A cornucopia of quality vintage junk pt.1

I was having a pretty average run a couple weeks back before happening upon a collection of around 20 trash bags in front of a fourplex in TMR. That’s a fair bit more garbage than you typically see coming from four households, so I checked it out and ended up saving quite the variety of quality vintage junk (QVJ). I pretty well filled up the car, taking maybe 1/3 of the total volume from the bags when all was said and done. While there were no “omg” finds, I found a few things for eBay, some auction worthy items, and a lot of great yard sale stuff.

That box of records came from another house, FYI. It was actually a pretty good collection, including a lot of classic rock that’s typically pretty easy to sell.

One of the first things I found was a large stash of silverware. I enjoy finding these collections, as there’s sometimes a bit of sterling mixed in with the plated stuff (and the plated stuff is still nice, good for the yard sales).

On the right is the cutlery I saved for a future yard sale, and on the left is the more common stuff I left on the curb for others to pick through.

I did find my bit of sterling, a small spoon made by Birks. It’s always a bit of a thrill to find solid silver, even if it’s only worth about 10$. You can see how dirty my finds got picking through all that tarnish!

I saved a whole bunch of nice vintage scissors here. These are always a hit at my yard sales.

(PS: my camera is working fine again after I bought a new battery for it. This is the only picture from this post I shot using the camera, as opposed to my iPhone).

This spot was noteworthy for providing notable quantities of certain vintage items, in this case rotary phones. Finding four in one night, let alone one spot, is likely my all-time record. These old rotaries tend to do well at the auction-house, so I’ll likely bring them there when they open again.

Here we have a collection of radios. I haven’t done much research yet. but I’d guess that Hitachi transistor in the middle is worth a bit of money. People like their transistor radios, and they tend to like them even more when they come in different colours. Also, it’s in very good cosmetic condition. The radio at back right, a portable RCA Victor from the 40s, is probably valuable as well.

Here’s another portable radio, as well as five different combination alarm clock / radios. For some reason these folks had two of the exact same, very boxy model of Detson flip clock. I like the boxy look (I once owned a Volvo 240), and I’m sure others will appreciate them as well.

Vintage lamps are always a good find. This one’s a pendant lamp, meant to be attached and hung maybe 1.5′ from the wall. Another easy sale, unless I decide to keep it for myself.

My most unusual find was probably this framed photo of a 1930 medical exhibition featuring a wide variety of prosthetic limbs, including the Carnes arm. The price tag indicates that the previous owner either bought it at a sale, or tried to sell it at a sale. A friend who fancies old medical stuff showed an interest in it, and I agreed to sell it to them for 20$.

Lastly, I found two large Expos 1984 team photo posters. The 80s were one of the best times to be an Expos fan – this team features three Hall of Famers (Tim Raines, Andre Dawson & Gary Carter) and Pete Rose, by then a washed up future Hall of Famer (it wasn’t til later that he was caught betting on games), not to mention lots of players worthy of the “Hall of Very Good”. The strike in ’94, terrible / cheap ownership, and constant firesales destroyed enthusiasm for the Expos, ultimately resulting in their relocation after the 2004 season, but there’s hope that they’ll return someday soon (though, for what it’s worth, I think the idea of splitting games between Montreal and Tampa Bay is ridiculous).

I sold one of these posters very quickly for 50$ on eBay. The other, which is in slightly worse condition (a bit of foxing on the right side), is listed at 43$.

There’s yet more stuff from this spot to share, but I’ll save it for my next post. I didn’t see anything but rolled up linoleum there last week, and I’m guessing this spot will end up being a “one-hit wonder.”

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The card collector

Here’s some finds from a spot in NDG I’ve been tracking since before the pandemic. There’s never much out on the curb, but every week I pick up a few good bits.

So far the spot is most notable for tossing large quantities of trading / sports cards. I’ve found maybe four shopping bags full, including the two seen above. There are some Topps Chrome cards in there, which are worth a bit more than the average, but these are still relatively modern cards that don’t have much value

However, two weeks back I spotted a hoard of older cards at the bottom of the recycling bin. I spent some time picking them all out, making sure I didn’t miss any.

All these cards were from the late 50s or early 60s. That doesn’t make them automatically super valuable, but from I can tell (via eBay research) these cards tend to be worth a few bucks each, as opposed to a few pennies each for the modern ones. Most were also in pretty good condition for their age.

Maybe 1/3 of these cards featured CFL players. I divided them into three lots, and listed them a couple days ago for 100$, 65$, and 60$.

