Old junk

Some of my favourite finds are the ones I happen upon by pure chance. My car was in the shop for maintenance on Wednesday and Thursday so I wasn’t able to pick as I normally would have. The work was supposed to be done by about noon on Thursday so I decided to walk up to the garage around then to pick it up. (I ended up having to wait around for three hours or so, but that’s another story).

Of course, the various garbage days are always on my mind, and I decided to take a route that would provide a bit of trash along the way. I didn’t expect much but it wasn’t long before I happened upon this pile. The bag on the right had the feel of paper when I gave it a little kick and I decided to take a peek inside. Usually papers aren’t too exciting, but sometimes they are.

True to form, most of the papers weren’t very exciting. Old files and such. However, I spotted this busted antique album after digging around a bit. It probably once held the cards below, which I laid eyes on not long after.

These little cards feature some of the oldest photographs I’ve ever found in the trash. Most seem to be “cartes de visite” (or CdV), a type of photograph most popular between 1859 and the early 1870s. The larger cabinet card took over after that, though apparently CdVs were produced into the early 1900s.

Lots of CdVs featured celebrities – they were one of the earliest forms of collectible cards. Sometimes the name is indicated on the card and other times not so please let me know if you recognize someone!

The backs of the cards sometimes contain interesting information so I’ve included pictures in every case. For instance, a previous owner noted that the card on top second from the left is an image of Henri IV, the king of France from 1589 to 1610. The writing on the one to the left of it looks to say “Francois II” but the picture doesn’t match the appearance of the former French king who died at age 16. To the right of a more local interest – on the back it’s written that the guy was a chaplain somewhere in Pied du Courant, the part of Old Montreal that sits next to the rapids and across from La Ronde. There used to be a prison there from 1835-1912, so perhaps he worked there? I don’t really understand some of the words written, so let us know if you have any insights!

The dude on top, second from the left is J.A.A. Brodeur, one time president of the executive committee of the city of Montreal. There’s not much info about him online outside of the fact that he died of a heart attack while visiting New York City on business in 1927. To his right is an image of the impressively mustachioed Napoleon III. At top right is one of the few hand dated photos – being shot in “about 1866” might make it the oldest photograph I’ve ever found. Otherwise, we have a cute hand coloured picture of a baby named Lilly Gagnon Polette and an image of Pope Pius IX.

Here we have Napoleon I, Empress Josephine, Mary Queen of Scots, and some locals. Several of these photographs were shot by William Notman, a noted Montreal-based photographer. Given that there’s no mention of “& Son” the Notman baby photograph must date from before 1882.

Here we have Josephine again, François Gaston de Lévis, another famous guy I should probably recognize (bottom left), and more locals.

Let’s finish with some drawings (I don’t recognize any of them, but perhaps they are famous) and a nice photograph of the Notre Dame de Lourdes chapel in France that apparently dates to 1872.

Most of the other papers weren’t exciting, but I did find this neat old Quebec street scene (this is a fairly hi-def scan so zoom in for a closer look, and let me know if you know where it is!) …

… and a cool drawing (perhaps once a cover to something?) dated November 2nd, 1879. I’m not sure what any of the symbols or Latin means, so if you have any insights please share them in the comments!

Overall this was an excellent haul. I should be able to make some money from the celebrity cards, and the local photography certainly possesses some historical value as well. I’ll keep an eye on that spot in case those folks toss more interesting old “junk!”

While on the topic of found photos I might as well share a few I saved from a black trash bag in Westmount about a month ago. These ones looked like they had spent too long in a damp basement

This neat group photo turned out okay. It looks to feature a 1940 military college football team (you can see the year on the ball, which is held by player #1).

There were some neat photos in this collection. The 1927 aerial shot of Vancouver is cool, unfortunately it’s a bit damaged. Otherwise, we have a couple boats, someone honouring James Cook at his monument in Hawaii, a military parade of some kind, a shot of Lake Louise, and one with a bunch of elephants. I’d really like to know what’s going on in that one – the structure in particular is unusual, and you can see someone sitting on top of it as well. Zoom in for a closer look!

Someone enjoyed animal photography! Here we have a ducks, a series of squirrel pictures, a Siamese cat, a cow, and a couple of kids on a pony.

This timeline of biblical figures is printed on what looks to be blueprint paper. I’ve never seen anything quite like it.

I have no idea what’s going on in these photos. On the back of each is written in pencil a certain number of tons (ie: “9.75 tons”) but nothing else that would help solve the mystery.

My favourite photos from this batch are probably these very old bridge raising shots. It doesn’t say on the back which bridge it is, but the design looks a lot like that of the Pont de Quebec near Quebec City. If so, these photos would date back to 1917. Unfortunately they are a bit damaged by moisture, but they’re not too far gone and would look great in a frame.

