Sunnyside

Quality finds were pretty hard to come by all through February and so far in March, but I expect things to pick up once spring cleaning gets going. Here’s some stuff from late September, when some rich folks moved from a house they’d clearly been in for a while. They were nice, and told me to take whatever I wanted.

This bag interested me because I saw a jewelry/trinket box poking out the side. I brought the whole bag to the car and sorted through it there, partly for convenience and partly because people can be weird about their bags. Most of my best finds were inside.

A lot of it was kids stuff from the 70s and 80s. I brought these games, electronic and otherwise to the auction where they sold for 60$ or so.

I also brought them mementos from a slightly controversial 1986 class trip to the Soviet Union. They sold for 22$ if I recall correctly.

Here’s some sunglasses and watches, the nicest of which were vintage Timex. Nothing super fancy, but they did sell on eBay for a bit.

I saved a lot of miscellaneous “quality junk,” the kind of stuff which is fun for yard sales.

Some of this stuff, like the “thumbcuffs,” were sold on my new Instagram account “garbagefindssells.” To be clear, I got someone else (Katie) to run the account in exchange for a good cut of the profits because I suck at doing that kind of thing. So far it’s gone as well as I could possibly have hoped, helping me unload a certain class of item more quickly and for more money than I’d get at the yard sale or at auction. Also, I like how the format helps to highlight certain items that might not look like much at first glance.

If someone wants to go back in time and beat the 1980 Selwyn House football team I got their playbook!

Lightly used wallets are always a hit at my yard sales, and these ones weren’t even used!

Believe it or not vintage batteries can sell for decent money on eBay. I’ve been stashing them away for a while, and now I might have enough for a lot. 

As is often the case, my most valuable finds were some bits of jewelry. I saved a silver Wolf Cubs ring, silver Mount Stephen Club cufflinks, a large silver ring with the word “veritas” and a lion on it, a 14k gold razor blade pendant, and a gold chain with a skeleton key pendant attached. All in all, this spot netted me several hundred to a thousand dollars worth of stuff.

I know I said I would post more, but I’ve been feeling uninspired to say the least. Depressed is probably a better word. I blame February, the weather and the 8pm curfew we had, which our all-knowing Premier graciously extended to 9:30pm yesterday. I suppose the curfew is all well and good if you have a family to go to home to, but for us single folk it can be a pretty isolating experience. Plus, I’m not sure it accomplished anything. Cases are down, sure, but in my opinion that’s due to the other restrictions. Anyone who tried doing grocery shopping before curfew started knows first-hand that forcing people to go to the store (or do anything, for that matter) around the same time isn’t a great way to encourage social distancing. Anyways, don’t get me started!

I look forward to the warmer weather, the later curfew (and, perhaps one day no curfew), and finding good trash again.

Part one of a million pt.9

Some of you know the story with this spot by now, but here it is in condensed form if you’re new: very multigenerational house starts tossing stuff after a century plus of rarely doing so. This was definitely one of my favourite all-time spots, and I feel safe now saying that in the past tense because I haven’t seen any new trash there since the early summer. It was a great run – I found quality junk here nearly every week for like a year – so I can’t complain. Anyways, I need to post pics or get off the pot as they say. I have lots still to share, and a decent sized shelving unit full of stuff still to deal with.

Anyways, I won’t spend too much time on each picture. Here’s a load of wool blankets I found here, which did fairly well at auction. None were super fancy, but all were nice enough to sell.

These folks seemed to like celery a lot. I’ve never seen celery “flakes” before, and can’t imagine how they’d be used.

Most Canadians are probably familiar with Habitant pea soup, which is still one of the better canned soups out there (and pretty cheap as well). I sold this to a friend who plans on opening a restaurant one day, and who’ll probably use this as a display.

Metal scissors are always easy to sell, and there’s a couple of interesting ones here as well. The one on the left with the little wheelie thing in the middle are old buttonhole scissors. These ones are marked “H. Cromwell Criterion – Korn’s Patent” and I was only able to find two others on Google. The pair at the bottom with the stitching wheel were made by Pribyl Bros (if you can tell me what they sold for please do!).

I found lots of old books here.

