Flotsam & Jetsam

I’ve found plenty of interesting junk this past month. Some was probably tossed as part of spring cleaning, but some was a result of people cleaning out houses. This particular pile in Rosemont sat near a recently sold house so in this case I’d presume the latter.

The pile featured a large pile of wood. Usually wood isn’t worth poking through (it’s often a better source of tetanus than quality junk) but I gave this collection a chance; in previous weeks I’d found some interesting stuff at this spot, and it seemed like the previous owner wasn’t keen on throwing anything out. I ended up finding two great pieces mixed in with the debris, if you look close enough you can kind of see the first one in the middle of this pic.

As a lover of politics and political ephemera I great appreciated finding this vintage PQ election sign. This would have been from the 1976 election when the Parti Quebecois had their first electoral victory. Paquette won his riding (Rosemont) and held it for around 10 years.

I’ve now found two 1976 PQ election signs. The last one was from the Plateau – it sold for 130$ but also had a cool separatist mural painted on the back. I’d guess that this one is worth a bit less than that, but I’ll bet it’s still worth around 80-100$.

I hope to find more election signs. A vintage Pierre Trudeau might be my holy grail – he served the riding of Mount Royal, so it’s not a total stretch that I might happen upon one someday.

I found this awesome wooden cabinet near the bottom of the pile. I’m not sure what it was made for originally but its future is probably as a curio cabinet. For reference, the piece is approximately 26 x 25 x 3.5″ and each box measures roughly 2.25 x 2.25 x 3″. Some on Instagram suggested it might have been for sorting mail, but I can’t see it given the small size of the boxes.

On top of each box is an old label that looks to reference a place in Quebec, or sometimes towns in provinces nearby. The white papers sometimes hang over the old labels and also feature more mostly Quebec place names.

If you have any ideas as to what it was made to do please let us know in the comments! Regardless, it’s a great piece that I’ll be tempted to keep for my myself. If interested take a look at the photos below – click on the picture and then the “view full size” button on the bottom right if you’d like to zoom in.

I also saved a collection of old toolsy stuff, most of which I’ve since given away or sold at a yard sale. I was hoping to find more quality stuff at this spot, but I think this haul was its last hurrah.

I found this three pronged flag stand while touring around Westmount with my mom. I’ve never seen anything quite like it before – my guess is that they were made to go on the front of a car. Each flag measures about 8 x 4″.

“Fast colours” and “British made” are printed on each flag while the metal base is marked “Stadium” and “Pro Pat.” I can’t be sure when this was made, but I’d guess that it dates at least to the 40s and quite possibly before that. Two of the flags are pretty stained but maybe they could be cleaned up. If you have any insights as to how this would have been used let us know in the comments!

Later that day I saved an old electric soldering machine by made by the P.W. Ellis company. The patent date is 1923, making this device quite vintage. I know, it looks pretty grungy but I think it’ll clean up pretty nice. It could be a fun decor piece, or maybe it still works…

A bag I found in TMR contained more intriguing junk.

I have no idea what this doohickey is. My first guess was a thurible, one of those incense burning things that are used in church, but I’m not sure of that. For one, there’s only one hole in that bottle left piece which would make it unsuitable for distributing incense. I’m also not sure why there would be little wheels on the top section. Do you know what this is? You can see a couple of different angles below.

Inside that old soiled Birks bag was a collection of silver.

Despite the green tarnish (most often seen in copper) all these pieces appear to be solid silver. The little bird dishes, the small plates, and the small spoon all look to have Egyptian 90% silver marks. The larger spoon (stamped 925) is a Mexican tourist piece from way back when. The sterling salt shaker, if I read the marks correctly was made in London in 1882. Most of what I find is from the 20th century, so it’s always fun to find something older than that.

I tried cleaning these and was surprised how easily most of the blue stuff came off. There’s still some work to be done though as some of that tarnish is pretty troublesome! If you have any tips on cleaning it off let me know. For now I’ll soak the pieces in soapy water to see if that breaks down the grime. Unfortunately, the little spoon snapped when I tried to wipe it down.

The weather has been great lately and I’ve gone on more garbage runs as a result. I had some success in St Michel yesterday morning and in NDG last night. Here’s hoping the good weather and finds continue through the rest of the week!


1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

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

Recent sales: April

eBay sales were relatively slow in April. Fortunately, the arrival of yard sale season helped make it profitable anyways.

1. Yard sale: 650$. My first sale of the season was a success! I basically brought all the (quality) junk I had stored in the basement to the street, and it wasn’t as big as some of my other sales. Still, it was a nice warm-up of sorts and a fun day overall.

2. Vintage market: 180$. This result was a bit of a disappointment, but I did learn a bit about pop-up shop selling. In the future I’ll try to sell with similar vendors (most other people had clothes, I was the only one with junk) and I’ll make sure there’s either no music or quiet music. The tunes were a bit loud, which made it harder for people to connect to my sometimes unusual wares… that’s my theory anyways.

3. Sharmark bead & sequin wrap: On eBay for 40$. Found in Cote St-Luc.

4. Silhouette eyeglasses: On eBay for 75$. I semi-regularly find lightly used Silhouette eyeglasses, which is good because they always sell for a nice price.

5. Vintage Startac cell phone: On eBay for 10$. I thought this would sell for more but I guess not. Fortunately the Microtac (featured later) was a bit more valuable. Found in Rosemont.