Otherwise, I have lots of catching up to do. It’s been a great year for garbage, and some of my best finds haven’t even made the blog yet!

Links

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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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Blossom

I’m finally ready to do some blogging after catching up on my picture taking! This spot in Côte Saint-Luc provided some interesting and valuable finds over the span of a few weeks in September & October. The quality junk later turned to renovation materials, and I haven’t found anything of interest there since.

That first week was a good one, providing lots of great finds that made me excited to go back for future garbage days. I always love finding silver – its presence in the trash signifies that the tossers either aren’t paying attention, don’t know what things are worth, or just don’t care. These pieces are Mexican silver, likely made in the 50s or 60s. The pillbox, which was decorated with abalone sold on eBay for 40$ (the customer seemed pleased with their purchase), while the miniature perfume bottles and funnel are currently on sale for 55$.

I pulled these great green enamel industrial lampshades out a bag one night. They sold at auction for 40$ – I would have made more selling them on my own, but so it goes. I still have plenty of stuff that I don’t have time to list, so it’s inevitable that I’ll have to choose the fast nickle over the slow dime.

I found a couple of these vintage 70s outdoor thermometers, which appeared to be new in box. I love the green background on these!

These 1960s Montreal Masonic directory books were certainly unusual. Both had ads for 7-Up on the front and Dow (beer) on the back.

Inside were more ads, including some from Coca-Cola. I’m not sure what they’re worth, but I’m sure they’ll be of interest to a collector.

I found my first model teeth here. They were made by Columbia Dentoform, likely in the 60s and I’d guess that they were used to educate potential dentists. Mine has a dental bridge (made using some kind of silver metal) and well as a tooth cap. These sell for around 40-50$, but I love weird stuff like this and will likely keep it as a conversation piece.

I also found a bunch of plaster dental moulds / impressions, but those are more common and not worth much.

On the left is a ring of sample toothbrushes. I sense a theme? I also found a few old clocks, a neat promotional ruler, an old bar of Avon soap, and a nice makeup kit.

I saved four portable radios / Walkmans, the most valuable of which is the Sony Walkman II at top right. I haven’t tested it yet, but even if it doesn’t work it should sell for around 50$. Maybe more, as red seems to be a less common color for that model. Walkmans can be surprisingly collectible. FYI, from my experience Sonys are the main ones to look out for.

I love finding junk boxes.

This one wasn’t super exciting, but there’s definitely some yard saleable stuff here. To the right of the Swiss coin is a tooth with some gold in it. I don’t think there’s much in there, but I’ll leave that for my jeweler to figure out.

I found a nice pen, a Parker 75 ballpoint pen in sterling silver. It sold quickly for 75$ on eBay.

I also saved a cute brass pill box. On the inside is marked “Made in Italy”.

This vintage party sugar was a fun find. I’m a sucker for old food & packaging, so I think I’ll keep this in my personal collection.

Let’s finish with this cute vintage trash can that dates back to the late 1940s. It was in very nice condition for its age and I figured it would do well at the auction house. However, I wasn’t really expecting it to sell for 85$! I guess these old bins are hard to come by, and thinking about it now this was definitely the nicest one I’ve found over my years of picking.

Winter is definitely here but the finds haven’t slowed much. I’ll share some October trash from Côte-des-Neiges in my next post, and then I’ll get to sharing some more recent junk.

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

Recent sales: July

July saw me bring a tonne of stuff to auction as I emptied my various storage areas. The purge made for a long sales list, which (in addition to recent comments) led me to reconsider the way I share my sales. I think in future posts I’ll do a general overview of the numbers, and highlight only the most exciting sales – something in line with what they do at Scavenger Life, but with a few more featured items. The detailed summary made more sense when I sold less items, but now they’re getting to be a lot more work, the tedious kind at that. Better to save that energy for other posts, or more picking!

If you want to keep track of my eBay sales on your own, visit my eBay listings page and sort by “sold” (or just bookmark that link for future reference).

eBay sales

  • Carl Poul Petersen sterling silver cigar humidor: 1000$. This is currently the most valuable single item I’ve ever sold! I hope to break the record later this year, however…
  • Faber Castell Minfix pencil sharpener: 27$.

  • Enicar Ultrasonic Supertest watch: 72$.
  • Leru expandable bracelet: 13.50$.
  • Phonak MyPilot hearing aid remote: 31.50$. All items that sold with cents (and most with prices not ending in a 0 or 5) were part of a sale I did to clear out some older items. It worked pretty well!

  • Egermann bohemian glass vase: 31.50$. This took a while to sell. Perhaps I overestimate its value. Found in Montreal West.

