Flash in the pan pt.2

I found most of the tiny treasures on my first day here. You’ll see this watch again later on.

Those old metal scissors always do well at yard sales. We also have a bus ticket from 1952, a mercury thermometer, a rubber tobacco pouch (“blague automatique”), a metal mirror in a leather pouch (bottom right), and an old print.

I thought this box (which is about the size of a lunchbox) was kinda neat. It’s wooden, hand-painted, and was once sealed with wax stamps. It has a coin slot in the back, so maybe it was made to hold cash. It’s pretty dirty, but would probably clean up pretty nice. I’d guess it’s from at least the 1930s, maybe earlier. I’ve never seen anything like it, so please let me know if you have!

This spot produced a fair bit of silver. Those two picture frames were 800 German silver, and sold together on eBay for 50$. The stubby little candle holder is British, made in Birmingham in the late 20s if I remember right.

Let’s finish with the little bits of jewelry. There’s a lot of good stuff here. That brooch near the top left is unmarked but probably silver & tortoiseshell, and the t-bar & c-clasp date it to the late 1800s.

I realized after taking this photo that the long chain connected to the pin on the left was probably supposed to be attached to the shorter, incomplete looking chain. That piece is also unmarked but probably silver, perhaps adorned with little bits of gold as well. It probably dates to the same time period as the brooch, given that it has the t-bar pin and likely once had the c clasp (it has since broken off). I’ve been told that similar pieces are made for holding watches, but I can’t picture how that would work. If someone can post a video of one being used, that would be helpful!

The watch you saw earlier has a transparent back, so it’s probably a salesman’s sample. It doesn’t work, but it’s still cool. I have no idea what that doohickey with the orange cap is. The metal looks like silver, and the cap material looks like Bakelite. The cap comes off pretty easily, and that resin looking stuff on the inside smells like sappy incense.

Otherwise, there’s some scrap quality gold and silver, like that long dangle earring missing all its stones (18k), the busted watch (farthest to the left, 14k), and that triangle shaped thing (probably off a fancy portfolio or album of some kind, 800 German silver).

My most valuable find though was probably this old Masonic medal. It’s definitely the best Mason piece I’ve found to date. Each segment is marked 585 (14k), indicating that it was likely made in Europe, and the eye is enameled. I don’t know much about the Masons, so please help me out if you can! I wonder if that oval piece (which you can see in the first piece) has a meaning I’m not aware of.

Regardless, there’s about 9 gram of 14k gold in there, making it worth over 300$ in scrap. But it’s definitely not scrap, and should sell for a fair bit more than that.

All in all this was a pretty exciting spot, even if it lasted just a couple weeks!

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The great sink experiment

In the past I never gave sinks a second glance, but this year I’ve picked up a bunch. I have more storage space than I used to, making them less of a burden in that way, and I’m also a sucker for vintage architectural elements. But the main reason for the change was that I thought they could make me some money.

The first one I saved was this pink one from the early 60s. I brought it to the auction house, and ended up buying it back for 12$. Not a great result, but sometimes you need to put the extra work in if you want to make the extra money. I ended up listing it on Kijiji, and eventually the sink sold for 50$.

I found this late 50s green / jadeite sink outside an apartment building off Cote-des-Neiges.

This one cleaned up pretty well, and also sold for 50$, though it did take maybe a month and a half to find a buyer.

My biggest haul of sinks came from an apartment building near downtown. I picked up five yellow ones, which I think date to the late 60s. They were pretty dirty, but I cleaned them up pretty good with a hose and some elbow grease. I haven’t had much luck selling them so far though. It’s pretty clear that sinks are pretty slow movers, but I’d like to open up that space in my garage eventually!

I also picked up this white pedestal sink in TMR. It hasn’t sold yet either.

My most recent addition is this cast iron pedestal sink, which I found on Monday night in Cote-des-Neiges.

This beast was near the upper limit of what I can reasonably carry & lift, which I’d guess is about 75 pounds.

It was made in Port Hope, Ontario. I thought it was older, but I think it was actually made in 1953.

The main issue: it was dirty. The grunge on the bottom looked like damp, caked-on cardboard, which isn’t the worst thing to clean off, but it still looked pretty gross.

Here’s how it looks after about 15 minutes of effort. Already the sides are looking pretty clean, and a fair bit of the grunge has been removed. I’m going to use a plastic scraper tool to get rid of the rest of the cardboard, and then hopefully I can get the white of the enamel back without much effort.

We’ll see how it goes. Perhaps I’ll come to regret lugging this thing to my garage, but for now I’m optimistic that it’ll sell for something. If you have any experience in the sink market, please share your thoughts in the comments! Also, sink cleaning advice would be much appreciated.

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Montrose

It’s getting cold out there, so let’s go back to the summer when this spot was occasionally productive. On this day in June I picked up a couple old trunks, both of which ended up selling for okay prices at auction.

The pickings were hit & miss. The bags were mostly junk on this day, but thankfully I spotted an old clear plastic bag full of lighters. None were super valuable on their own (even the one at bottom right, which seems to date to WWI) so I brought them to the auction, where they ended up selling as a lot for 55$.

The last day was one of the most productive. I picked up a bunch of quality junk, including an old bank, a depression glass dish, some vintage scissors…

… a fun & very old clover-like table mirror;

… a nice wooden box with a mirror inside, a fun Noritake nut bowl with some “3d” nuts inside;

… a great Sheaffer pen set, which includes a fountain pen with a 14k gold nib;

… and an old beaded cushion. Some seem to think it’s a pincushion, but I think it was made to hang from the wall. Either way, these were apparently made by the Iroquois in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It’s in fairly good condition all things considered, and it should sell for around my 85$ asking price on eBay.

One day I found a bunch of photos. Most weren’t too exciting, but this one of a cricket team is pretty cool. It was taken by Glasgow photographer J.B. Macnair probably in the 1880s. I don’t know much about cricket, but this photo is the kind of thing that might be worth more if I figure out who’s in it.

On my best day here I opened up a bag and found a box filled with jewelry.

There was a lot of quality costume jewelry inside. The green necklace is a Sherman piece, and those always go for good money. There’s another nice shiny necklace by Continental, and a gold-tone one by D’Orlan. There’s a bit of silver, like that Bond-Boyd brooch (with the blue stones, probably the nicest Bond-Boyd piece I’ve seen) and the bird brooch.

My favourite piece is probably this Italian micro-mosaic brooch, which was made by Fabbrica Angelo Pessar (FAP) in the late 1800s or early 1900s. Not only is it quite large (diameter: 5.1cm), it’s very detailed and uses negative space nicely. It’s the nicest example of a micro-mosaic brooch that I’ve seen to date, so I priced it at 200$, which I think is the high end for pieces from that era.

I’m also intrigued by this set. It looks to be made from silver, but there’s no hallmarks to be seen. Again, the details are pretty nice, with filigree petals and individual stamens (the long things in the middle of the flower, basically the pollen producing bits). A lot of those stamens are squished down, but I was able to bend them back into place pretty easily. If you happen to know anything about these, even the type of flower, please let us know in the comments! I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

Otherwise, yard sale season is officially over. It was a pretty good year of sales, but I’m also happy to take a break from it all. I did a big purge, and will come back next year with a whole new collection of quality junk. I might try selling some of my mid-range finds at a flea market sometime this winter but nothing’s official yet. If I do that I’ll post the details here, and I’ll send out an email on my new mailing list.

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
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5. Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com