Flash in the pan pt.2

I found most of the tiny treasures on my first day here. You’ll see this watch again later on.

Those old metal scissors always do well at yard sales. We also have a bus ticket from 1952, a mercury thermometer, a rubber tobacco pouch (“blague automatique”), a metal mirror in a leather pouch (bottom right), and an old print.

I thought this box (which is about the size of a lunchbox) was kinda neat. It’s wooden, hand-painted, and was once sealed with wax stamps. It has a coin slot in the back, so maybe it was made to hold cash. It’s pretty dirty, but would probably clean up pretty nice. I’d guess it’s from at least the 1930s, maybe earlier. I’ve never seen anything like it, so please let me know if you have!

This spot produced a fair bit of silver. Those two picture frames were 800 German silver, and sold together on eBay for 50$. The stubby little candle holder is British, made in Birmingham in the late 20s if I remember right.

Let’s finish with the little bits of jewelry. There’s a lot of good stuff here. That brooch near the top left is unmarked but probably silver & tortoiseshell, and the t-bar & c-clasp date it to the late 1800s.

I realized after taking this photo that the long chain connected to the pin on the left was probably supposed to be attached to the shorter, incomplete looking chain. That piece is also unmarked but probably silver, perhaps adorned with little bits of gold as well. It probably dates to the same time period as the brooch, given that it has the t-bar pin and likely once had the c clasp (it has since broken off). I’ve been told that similar pieces are made for holding watches, but I can’t picture how that would work. If someone can post a video of one being used, that would be helpful!

The watch you saw earlier has a transparent back, so it’s probably a salesman’s sample. It doesn’t work, but it’s still cool. I have no idea what that doohickey with the orange cap is. The metal looks like silver, and the cap material looks like Bakelite. The cap comes off pretty easily, and that resin looking stuff on the inside smells like sappy incense.

Otherwise, there’s some scrap quality gold and silver, like that long dangle earring missing all its stones (18k), the busted watch (farthest to the left, 14k), and that triangle shaped thing (probably off a fancy portfolio or album of some kind, 800 German silver).

My most valuable find though was probably this old Masonic medal. It’s definitely the best Mason piece I’ve found to date. Each segment is marked 585 (14k), indicating that it was likely made in Europe, and the eye is enameled. I don’t know much about the Masons, so please help me out if you can! I wonder if that oval piece (which you can see in the first piece) has a meaning I’m not aware of.

Regardless, there’s about 9 gram of 14k gold in there, making it worth over 300$ in scrap. But it’s definitely not scrap, and should sell for a fair bit more than that.

All in all this was a pretty exciting spot, even if it lasted just a couple weeks!

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Flash in the pan pt.1

This spot was briefly productive during the dog days of summer. I happened upon the first pile completely by chance, came back the next week to find this one, and that was it. Last I saw the house was up for demolition. So it goes. As usual, I wonder what I might have missed before I first arrived.

On this day I saved a bag largely filled with old tobacco pipes & accessories.

It was quite the collection, though most were quite dirty. I performed some light cleaning and brought them all to the auction house, where I think the lot sold for 55$. That seemed reasonable to me, considering none of the pipes looked to be super valuable individually, and definitely needed further cleaning and maintenance (including new stems in many cases).

These little lighters were worth more than the pipes. They’re both “Baby Mylflams” that were made in Germany, I think in the 1930s. The one on the left is decorated with 835 silver and marcasite. I’m not sure why exactly they have value (many other old lighters do not), but 150$ for the left and 75$ for the right look attainable based on what I’ve seen on eBay’s completed listings (the best and most accessible tool available for researching the value of garbage in my opinion).

I found lots of other quality junk here, like these vintage mugs & cups…

… and a few fur muffs that held together pretty well over the years.

This spot also produced a fair bit of interesting paper ephemera, including old letters and photos. It would have been a bit much to show everything here, so I condensed the collection to several interesting pieces. That board on the left, which I assume was the back cover of a book, was first signed in 1826. I saved lots of letters like the one on top, which is written in German and dates to 1946.

I’d guess that a past owner of this stuff was a German Jew who emigrated here sometime before WWII. That little booklet dates to between 1933-1935, based on the German flags seen below. There could be some interesting info in all those letters I found, if only I could read German.

This signature book is a fun piece of ephemera. Most of the entries are written in German, and all date to the 1930s.

Drawings, clippings, and photos accompany many of the entries. The book is about 100 pages long (rough estimate), but only around half the pages are filled. You can look at a few of the standouts below!

I also found three or four of these old bulletins from the Temple Emanu-el, which is apparently the oldest Reform synagogue in Canada. I think two were from the 30s, and one was from the 50s (I don’t know where I put them, or else I’d check). This one in particular was interesting because it was published around six months before WWII began. It features a Passover message that speaks of inclusivity and liberty in the face of racialism, a message that’s still relevant today.

I found more, mostly small things here, which I’ll share soon enough. I’ve been pretty busy recently, in large part because one particular spot is producing a tonne of very cool old stuff. Sorting through it all is a job in itself, let alone figuring out how to blog about it! But that’s a good problem to have I think.

Links

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5. Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com

Grumpy gus pt.2

This wooden trinket box, which was probably made in India, contained the minor treasures of a Gen X kid. I can’t confirm that, of course, but that’s the story that makes the most sense in my head.

That tiny serving set up top was made from sterling silver in Mexico. The white (porcelain?) figurine of the boy and the frog is also interesting.

It looks pretty old. It’s marked P 92 on the underside, and there’s a blue stain that could be a maker’s mark (it kind of looks like a sea creature to me, if you look at it counter-clockwise). I also spotted a couple faint letters (I think “CG” – I’m pretty confident in the G but not the C) on the back. I still don’t know much about ceramics / porcelain, so please let us know if you can fill in some blanks!

That enameled copper dish is my favourite piece here. Again, I haven’t seen anything quite like it before, and the green in particular is very striking. The wooden box on the left is marked “handmalerei” (German for hand-painted). That picture frame is very old and cute, as is the Cyma clock.

Here’s an unusual bowl. The clay is a pretty dark brown, and the image features two guys in green uniforms brandishing swords at each other. It’s also signed, as you can see below. I’d love to know more about it! I’m guessing it’s European, as a lot of the older stuff here seems to have come from the old world.

I picked up a few very old frames here. I may sound like a broken record today, but I haven’t seen any quite like the ones on the left before.

Here’s the back of the frame on the far left. I don’t know what most of these scribbles mean, other than the name “Louise.”

Another nice frame, about 10″ tall. Could anyone date the dress of the people in the photo?

I’m pretty sure the case of this magnifying glass is made from tortoiseshell. There’s a little crack around the lens, but I think that could be fixed pretty easily. The inside is lined with red velvet.

Let’s finish with this stuff (which includes a couple repeats, oops). At the bottom right is a bone and 835 silver cigarette holder. Above that is a very nice straight razor. The handle appears to the tortoiseshell, and the blade itself is stamped with a crown. Finally, at bottom right we have a beautiful Mabie Todd “Swan” fountain pen. It has a 14k gold nib, a cool snakeskin-like design, and was made in England, probably in the 1930s. Similar pens are doing pretty well on eBay.

So, all in all this was a pretty good haul! There’s still a lot to learn about these items, however, so it’s yet to be determined how much money I can make here.

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