6. Ray Ban New Wayfarer sunglasses, prescription lenses: On eBay for 55$.

7. iPhones for parts: On eBay for 25$. These were all locked to iCloud, basically making them bricks usable only for a limited number of parts. The payoff was barely worth it considering how much time and energy I put into testing / wiping these, but it was a good learning experience I suppose.

8. Vintage Rio de Janeiro butterfly serving tray: On eBay for 70$. This sold quickly for a nice price! Found on St Urbain in the Mile End.

9. Vintage palladium ring: On eBay for 200$. This was the nicest of the three rings I recently found stored inside an old pill bottle.

10. Silver compact: On eBay for 60$. I’m surprised this compact took so long to sell, it was a very nice piece. I found it on Van Horne in Cote-des-Neiges a few years back.

11. Lise Watier Capteur des reves: On eBay for 50$. This scent seems to be pretty uncommon – I didn’t find any others on eBay. Not all rare things are desirable, but based on what I read on Fragrantica the people who tried it liked it and wanted more. It sold relatively quickly for a good price. Found in Hampstead.

12. Silhouette Titan rimless sunglasses: On eBay for 75$.

13. Verifone credit card terminal: On eBay for 50$. I’m glad this is finally gone! It sat around taking up space for way too long.

14. Chinese export silver bracelet: On eBay for 500$. This was the most valuable antique Chinese piece from that collection I found last fall.

15. Sony Walkman: On eBay for 40$. This Walkman was unusual in that it had two different headphone jacks.

16. Little Mouse Factory figurines: On eBay for 30$.

17. Girard Perregaux watch box: On eBay for 40$.

18. Christian Dior Pure Poison: On eBay for 80$.

19. Vintage cat-eye sunglasses: On eBay for 30$.

20. Mexican silver pins: On eBay for 25$.

21. Motorola Microtac cell phone: On eBay for 60$. Pretty old school! It also came with a charging dock.

22. Miniature vintage Diorissimo: On eBay for 22$. I’m surprised I haven’t sold more of these. The customer was very happy with their purchase though.

23. Basf cassette recorder: On eBay for 60$. This came with its original box.

24. Rolf handcrafted spectacles: On eBay for 100$.

Total: 2527$, 8834.50$ so far in 2018.



Day of plenty pt.2

Here’s the first pile from that especially productive day. As you can see it was quite the mound and it took a while to sort through! I met the lady putting it out and she seemed nice enough, asking me not to make a mess “because she had enough of one inside” (or something along those lines). These folks were clearly well off, and I came away with a huge pile of quality junk. Some was eBay worthy, but a lot of it will end up in the yard sale pile.

I did large groupings for the photos due the sheer quantity of things to document. As a result, you’ll have to zoom in to get a good look! That iPhone was a now vintage 3, I sold it for 15$ at a recent sale. It’s always fun to find things that are useful for the business, such as those bubble envelopes and markers. Those Dolceroma frames are the first of several nice pairs I found, most of which will appear in the next several photos. These ones are handmade in Italy, though the company doesn’t seem to be that well known in North America.

Here we have some pennies, an Apple trackpad, a Palm Tungsten PDA, a bag of yarn, lots of photo paper, and plenty more quality junk.

I found lots of useful wires, including one for a MacBook Pro (unfortunately, I never found the actual computer). The Western Digital thing is some kind of streaming device.

Nothing too exciting here, just a lot of useful stuff! Those Hugo Boss colognes should sell for a bit though.

There’s a couple of pretty nice eyeglass frames here. At the bottom right are some handcrafted wooden frames made by a German company named Rolf. They’re fairly expensive, and mine just sold for 100$. The frames above are by Paul Smith, I expect them to sell for around 50$. The watch is a vintage Enicar, nice but not super fancy. It’s probably worth about 50$ as well. The red box on top is a never opened Yi home camera, which seems to go for around 35$. At top left is an 2gb Apple Time Machine.

Lots of electronic stuff in this pic! I should be able to make decent money from that iPod Touch near the bottom right, as well as the Nintendo 64 games at the top right. Most of the rest will go into the yard sale pile.

But the most notable finds from this spot were the gift cards. It seems that the lady had a son who regularly received them as gifts. He didn’t much care for them by the look of things – above is a long expired (when that was still legal) 50$ gift card from Renaud-Bray, a local bookstore.

That was just a sign of things to come. I also found a Starbucks gift card, and when I checked online I discovered that it still contained 100$!  There’s a Starbucks a few minutes from my house, so over the past few weeks I’ve appreciated the gift more than the kid ever did. I’m actually there right now, using up the last of the money writing this post.

That’s not the end of the gift cards, however. I also saved a Banana Republic card containing 100$ and a Renaud-Bray containing 25$. There was a HMV card as well but they’ve since gone out of business… oh well! I guess I’ll be buying some pants and books. This is the first time I’ve found unused gift cards in the trash. I’ve saved a few previously, including one with 63$ on it, but at least those were lightly used.

The garbage has been flowing lately, though none of the finds are going to single handedly make me rich. Ville St Laurent’s heavy garbage day was productive on Sunday night, providing three big bags of vintage clothes, a cute melamine kitchen table, and some old unidentified tools. Last night’s run provided vintage Rusty Staub (RIP Le Grand Orange) era Montreal Expos publications and some quality audio equipment. My best run last week was in TMR, but I’ll share what I found there in a future post.


1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
6. Follow me on Instagram

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