  • Benito Mussolini postcard: 18$. Part of that huge postcard haul I found last year.
  • Royal Navy shoulder boards: 9$.
  • Detonator II programmer box: 18$.
  • Beswick cat figurines: 36$.
  • Burberry eyeglasses: 36$.

  • Rolex passport / documents holder: 54$.
  • Coach eyeglasses: 22.50$.
  • Armani sunglasses: 27$.

  • 1TB external drive: 54$.
  • Habanita by Molinard, 100ml: 58.50$.
  • Miniature bottle of Diorissimo: 22$.

eBay total:  1499$.

Auction results

Unfortunately there’s no good way to link you to my auction listings, either past or present, so a lot of this info will be inaccessible when I pare down these posts. However, I’ll still share my favourite or more notable sales.

Unfortunately I was too busy to take pictures of most of these things before bringing them in. You’ll have to use your imagination!

  • Lot of vintage paper bags (mostly from Steinberg’s): 14$.

  • Lot of slides (mostly of flora & fauna): 20$. A big part of the huge photo haul I found last year in St Michel. The most valuable were the Expo 67 slides, which went for about 250$. Otherwise, some African missionary slides ended up selling for around 50$. These weren’t as collectible, but I’m sure someone will appreciate them (or turn them into a cool lampshade).
  • Old fishing rod: 6$.
  • Vintage metal & glass lampshade: 14$.
  • Vintage 8lb anchor: 10$.
  • Sears 26122 guitar pre-amp: 24$.
  • Wood lathe: 30$
  • Framed metal fisherman: 9$.
  • Picture frame with chain-like motif: 6$.
  • Pressback chair with missing leather seat: 16$.
  • Vintage industrial towel holders: 14$.
  • Train set parts: 22$.
  • Lot of three portable radios with cassette players: 7$.

  • Bucket of pennies: 70$. Given to me by a nice guy in Cartierville. I’d guess there was 35-40$ in actual coins, but pennies sell for around 2c each at auction these days.
  • Vintage Panasonic radio: 8$.

  • Electric soldering machine: 26$. It looks pretty grimy here but it actually cleaned up fairly well.

  • Dromedary sculpture: 16$.

  • Raymond sewing machine table, in pieces: 30$.
  • Wine decanter thing: 26$.
  • Kodak Etkasound projector, untested: 8$.
  • Sharp projector, working but old: 26$.
  • Standing birdcage, missing bottom piece: 12$.

  • Rivet machine: 20$.
  • Aiwa stereo setup, untested: 8$.
  • Entry carpet: 26$.
  • Fireplace log rack: 12$.
  • 17 old Alka Seltzer jars with hardware bric-a-brac inside: 10$.
  • Glass candleholder: 5$.
  • Lot of lamp pieces: 9$.
  • Two balloon inflators, working: 7$.
  • Vintage andirons: 6$.
  • 4×4 jack: 44$.

  • Huge Betamax player, untested: 10$. I realized that I was probably never going to get around to testing this thing, and since it weighed like 50 pounds it would have been a hassle to ship. I’m happy to get it out of my basement.

  • Vintage UFO Pendant lamp: 75$. I’m happy with this sale. The lamp was great but needed some TLC. It would have been difficult to ship and annoying to sell on Kijiji. Found in Ville St Laurent.
  • Chair base with wheels: 18$.
  • Vintage Coleman cooler: 26$. I discovered that vintage coolers are a pretty easy sell.
  • Victoriaville goalie stick: 6$. I should have held onto this until hockey season.
  • Five stainless steel restaurant trays: 50$. A surprising result. I guess these things cost a fair bit new.
  • Untested turntable: 7$.
  • Vintage trophy lot: 5$.
  • Cup & stein lot: 18$.
  • Brass umbrella stand: 44$. I didn’t expect it to sell for nearly this much – I think I had it priced at 10$ at one of my yard sales.
  • Box of Le Jour magazines: 6$.
  • Lot of glass & metal lamp pieces: 16$.
  • Lot of chair wheels & legs: 12$
  • Alain Choquette (Quebec magician) signed photo: 5$.
  • Jean-Pierre Girerd lithograph (cartoon of Rene Levesque): 24$.
  • College de Montreal group photo (“trombinoscope”) with Gratien Gelinas: 34$.

Total: 917 – 229.25 (25%) – 48 = 639.75$.

Yard sales: 300$ (one small sale, one mediocre turnout).

Total: 2438.75$, 14505.25$ so far in 2018. So far I’m on pace to make about as much as I did last year. However, I expect that my profits through the last quarter will propel me to new heights of (relative) wealth!

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search for something you want / research something you have
3. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
4. Follow me on Instagram