The aged cardboard box

My most interesting finds last week came from a blurry pile not far from the owl house. The aged cardboard box caused me to do a double take while driving by – it ended up containing broken pieces of stained glass.

Inside one of the bigger bags was a box containing two vintage Czechoslovakian table lamps. They’re quite nice and have little noticeable damage, though one is missing its hanging bits and neither looks to have any wiring. I brought them to the auction house, check out the listing page if you want a closer look (the auction is ending tonight, so bid now if you want them!).

I looked inside another bag and saw a bunch of sewing stuff. It started to rain, so I threw the bag in the car and sorted through it at home.

This old Macdonald’s cigarette tin held a tangle of buttons.

Most were strung through a metal wire. Many are made from mother of pearl, which do pretty well on eBay when sold in lots. There’s also a few WWII buttons on there, those are pretty common but always cool to find.

Also inside the bag was an old, beat-up folder filled mostly with crochet magazines.

The magazines date to the 1910s and 1920s, making them around 100 years old! These are the ones that survived the past century relatively unscathed – a few others weren’t quite so lucky.

I think magazines like these sell for around 10-20$ individually. However, that would require a fair bit of effort on my part, and they would probably take a while to sell. My current plan is to list them as a lot on eBay. We’ll see how that goes!

My favourite folder find however is the unusual piece below…

It’s an old air raid precautions poster from around WWII. It measures about 14 x 10.5″ and was probably made to be displayed in public. There was some concern in Canada and the US about potential attacks from Axis powers, but the risk was obviously far lower here than in other parts of the world. As a result, this piece may be rare – I had no luck finding anything similar on Google.

Zoom in for a closer look. Below is the French version that appears on the opposite side.

Pretty cool eh? I’m not sure what I’ll do with it yet. It would likely have value to a collector, but maybe it would be better to give it to a museum or archive.

I fished these pieces from the bottom of one of the other bags. On the right is a very worn coin that I’m guessing is an old silver dime. On the left is a 1925 Jubilee medallion, and in the centre is a first communion souvenir dating from 1890. See the opposite sides below!

That’s all from this spot, at least for now…

I’ve been focused on clearing out my junk before winter; I’d say that the job is just about done. My garage is actually looking a bit empty after several purges, and I’m excited to begin a new era of organization and categorization with the auction house in mind.

My best recent finds have come from Côte-des-Neiges and Cartierville. I’ll be sure to share some of those here relatively soon.

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Recent sales: August & September

eBay

August: 15 sales, 824$ before fees.
September: 12 sales, 685$ before fees.
Total: 1509$.

eBay sales were slow, as they usually are (at least for me) in the late summer. Fortunately, I sold a whole bunch of stuff at auction to help even things out.

Notable sales:

Carl Poul Petersen sterling silver tie clip: 64$. I probably would have scrapped this if not for the input of reader who recognized the signature below as that of Poul Petersen, a noted Canadian silversmith and apprentice of Georg Jensen. Monograms generally reduce the value of an item, but M.D. has obvious appeal to those with medical degrees. Part of a great haul from early 2016 – it took a long time to sell because I didn’t know where to price it.

1959-1960 Toronto Maple Leafs pocket schedule: 100$. I seem to have a knack for finding these old schedules. I couldn’t find any others like it online, much like the 1940s Canadiens schedule I saved last year. The Pepsi vending machine catalogue from the same pile also sold for a great price (75$).

Gio de Armani Eau de Parfum (50ml): 95$. There’s a solid market for this scent, which was discontinued however many years ago. This was part of a nice perfume haul I found in Hampstead earlier this year.

1921 Pope Benedict XV blessing: 240$. Pope Benedict XV stuff is relatively hard to find, so this was worth a bit of money even though it was likely signed by one of his assistants. I found it last year in the Plateau.

Montblanc “Hommage to Mozart” small-size ballpoint pen: 200$. This was a relatively recent find, tossed by some especially dumb rich people. It was in its original box (along with a complementary Mozart CD) and looked to have barely been used. Some other finds from this spot will make the blog soon.

Local Auction

August: 1309.25$ after fees
September: 1722.25 after fees
Total: 3031.50$

It was around this time that I dedicated myself to downsizing my unintentional collection of junk. As a result, the auction folk and I both made a bunch of money.

Notable sales:

Wine pump: 230$ (before fees). This ended up selling for a lot more than I expected! I guess it helped that the auction happened to end right around wine-making season. Found in Ville St Laurent.

Anti-explosion lights + misc junk: 85$. Found in the east Plateau.

Architectural element: 32$. I’m sure this piece will get turned into something nice! Found in Westmount.

Dried puffer fish & pike head: 32$. These were among my most unusual finds of the summer. Both will probably be turned into lamps. Found in Ville St Laurent.

Vintage Ford V8 hubcap: 32$. Found on the outer edge of Cote-des-Neiges.

Miniature perfume lot: 80$. Included in this collection was a lot that went unsold for some time on eBay and several others I found while digging through my junk (which I apparently forgot about). I’m happy with this total – miniatures aren’t really worth enough to list individually (at least for me), and it’s also hard to get people to pay reasonable money for them at yard sales.

