exorbitant fee, or to throw everything into one of those big red dumpsters. The former cuts me out from the process completely, and the latter leads to a lot of breakage and makes picking much more difficult. Either would make me sad, that’s for sure.

Oftentimes I’ll find a bunch of little bits at the bottom of a bag. This time they were kinda dirty – something else had spilled inside the bag – so I picked out all the good stuff and gently washed it in water with dish soap.

Here’s the accumulation after sorting and washing. There were lots of coins in there, several of which were silver.

The coins aren’t in good enough condition to be worth much above their scrap value (which I’d say is about 20$), but I love finding silver in any form. That beat up ring is also silver, as is the necklace chain. The cufflink is probably just plated, or covered with a thin piece of silver but it has an interesting spring-loaded design (pretty similar to these). It probably dates to the late 1800s, and I’m hoping the other one turns up eventually.

I’ve found a lot of jewelry boxes here, some of which are worth decent money. These ones are nice, but mostly quality yard sale material. The gold keychain fob is made to hold a Charga-Plate, an early form of credit card that was in use between the 1930s and late 1950s.

Here we have some very old sewing needles, some pottery sherds, a mother of pearl manicure tool, and what might be the oldest nail clipper I’ve found (below the blue pack of needles).

More interesting if not particularly valuable stuff here. That Lufkin ruler is nice, but one section in the back is busted.

I found this collection of carved fish and turtles inside a ziplock bag. The fish could be cutlery rests, but I’m not sure what the turtles would do. Either way, I think they’re made of soapstone, and are in fairly good condition overall.

More interesting doodads. That fish brooch is neat, but looks a little chewed up. I wonder if it’s tortoiseshell. Otherwise, we have a nice little pocket knife, some old keys, a cool rock, and an old pair of scissors.

This place has been great for old pencils and pens. The nib on that dip pen third from the top is very rusty, but it can be replaced – the rest is made from silver and bone. Below that is a Gillott dip pen that looks nearly new. The checking / marking crayons date to the late 1800s. I’d guess that the Hooper and Co. doohickey is a fancy pen or pencil cap, but I’m not 100% sure.

This dip pen is unusual. The glass “handle” contains some kind of hot pink, viscous liquid. I don’t think it’s ink – I’m not sure how you’d break it open and write with it – so maybe it’s just for decoration. Regardless, it’s pretty neat.

I opened this Georg Jensen box with high hopes. Inside were two watches and a Georg Jensen ying/yang pendant.

This is the second Jensen piece I’ve found, the first being that bracelet I sold for 350$ last year. This piece isn’t as valuable, but it should still sell at my asking price of 85$.

I really like this Mercury watch, perhaps because of its distinctive black dial. I may keep it for my personal collection, even though I never wear watches (though I guess I could always start). It was probably made in the 50s or 60s.

Let’s finish with this quality batch. The enameled ring is hallmarked “Made in China Silver,” and the silver earrings above it were made in Peru. The Timex watch is pretty cute, and probably dates to the 50s. The filigree earrings with the Jade-like stone are probably silver. The clasps on the back aren’t, but feature the patent number 1967965 which indicates that they were likely made in the 30s or 40s. Finally, the little bronze medal was made by a not particularly well known Belgian medalist named Louis-Antoine de Smeth.

On the back is written “Caritas Jodoigne Septembre 1918.” I have no idea what that means, so please let us know if you have any insights!

I have bins full of blog worthy stuff from this place. It’s going to take a long time to share it all, but it’ll all come out eventually!

Last week was pretty good for trash, one of my best since the year began. There was a huge dump of snow, about 40cm worth, over the past couple days. If this had happened on a Monday, that would pretty much write off the whole week, but because it started on a Friday my picking schedule shouldn’t be affected much. This city isn’t known for being well managed, but the snow removal services are generally pretty good.

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