Jack of all trades pt.1

This spot first caught my eye in early May. After a couple of months of regular production and intriguing finds, there was a period of maybe five weeks where nothing was put on the curb. That led me to take a break from that route, but when I returned maybe six weeks later I found that the trash flow had returned.

I call this post “jack of all trades” because it’s been hard to tell what these folks did for a living. I’ve found such a wide range of things here, many of which could indicate a profession, but nothing that conclusively says, for example “ah, this person was a doctor.”

For instance, one day I found around half a recycling bin full of old Montreal bus/metro transfer tickets.

This seems like the kind of thing that only someone working for the STM (or past versions of it) would own. However, I’ve found nothing else which would indicate that. The collection was pretty well organized, and tickets were often bound together with elastics or paper sleeves indicating a route and date. I brought about 20lbs of these to the auction house, and they sold for 55$. I have no idea what the purchaser plans to do with them.

One thing’s for sure, someone who lived here was a tinkerer. The bins never contain bags, which is unusual, but instead are stuffed, often to the brim with loose junk. So far, most of it has been stuff you’d find in a basement or garage. My guess is that the tossers wheel the bin inside the house and then just go around dumping things inside. I always make sure to dig all the way to the bottom so I don’t miss a thing. The only item of any value in this pic is that brass vase, but there was lots of hardware bric-a-brac underneath.

I’ve picked lots of metal out of those bins, including bits and section of scrap copper, brass fittings, copper wire, motors, aluminum, and so on. My run on this day wasn’t too exciting, but the scrap helped make it a little bit profitable.

I’ve saved some cool toolsy things, like this old hanging brass scale made by Fairbanks Morse…

… and this cast iron doohickey made by the Victory Tool & Machine Company right here in Montreal. Looking it up now, it appears to be a can sealer missing the bits that would attach to that screw end near the centre-right. Either way, it’s gone to the auction and hopefully a collector will appreciate it.

I also saved this neat cubby hole / printer tray thing. People love these, and this one was particularly old & nice. It sold for 120$ at auction, which was more than I expected.

There’s lots more cool stuff from this spot to come, but I’ll leave it at that for now. I’ve been pretty distracted lately, there’s so much going on in the world and I have a hard time not reading about it! Also, since business has been going well I’ve had a bit of money to invest in stocks for the first time and I’m reading and learning a lot about that. Anyways, for today I’m happy I managed to focus on writing for a few hours, which is long enough to get a blog post out there.

 

Part one of a million pt.8

This spot was legendary for tossing many little boxes full of junk. It also produced the most silver coins of any house ever (at least for me). The coins in this beat-up old jewelry box were mostly American mercury dimes, with a few other mostly American coins from that era mixed in.

The box also held a tiny surprise that I didn’t notice until after taking this photo. You can see it wedged in between the bits of wood on the left.

It’s a little gold padlock pendant. I’d guess that it’s Victorian and 15k gold (the hallmarks are indecipherable). Regardless, very cute.

Other notable items from that haul included a real old Oris watch, a souvenir key from the 1933 World’s Fair, and a bracelet made from late 1800s Guatemalan silver coins. I also like that old medicine box, which I’d guess dates to the 30s based on the font.

Another little box held a mix of actual junk and fun bits & pieces, including some old charms (I think), some dip pen nibs, a hunk of Victoria-era seal wax, and a few bullets.

Here’s some more stuff that was loose in a bag. I really like vintage electronics, so that funky handheld calculator clock radio was a fun find. Collectors like these as well – I think it’s worth around 50-60$.

Here’s some more interesting bits, including an old silver ring.

This thing looks pretty old. I’m guessing it’s a pocket watch fob, and made with vermeil (gold plated silver) in Victorian times. There was a lot of Victorian era stuff in this house…

Many parts of this story remain. In the meantime, I’m doing another sale at the 4096 Coloniale space tomorrow starting around noon. I’d like to unload as much stuff as possible before the real cold gets here. There will be a carload of new stuff that wasn’t at the last sale, and a bit of fresh junk that hasn’t seen a single sale.

 

The card collector pt.2

The spot that provided those nice late 50s/early 60s collectible cards didn’t offer me a Mickey Mantle rookie card as I’d hoped, or many other sports cards for that matter. Still, I collected some quality vintage junk, some of which was eBay worthy.

Most of this is fun yard sale stuff, the only thing that isn’t is the old earthenware pot in the back which I grouped with another old jug I found and brought to auction (the lot ends on Tuesday).

Here we have some old rulers, tins, and stencils. Those Normand Hudon playing cards would have been worth some money, but the cards inside didn’t match the ones on the cover.

More vintage junk for the sale. The letter is from former MP Charles Drury, who also held several cabinet positions over the years and served in WWII. The Holt Renfrew credit card dates to the 80s and is now part of my collection of old cards.

I like maps, and on the back of that letter was a nice one of the riding of Westmount (which includes some bits of NDG / CDN).

Here’s a fun sign that I’m sure someone at a yard sale will appreciate.

I did find a bit more old hockey stuff. This Jean Beliveau souvenir magazine went to the auction with some other Canadiens stuff.

I also picked up many pages of hockey calendars from the early 70s. I sold one batch for 60$, and I have another listed at 75$ (just discounted).

Most of this stuff has been processed now. I sold sets of cards for 85, 60, and just yesterday 135$ (the Civil War cards including the relatively rare checklist). Another lot sold at auction for around 40$, and I have a couple more eBay lots yet to sell priced at 40 and 65$. Overall, including a couple pieces of furniture & the yard sale stuff, I’ll end up netting around 400$ from this spot. Not omg, but a quality weekly destination regardless.

I did my first “real” yard sale of the year yesterday. I sent an email out to my mailing list subscribers (which I haven’t promoted as much as I should, sign up here) and posted on Instagram but I’m sorry if anyone wanted to come but wasn’t notified. Anyways, it was a reasonably good day, not my most profitable sale but still well worth my time (I made around 580$, 180$ of which I paid for a friend to help). Perhaps more importantly I was able to declutter my garage a bit, which should make it easier to reorganize it a bit (as I’ve been wanting to do). I’ll be doing more sales soon, as I’d like to get rid of as much as possible before winter.