Wild horses / not so fast

I decided to do a Monday morning run for the first time in a while. It was real cold out, so I did my usual driving route which includes the Golden Square Mile, some Westmount adjacent, and a bit of Cote-des-Neiges. I didn’t have much luck til near the end of my run, when I spotted this horse near the UdM campus.

It was an old Tri-ang rocking horse, probably from the 1950s. The horse is metal, apparently tinplate which is steel or iron coated with tin. All in all it’s in pretty decent shape for its age, just missing the “hair” and the rubber saddle is all dried up (here’s a pic of a pretty similar horse).

As I was loading it in my car, the previous owner came out to talk to me. She was really happy to see that I was taking it, telling me that she’d bought it as a project 10 years ago but never got around to it. It’s always nice to have a positive encounter out on the curb. I brought this to the auction, and soon it will be someone else’s project.

At the same pile was this cute hand-made rocking horse. Apparently, when the neighbour of this woman saw her horse on the curb, he decided to bring over a horse of his own that he was looking to purge. Anyways, I took this guy as well and dropped him off at the auction.

Otherwise, here’s some pics from a spot I mostly wrote off, but ended up producing one more good haul. I picked up a few nice bits of glass and pottery, including those colourful ashtrays, two cute Mexican plates (signed by someone fairly known, but I forget who right now), and a promotional Continental tire ashtray. That style of ashtray has become fairly collectible, and I think this one ended up selling for around 40$ at auction.

Here’s a few more bits and bobs, like a vintage electronic blackjack game and some coins, including one of those 10% silver Mexicans pesos from the the 1960s.

I also found a neat old transferware plate with a copper frame. I’m not sure if the frame was there originally, or if it was added after because of that big crack in the middle (I read somewhere that you can make the stain go away using boiling milk, but there’s got to be a better way).

Here’s the production mark on the back for folks that are interested in such things. I’d like to know more about it, but I didn’t have any luck figuring this one out. Please let us know in the comments if you have any ideas!

Lastly, I found a box full of vials containing weird compounds like c25h34o4 aka Crispatene. I don’t actually know what that means and after googling it I still don’t, other than it’s probably used in organic chemistry. Anyways, I didn’t really want to mess around with this stuff so I brought them to the eco-centre for safe disposal.

Anyways, I’ve spent much of the last three days on the computer following this dang election which is hopefully over soon. I’ve still been doing my runs, and have continued my string of good luck. I found bit of gold today and Monday, which is always exciting and profitable. Anyways, I’m hoping to share more here soon now that I’ve gotten most of my big organizational / winter preparation projects done.

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.