A lot of what I have left to sort are really old photos and paper ephemera.

I’d never seen batteries like this before. I think they were probably used for photography sometime around 1950. They probably contain a lot of lead and other nasty stuff, so it’s good I saved them. I sold them to another junk oriented fellow who plans on turning them into some kind of industrial art.

These antique Persian tiles were pretty busted up, but fortunately I found all the pieces.

I saved a whole bunch of old films in varying condition.

I gave / sold (we have an informal arrangement) them to a local archivist who knows how to deal with film that’s in poor condition.

A lot of them were close to 100 years old, so it’s likely they contain footage that’s impossible to find elsewhere. There were a few mass produced cartoons in there as well, which aren’t so irreplaceable.

There’s a pretty good market for old flags from my experience. This Union Jack was marked “British Made” and in great condition for its age. I sold it on eBay, I think for 150-200$.

I found a lot of silver here, but the most valuable piece was probably this William Spratling Mexican silver & obsidian necklace which dates to the late 50s or early 60s. I remember it was missing two chunks at first, and then a week or two later I found one of them. Unfortunately, I never did find the other. Regardless, I listed it on eBay for 350$ and it sold very quickly. Spratling is a sought-after designer, and the missing chunk didn’t have obsidian so it might not be too hard for someone to reproduce.

Usually when I have an interesting “spot” I make a file folder on my computer devoted to the related photos. Right now I have 14 folders, several of which are getting pretty dated, so I want to clear out that old stock and stay more on top of the fresher junk. I’ve said that before, but now that people are selling stuff for me I feel like I have more time for blogging.

The rusty blue dumpster pt.2

It’s a new year, and I have lots of aging garbage pics to share before they stop feeling relevant. This dumpster was an exciting destination for me in the late summer. I must have spent a few hours in there all and all, pulling out intriguing old junk while trying to avoid cutting myself on broken glass or stabbing myself with nails.

I really had to dig deep in the dumpster to pull out this 1930s light therapy lamp made by Hanovia Chemical in Newark NJ. The top section pops out, so that wasn’t too bad, but the bottom section must have weighed 100 pounds and was sitting at the very bottom of the dumpster. It was quite the feat of strength to get it to the top of the dumpster, and then I used a piece of wood to roll it out.

I brought it to the auction, and it ended up selling for 5$. After all that effort, all I could do was laugh! At least it probably sold to a tinkerer who’ll probably do something cool with it, but if I knew I was only going to make 5$ (- fees) I might have left this beast in the dumpster. At least it was a good workout. Unfortunately, the actual bulb broke before I got there, likely from being thrown in a dumpster, so that definitely reduced its value.

I picked up a whole lotta hardware here – more pics below.

That wrench was the biggest one I’ve ever found, or maybe even seen.

I haven’t been able to test this grinder yet but I’m betting it works.

Otherwise, I picked up a shoe shine box, which included some very old paste made by Palmer McLellan in Fredericton, New Brunswick…

… a few interesting framed things (unfortunately, no group of 7s);

… a collection of old books, mostly for kids (I just brought most of these to the auction in the past week);

… a collection of vintage blankets, many of which were wool (the Ayers one in the pouch on top got a nice price at the auction, I’m thinking 75$ but it sold a while back now);

… and a c.1950s Wood Arctic Junior “Sleeping Robe.” Apparently these replaced wool blankets as the go-to for winter camping and travel in the late 1800s/early 1900s, but were later set aside in favor of more modern sleeping bags starting in the 1960s. You can find a good explanation of the history, as well as more pics here. Vintage camping gear seems to be a popular market, and I expect this old robe to sell for around 200$.

Moral of the story: most of the time dumpsters are full of renovation junk, but occasionally they can get stuffed full of quality junk as well.

Otherwise, the Fiesta from part one only got to 80$ at auction. Thankfully I put a reserve at 100$, so I got them back (at a cost of 10$) and gave them to a friend to sell. She got 250$. It’s often a buyer’s market at the auction, and it’s hard to know whether a specific niche will generate a bidding war, so I’m glad I have a few people now who’ll list this stuff for me. If you put in the effort yourself, you’ll almost always get a better price, I just don’t have time to do it all myself.