The Normie Kwong card (top left) stuck out to me. I figured that there wouldn’t have been too many Chinese football players at this time, and as it turns out he was the first in the history of the CFL. “The China Clipper” later became part owner of the Calgary Flames and Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

Here’s a collection of 1962 “Civil War News” trading cards by Topps. The most valuable card here is the checklist in the middle – apparently these cards are less common because they tended to get marked up and thrown away. This example is in only fair condition, but it’s still worth somewhere around 80$.

5 Elvis cards were part of the collection. They were printed in 1956, and in this condition are worth around 5-10$ each.

Hockey-hungry Canadians will probably appreciate these late 1950s NHL cards. Oddly enough, there’s not a Canadien among them, but there were two Gordie (or Gordy) Howe cards from 1958 and 1959. A card like the middle one, in excellent condition recently sold for 650$, but in this condition (which is still fairly good) they’re probably worth “only” 60-80$ each

Otherwise, I saved several Fabian Forte cards (I hadn’t heard of him before finding these), four from the NFL, a bunch featuring Robin Hood, maybe 20 from various CBS TV shows, and another 20 or so Goofy Series cards. None of these are worth too much individually, so I’ll probably bring them to the auction house when they finally open again. I still have to research the value of the car series, with the Corvette as the lede, which seems to have been given out by a “Mother’s Cookies” company in 1955.

I’ve never found trading cards of this vintage before, so this is definitely my best card haul to date. Tonight I go back to this spot, and if I’m lucky maybe I’ll find some more.

That ain’t recyclable!

Some of my more intriguing post-pandemic garbage finds came from this recycling bin a few weeks back. I remember finding some good stuff here many months ago, maybe even in the fall, but gave up on the spot after not seeing anything on the curb there for some time.

Some people treat their recycling bin like a second trash can. This was a good example of that phenomenon.

The plaster bust survived its trip to the bin more or less unscathed. There was one chip off the side, but I was able to glue it back in place and the damage isn’t noticeable. It’s about 16″ tall and has a “Borghese” sticker on the bottom. It seems like a nice auction-house worthy piece. The dolls are from Japan, and I’d guess that they were made in the 70s.

The middle vase / urn looks to be made from bronze. I realized after taking this picture that I could rotate the base so that the landscape, which looks Japanese, is more center to the three-legged base. I’d guess that it had a lid at some point, but I’d be pleasantly surprised if it turned out to be complete. The metal urn on the left was made in Italy by Mottahedeh, a company that specializes in high quality antique reproductions. The one on the right, which is a similar style, was made in France by unknown.

This pottery thing is pretty big, measuring about 18″ tall. I’m guessing it’s also Japanese, but I have no idea what it is. If you do, please let us know in the comments! If I were to guess, I’d again say it was probably made in the 70s. It doesn’t appear to be damaged in any way.

Here we have some silver plated stuff and a big brass bowl, which was likely made in India.

That sculpture in the back looks expensive, but the wood is split in a couple places and there’s a chip off the side. That ceramic tobacco pipe was stuck in the guy’s elbow when I found it. I think the brass piece is an incensor, and the glass tray is made by Gay Fad Studios. It’d be worth a bit of money, but it’s a little worn out and is thus destined for the yard sale pile.

I found this nice big platter as well. I doubt it’s a precious antique, but I’ll show the bottom in case you want to give me a second opinion!

Otherwise, I saved a enameled bowl signed by Harold Tishler and a book of Yossi Stern’s artwork (which was signed by the painter). Both are probably worth listing on eBay.

I haven’t seen anything here in the weeks since, but I have hopes that there’ll be more trash going forward. The house was recently sold, so if there’s anything left inside it’s got to go somewhere, and soon.

I’ve been having troubles with my camera lately. It’s not turning on, which I hope is just due to an old battery, but if not I’ll have to buy something newer (which could be nice regardless). I shot these photos with an iPhone 8 – they’re pretty good, but they’re not as crisp or as detailed as what I can achieve using the Sony NEX-5N.

It’s a pretty nice outside today, and if life was normal I’d consider having a yard sale. I wonder how long it’ll be until I’m able to do one, considering how busy they can get at times (thereby making social distancing difficult). We’ll just have to wait and see I suppose. My garage is full of yard sale stuff, and I’ve run out of bins to put it all in. I can definitely pack a lot more in there if I organize it right, but in the ideal world I’d spend that same time selling it instead.

I also have a lot of stuff sitting around waiting for the auction-house to open. I’m hoping that happens within a couple of weeks. Tracking the auctions is one of those “normal life” things that I miss, along with sports and social interaction.