The curmudgeon

Let’s go back to the early summer, when it seemed like there was a new crank or curmudgeon around every corner. This particular model sounded British, wore a bathrobe, and asked rhetorically if he had to call the police. If I remember right I used some of these nice rocks to try to persuade him to let me do my thing. To clarify, it was more along the lines of telling him “I just want nice things, for example these rocks” and not “I will hit you with these rocks if you don’t let me pick your trash.” Regardless, he was not convinced. The rocks ended up making a decent auction lot, selling for somewhere in the 20-30$ range.

I found some decent stuff here in the weeks prior, and a week or two after our meeting, but this spot didn’t produce for long. That little dish in the middle is sterling and those viking ship salt cellars are pewter. The little coasters on the bottom were silver-plated brass – the engravings made them less marketable so I decided they were best sold as scrap brass.

This doohickey is pretty cool. It’s a KLM (Dutch airlines) bottle stopper that dates to sometime before 1961. It’s silver plated and should sell for around 50$.

One day I saved a whole bunch of tools, including a nice set of mostly vintage “Union Twist” drill bits that should fetch a bit of cash online.

My most valuable find ended up being old software, particularly this set of mid-1980s Ultima games on 5.25″ floppies. The disks came in big boxes with cool cloth maps and lots of game-related books. This all sat on a shelf in my garage for many months before I finally brought it home yesterday to list. Upon doing that, the lot sold for 180$ within about 10 minutes. I probably could have made a little more money here, but I can’t complain. I wonder if I missed out on more titles in the weeks before I first arrived.

I also found a load of old Apple programming books here. They weren’t worth too much individually but probably would have done well enough as a lot on eBay. I never got around to it though, and they ended up in one of my yard sale free boxes. There’s so much stuff that I could theoretically list online that I have to be a bit choosy sometimes, lest I become overwhelmed with junk.

Let’s finish with these old Mac Mags, which are from the mid-80s and are probably pretty uncommon at this point. I doubt they’re worth much, but they might be interesting to a local collector. I’m starting a collection of things that I think would be best sold at flea markets or vintage sales, and I think these mags will go in with that lot.

Speaking of that, it’s in my plans to try selling at some kind of vintage market this winter. I haven’t gotten around to actually taking steps to make that happen, but it’s a good idea in theory.

2019 is nearing an end. Despite the numerous grumps it was a great year financially and I found a lot of interesting trash. I’ll try to get a “best of” post up soon, ideally before the new year but we’ll see how it goes.

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 – note that it might take me some time to reply, and that I am unlikely to be able to fulfill requests for items

Part one of a million pt.1

One of my spots has offered a nearly overwhelming amount of quality trash in recent weeks & months. I have several boxes of stuff from this house stashed away, and it’s hard to know where to start when it comes to sorting & documenting it all. A good number of my finds have been quite old, dating back to the late 1800s to early 1900s, and there’s a lot of things I’ve never really dealt with before. The superstitious part of me hesitates to say more than that right now – I’m still finding stuff here, and don’t want the trash supply to end – but needless to say I’ve found some interesting junk!

I love old jars, bottles, tins, containers and original packaging. That John Oakey’s Wellington Knife Polish seems to be just about full and probably dates to the late 1800s.

This plastic beverage set probably dates to the 1960s. I would never use it, but it could be a fun decor piece.

These products are a little more practical. I like the graphic design on that Dor-Tite weather strip, which I think dates to the 1930s (early 40s at the latest). The set of pot menders are also pretty cute.

I’ve found several of those vintage slap-chops before, but never one with its original label. The turkey baster and oven thermometer are still in their original boxes. It’s too bad that the box for that 1930s electric mixer isn’t in better shape, but the mixer itself looks pretty good for its age.

On the left is a cool egg beater cup that was patented way back in 1888. Unfortunately there’s a big chunk out of the back, but I still think it could make a cool decoration or vase. You can get a better look by checking out a similar model on Worthpoint (I realize now, after looking at this listing that I also have the top metal piece. Good to know!).

These musical items were all stored inside that envelope on the left. Apparently R.S. Williams & Sons was a Toronto-based manufacturer of musical instruments back in the day. They also seem to have had a store, which at this time was located at 143 Yonge St.

There’s still a few of those C.F. Albert Violin String Gauges kicking around, though I don’t know how many have their original paper sleeve. That “tonologue” seems to be a little harder to find though, probably because it’s made from paper instead of brass. I found reference to it in this 1886 dictionary of musical instruments, and a few newspaper references indicating that it was probably invented around 1875. I wasn’t able to find any pictures of one, or any for sale, so maybe it’s quite rare by this point.

I’ve found a lot of cool paper stuff here. It’s particularly challenging to deal with, given that old paper is often fragile and hard to display for sale. I think this c.1930s book store envelope would be fun decoration if framed.

I’ve also found a lot of very cool photos, like these shots of Llanfairfechan in Wales. The top two look to be the same shot, but the colors tones are a little different. They’re printed on very thin sheets of paper, and I don’t know if they’re originals or prints or original prints. The photo in the purple velvet frame is stuck to a piece of glass, and I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. Any help dating these photos would be appreciated!

Let’s finish with this thing. I have no idea what it is. It looks to be made from bone, and the top part screws off from the rest for whatever reason. It’s about the size of a pen, but I don’t think it’s a pen. Any ideas?

I named this post “Part one of a million” because it feels like it’s going to take a million posts to share all this stuff. That’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s true that this spot is already one of my best volume producers of all time.

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

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!

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