Jo Malone sample lot: 55$. I spotted a huge number of these samples at the bottom of one of a bags. At first I thought they’d be more of a hassle than they were worth, but then I figured that I’d probably be able to get 20$ for them at auction. It turned out they sold for more than that!

Jo Malone is a quality brand and these samples were still fresh. My guess is that the previous owner worked somewhere in the retail industry. Regardless, this is a great example of how the auction house allows me to make easy money on things that would have previously been a hassle.

Antique domed glass frames + photos: 60$. I pulled these out of a dumpster in St Michel. Amazingly they didn’t break, though I did have to clean some garbage juice off one of them.

Yard sales

1220$ over four sales. To be honest I kind of lost track of my yard sale income, but I think this is a pretty good guess. This year I’ve often hired friends to help me with the sales, which cuts into my bottom line but really helps reduce my workload.

Total

5760.50$, 20265.75$ so far in 2018. A pretty good couple of months! It’s unlikely that I’ll get to 30k this year but I’ll probably get pretty close.

Pickin’ from the bottom of the bag

Longtime readers know that the smallest treasures often make their way to the bottom of the trash bag. One of my best finds recently was in St Michel where someone decided to dump a jewelry box (and seemingly all its contents) into the trash along with the pizza crusts. I threw the bag in the car for later sorting because I wanted to make sure I didn’t miss anything.

(Sidenote: I happened to be followed by a photographer that day. He was taking pictures for an upcoming interview in a local magazine, and I’m glad I actually found something of value in the short time we had available! Usually I end up having to feign interest in a junky pile just to get a good shot. I’ll share the interview here when it’s out).

By scrounging amongst the crusts I was able to refill the jewelry box. Some pieces were indeed worthy of the trash, but most were not and some will end up being fairly valuable.

These tie pins were likely a service award given out by the Steinberg’s supermarket chain that operated from 1917 to 1992. One is silver and the one with the ruby is 10k gold. I brought these to the auction house – Steinberg’s was a Montreal institution for many years, so the name invokes a lot of nostalgia (and hopefully many bids).

Speaking of nostalgia, I also found these cool “Man and his World” Expo 67 cufflinks. They’re in pretty good condition, and I expect them to sell for around 50-60$.

Here’s the best of the costume stuff. I really like that leaf brooch but unfortunately it’s unsigned. I’m mildly hopeful that the bracelet on the right is unsigned gold but that’s probably wishful thinking.

Finally, here’s the stuff that’s marked as silver or gold. There’s three Air Canada service pins on the left, all of which are sterling silver (the latter two might be gold plated as well). The religious medallions on the bottom right are 18k gold, as is the bowtie brooch above it. Overall this was an awesome haul, and I expect that it’ll earn me four figures once it’s all processed!

I haven’t seen much here (besides a box of nice German crystal since). I’ll try to keep an eye on the situation, but I’m also planning on retiring the St Michel route for a while – it hasn’t been productive for a few weeks now.

I saved these items from the bottom of a bag in Hampstead. There’s a mini bottle of Christian Dior’s Eau Sauvage, a few coins, two pocket knives, a pipe reamer, a couple pins and a single bracelet link that I hope is gold. That Heil piece is actually a measuring tape made by the Zippo company, I’ve never seen such a thing previously.

I actually went to an estate sale at this place a couple weeks later. They might have made a few extra bucks if they put this stuff in a box and said “make an offer,” but I guess throwing things away helps to make the process a little less stressful. Or, maybe they legitimately thought that these items had no value. Who knows.

A bag in TMR contained: around 25 coins, a few of which date back to the early 1900s; a WWII food ration token; a couple of vintage bracelets (I particularly like the orange one – the beads don’t seem to be bakelite but are probably a different type of old plastic); a single gold earrings; two chains I hope are gold; 10 Hong Kong dollars from 1985; and a few other doodads.

Finally, I took a look at this trash while walking around my neighbourhood the other day. I kicked a bag and heard the familiar sound of coins.

There was indeed a sizeable collection of mostly foreign coins at the bottom of the bag. I gathered them all into that empty plastic cup at the top of the photo and brought them home for sorting.

Here’s a video of me dumping the haul into the light box. The coins aren’t worth much individually, but once I amass a big collection I can sell them at the auction house.

From all that I spotted three pieces of note: a 1945 Venezuelan 1/2 Bolivar (silver), a 1951 Canadian dime (also silver), and an old looking (brass?) button marked “Republique d’Haiti” featuring an image of a cannon. I couldn’t find any other buttons like it below, so if you happen to know something about it please share in the comments!

In other news I’ve been quite busy basically re-organizing my whole business with the auction house in mind. I’ve cleared all the random junk I’d never have time to deal with from the basement, sorted through and organized the junk in my garage and storage, purged my stash of clothes and brought a bunch to a local consignment shop, and all the the while found more garbage that I have to deal with! At some point the work should slow down and I’ll have more time to blog. This summer has been great for picking and I’ll try to share more of those finds here soon.

If the weather is good I plan on doing a yard sale this Saturday at my storage (4096 Coloniale near Duluth). I want to clear out a bunch of stuff and maybe you (and the university kids who are now returning for the fall semester) can help! I’ll start around 11am, and if it doesn’t work out for whatever reason I’ll edit this post to reflect that. Perhaps check back Friday evening just to be sure – if I have to cancel I’ll add a notice in bold below.

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