Bordeaux-Cartierville pt. 2

Here’s some finds from one of my best spots of 2018. It started with lots of quality housewares and silver plated items, most of which went straight to the auction house. You can see a few of those finds below, but I know there was lots more I lost track of.

That brass coffee mill was a nice piece, it was made in Greece and sold for 40$. The tall glass & silver plate pitcher sold for 44$. Silver plated lots like the one at bottom right do pretty well at the local auction, which is good because the individual pieces are rarely worth listing on eBay (due to their size / high shipping costs) and are a pain to get good money for at yard sales.

My most profitable finds came later on, towards the end of the spot’s productive streak. One day I opened up a bag and saw a jewelry box.

The contents looked to have been picked over but there was still plenty of good stuff left for me.

Most of my profit will come from those tie clips at bottom left – both are Italian 18k gold and together they’re worth about 300$ in scrap. You can see the hallmarks in the picture below! All the pieces to the left of the knife are either silver or gold excepting the large penny (the other coin is a silver 50 cent piece). The knife is actually a souvenir Cretan dagger, the blade isn’t particularly well crafted but the sheath is 93.5% silver. I found the exact same one a few years ago in Montreal West and sold it on eBay for 25$. I think I’ll ask for a little bit more this time around.

That bag was great, but this one ended up being more notable. It looked like someone just took a junk drawer and simply dumped the contents inside. There was a lot of crap in there (mostly boring papers), but I could tell that there were some potentially valuable smalls hanging around near the bottom of the bag. I took the whole thing to the car for closer examination.

I found a bunch of stamps, a couple of broken gold chains, and an unusual tobacco pipe with some kind of decorative metal encasement (please share any information you might have about its origins!). However, the most valuable thing pictured is the watch strap.

The buckle was 18k gold and had similar markings to the Patek Philippe buckle I found a few years ago and sold for 650$. This one lacks the “PPd” hallmark, but apparently the “AW” company also did work for other luxury Swiss brands like Vacheron Constantin and Omega. Fortunately for me many hardcore watch collectors seek out only original parts even down to the lowly buckle. As a result, this one sold fairly quickly for 400$.

That bag also held a nearly unbelievable find…

… this wad of cash! American money at that. The stash was held together with a white paper clip and I’d guess the people just didn’t notice it when dumping out the drawer. The found bills totaled 307$, which turned into nearly 400$ when I traded it in at the bank. This is easily my best cash find to date – my previous best was the 140$ I found in the pockets of trashed shirts earlier this year. Before that my record was the 27$ I found way back in 2013. It’s funny how finds like these sometimes happen in bunches.

That wasn’t it for the cash though. I also found an old wallet, inside of which was 21$ in old bills. The folks doing the tossing clearly didn’t possess great attention to detail. The house was sold, so perhaps they were just in a rush. Either way, as you can tell this spot did me quite well! Here’s hoping I keep finding cash in 2019.

Soon enough I’ll share my year in review / top finds of 2018. I was so swamped this summer that a few of my best finds didn’t even make the blog, so you’re bound to be surprised by at least a few things.

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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.

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Busy week!

It’s been a busy week. That’s a good thing of course, but finding garbage is also a lot of work. At one point I think I spent 9 of the previous 24 hours on the road, either driving or sorting, and also did plenty of other work on top of that. It can be hard to take a break (especially when you’re on a hot streak) but I skipped today’s morning run to ensure that I don’t get burnt out. Also, it’s my birthday tomorrow, and I know that a birthday trash run will be more fun if I’m well rested.

Earlier this week I happened upon one of my best photo hauls in quite some time.

I saved a few shopping bags stuffed with photos. I looked through them a bit, but there were so many that it got kind of overwhelming. See the video below for context.

 

And that was just one bag! I did get a few shots of some of my early favourites, however. Click on the picture (particularly the “view full-size” button in the gallery frame) for a better look!

 

I always feel conflicted when finding old photos. For one, it’s impossible to know if everyone in the family consented to these being thrown out, and even if they did they may come to regret their decision somewhere down the line. Because of that I feel bad separating them, and usually keep the collection intact for at least a few months just in case I hear a story in the news about someone trying to track down some trashed photos. Beyond that, however, I can’t hold onto this stuff forever, and eventually the temptation to sell them is too great. Going forward I might try listing photos on eBay with the relevant last names – at least then there’s a better chance at someone in the family finding them.

I found a couple other goodies in those bags. Here’s a well worn Soviet 25 ruble bill from 1923, not too long after the revolution.

Here’s the back. According to one of my Instagram followers the text addresses the rapid inflation that occured in the early Soviet years, telling users that the value of the 1923 ruble is now equal to the value of 100 rubles in 1922 (and also, to trust in the republic). An interesting thing for sure, and though quite well worn it’s still worth around 20$.

The bag also held this neat Montreal Tramways student card from 1939. The paper was pretty beat up, and it looks as if the previous owner glued it to some fabric to keep it intact. The kid went to Baron Byng High School, a now defunct institution on St Urbain that at the time primarily served a lower-income Jewish population. Mordecai Richler is probably its most famous alumni. I’ve never seen anything quite like this before, so it was a fun find for me (especially since I have an appreciation for old ID cards and transportation ephemera).

I also found a nice vintage Lucien Piccard watch box, which should sell for around 40-50$…

… and a small collection of jewelry. It looked as if someone had picked out the gold (except for maybe those two pieces to the right of the marcasite Star of David on the bottom), but there’s still a few nice pieces here, including some quality silver. The sterling & eilat cufflinks + tie clip at top left are probably my favourites, they should sell for a good price on eBay. I also like those Mexican silver cufflinks with the tigers. Zoom in for a better look!

On Tuesday afternoon I went on my first ever run to one of the nicer parts of town. I hadn’t gone before, largely because the timing of the pickup is difficult to fit into my schedule, but this time I finally bit the bullet. As it turns out I picked a great week to go! I happened upon three great piles overall, one each on the first three streets I covered. I was accosted by some grumpy old lady at the second one, but managed to save some good stuff before leaving.

I didn’t have time to document any of that stuff yet, but here’s a peek into a bag from the third spot. It contained a great collection of vintage / antique silverware, a lot of which is plated but some of which is 80% or sterling silver. I should be ready to share pictures of my haul sometime next week!

Otherwise, I’ve already started adding to my collection of found change.

I found this drawstring bag full of pennies not far from home. I don’t bother rolling pennies (plus, everything here smelled like cigarette smoke) so I brought them to the coin machine down the street for a quick buck.

The pouch ended up holding 1366 pennies and 1 dime. Easy money!

Here’s another collection of change I found just a minute away from home. I can almost get throwing away smaller currency, but if you throw away loonies it means you have way too much money. Those four one euro coins are also a nice get, though I’m not sure how to cash them in – based on my preliminary research it doesn’t seem like the currency converter folks deal in coins. If you know a place that takes them let me know in the comments! Worst case scenario though I’ll sell them to a friend who’s travelling to Europe, or at a yard sale on a deal of an exchange rate. I think I have around 30 euros in coins that I’ve collected over the last few years.

That’s all for now! I think I’ll need to hire my friend again next week to help me take pictures of all the junk I’ve found. In the meantime, here’s hoping I have a fun and profitable birthday run tomorrow morning! (My special day is on the 30th, just to clarify since I’m posting this quite late!)

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Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. Staying on top of emails is not my best quality, so please be patient (but feel free to nag).