Part one of a million pt. 5

February 5th was an excellent day for finds at this spot, as you’ll see below.

You really have to wonder what’s going through the heads of some people. You’d think that the value or utility of some of these things that get tossed would be obvious, but I guess that’s not always the case. Common explanations for why great things get tossed include selfishness, laziness, being blinded by privilege (ie: I think some rich people forget what a dollar / item is worth to the average person) or a combination of all three. There’s also this idea that anything old must be junk, which I’d say falls under the general banner of ignorance.

Sometimes this comes from an innocent place. Technology has greatly improved over the years, especially in recent times, so a lot of the things people used in say, the 70s aren’t so practical today. The same goes with fashion – what was cool back in the day often isn’t cool even a few years later. So I can see how some people might use a similar logic when deciding whether to toss an item, especially if they’re not familiar with the antiques & collectibles market, and have no particular interest in history.

Belief in this idea exists on a continuum (according to my theory at least), so someone might use the “old = junk” theory very rarely, or they might use it to a ridiculous degree. For this particular spot, I’d say that the latter applies. I really can’t conceive of what’s going through this person’s head when they chose to toss some of these things away.

The main theme of today’s post is coins. Here’s a “bag-o-vision” shot of several sitting loose in the bag, but there were also a few medium-sized collections stored in small clear bags (like the one on the left in this photo) and in envelopes.

This bag was the least exciting of the lot. But hey, currency is currency right?

This one was both larger and more exciting.

Most of these coins were minted between the 1910s and 1960s. Most are also foreign, and there’s a good quantity of silver in there too.

Here’s what was loose in the bag, or stashed away in little envelopes.

And here’s a few more coins and baubles, including a silver thimble.

Overall I saved 33 silver coins. Most were Canadian dimes, but I also saved a Mercury (American) dime, a 1923 British half crown, a Cuban 20 centavos piece from 1920, and a Syrian 1 lira coin from 1950. Overall, the silver coins are worth an easy 100$, and the others have some collectors value as well.

I also found some neat old watches (and an old compass) that day. I don’t think any of these are worth a lot of money, but they’re definitely quite vintage and cool and worth something to somebody. If I remember right they all run too, which is always a good thing. (I sold the one on the left to someone on Instagram for 20$ – it was gold-filled, and needed a bit of work).

I’d guess that most people would see the value in old coins and watches, even if to just give them to a charity or some kid. I know I would have been thrilled to receive a coin collection like this when I was young! But, for whatever reason, this person thought their best option was to dump them in black garbage bags and let the garbage truck deal with them. I’ll probably never know why they went that route, but maybe it’s because – in their mind – all old things are junk.

I found more great stuff that day, but I’ll save that for a future post. I’ve still been picking (though not quite as often) during the pandemic, but I’ve been pretty careful, using lots of hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, and Hertel spray, while also letting some bags sit for a few days before sorting through them. I’ve had fairly decent luck overall, in large part because spring cleaning has begun. My storages are getting full, but I figure yard sale season is still about a month away. eBay sales are back up to average, in part because I’ve been listing more stuff, but I’m still struggling to stay focused recently. There’s just too much news to follow!

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

Bits and / or bobs

I’ve struggled to be focused & productive during this pandemic. I have more time on my hands than usual, but the days seem to fly by without me getting much done. I don’t think I’m the only one though – it seems like lots of people have a hard time being productive during this crisis.

Anyways, today I’ll share a few finds from one-off, pre-pandemic spots. One day I passed by an upscale apartment building and saw an orange bag poking its head out of one of the bins. Apartment dwellers rarely use orange bags, so I figured I’d stop and take a look. Inside one of the bins was some quality audio equipment.

Marantz made some of the best receivers back in the 70s, and the 2220b is considered a classic. I did some basic tests and it seemed to work fine, so it’s worth around 350$ give or take. The Bose radio is more modern but also high quality, and seems to sell for around 150-200$. I also found a couple of decent bluetooth speakers.

I never saw anything else there, but it was a good example of my “sixth sense” for garbage. Most trash is gross, so it pays to keep your eyes out for anything that looks unusual.

Here’s a bit of jewelry I found in NDG a couple months back. There’s a bit of silver in there, but the most interesting piece to me is that Montreal Olympics badge / pin. It seems to be made from bronze, and I haven’t been able to find any others like it online (though I haven’t tried super hard yet).

I also found a nice Bakelite prayer bead necklace, which sold for 25$ via an eBay auction. I was hoping for more, but I guess that’s around what it was worth.

Let’s finish with some Mile End finds. This spot was pretty junky by volume, but I picked up some fun bits & bobs. Those metal hockey coins were made for Shirriff, and distributed via different foods in the 60s. They seem to sell for between 1-10$ each. There’s also a little silver St Christopher medallion in there, and what looks to be an old celluloid brooch at bottom right.

I enjoyed finding that Midol tin and the old bottle of clove oil, which still smells strong after around 60 years.

My favourite item here is there copper ashtray, which was made to promote the old Montreal Pharmacy. I’m guessing at was made sometime between 1931 (when they became the first pharmacy in the country to offer their services 24h a day) and 1950 (when Charles Duquette’s son became a partner). Plus, the font used is pretty Art Deco-y.

I still have lots to show you, but I’ll leave it at that for now. I think I’ll share some more “part x of a million” finds 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

Keep an eye out for those oblong bags

Today’s post will be a short one, featuring some finds from a briefly productive spot in Outremont. My best find came from an oblong-shaped bag that was tossed to the curb on one of the snowiest days of the year.

Inside was an old violin in its original case. The tailpiece of the violin (the bottom part) wasn’t attached, but it looked reparable to me. It ended up selling at the auction house for 65$. Pretty easy money!

I also saved a touristy African instrument, which went into my yard sale pile.

Another day I saved a bunch of coins and a bit of jewelry, including two pairs of sterling silver + 14k gold earrings. The Canadian coins were mostly pennies, but I also found around 8 Euros and 10 Swiss Francs, both of which are currencies I can fairly easily exchange for cash.

I found a bit more musical stuff, including a couple of digital metronomes and a pair of lightly used Grado Labs SR225 headphones. I haven’t gotten around to testing the latter yet, but I expect them to work just fine. Others on eBay are selling easily for over 100$, so that was a nice get.

I also saved some designer sunglasses – Oakley’s on the left and Porsche Design on the right. Both are in pretty good condition, and should sell for around 50$ each.

A few weeks ago I saw a moving truck out front of this house, so I expect this is all I’m going to get! Still, I’m likely to earn a couple hundred bucks from their junk when it’s all said and done.

Otherwise, eBay has been very slow for me lately, as you might expect. One of my best recent sales was the handwritten Bulgarian cookbook I shared here not too long ago. I finally listed it at 225$, and it sold pretty quickly to a rare books librarian working for a university cookbook archive in the States (I looked up the buyer’s name out of curiosity). That seems like the ideal destination for a book like this, so I’m happy about that.

I haven’t been picking quite as often as I normally would, but my luck has been pretty good regardless. I’ll share some of my best recent finds here soon enough. There’s also many old finds I have yet to photograph and share, in particular from the “part x of a million” spot. I’ve been intending on writing more blog posts while the world is largely shut down, but so far I’ve had a hard time focusing, in large part because there’s just so much news to consume.

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