Odds & ends

Sorry for the lack of posts, it’s been a pretty blah month on the mental health front. I guess February sucks for a lot of people in general, but this year is particularly bad as a few good friends have moved away and I’m more alone than I’ve ever been. Plus, it’s a lot harder to meet new people when you’re 34 going on 35, it’s the middle of winter, you struggle with depression & anxiety, and there’s nothing going on in a never-ending pandemic. The garbage has largely sucked too, and I’m meeting an unusual amount of angry people with good garbage that apparently really needs to go to the dump and not somewhere useful for some reason (I’ll get more into that in my next post). I’ve found a few good things, but it’s hard not to wonder about “career path” in these trying times, though I’m sure things will turn around eventually. I’m very much looking forward to spring, but that’s still a ways off.

On the plus side, I finally started using Chit Chats Express for most of my eBay shipping. I heard about it years ago, but for a while their only location was out in Ville St Laurent, and driving out there would offset any savings. Now they have a drop-off location on St-Denis, which is much more convenient. I’d say that I save 5-10$ on most packages, and sometime more than that. Other times it’s more or less the same, and only once was the Chit Chat’s rate a bit higher (for shipping a big Ham radio to Washington State). It also offers tracking on low-value packages that I normally wouldn’t track, due to the extra cost (for example, a 25$ poster to the States costs 6-7$ with tracking, when Canada post would be 12-13$ with no tracking or 18-19$ with – I don’t usually have a problem shipping low-value items without tracking, but it’s still nice to have for both me and the customer).

Anyways, I would recommend them anyone who ships things on a regular basis. I’ve saved probably 150-200$ just in the couple months I’ve been using it, and they have lots of locations across Canada now it seems. Please use my referral code if you do, that way you’ll get 5$ free and I’ll make a few bucks when you start shipping (I believe it’s 10 cents per package in the first month of you using the service).

In other good news I figured out how to get the old WordPress editor back (apparently just needed a “widget”), so now I can quit whining about that. Also, I decided to bring back the Paypal “donate” widget (which stopped working for some reason) because that’s what most bloggers do. Most say “buy me a beer,” but you can also help with blog expenses. It costs about 450$ a year to pay for the WordPress stuff (extra storage space for pics, no ads), and I wouldn’t need as big of a garage if I didn’t blog. Plus the time it takes to make these photo arrangements. Of course I’ve kind of sucked at this blogging thing for a while now, but hopefully one day my brain will cooperate again.

Anyways, this apartment building produced a nice haul in early January. Not much since… but I still check on it.

 

With apartment building trash you’re bound to find a lot of crap, so I only stop if the garbage pile is interesting. That vintage card table set and mirror was enough to get me to stop the car, and then I discovered that the bags were full of kitchen & dining wares. This short video shows you the sound a bag full of kitchenwares makes. The sound and look of the bags helps me differentiate the good stuff from the bad, the latter of which comprises the vast majority of what we call “garbage.”

All in all I picked out about two big bags worth of stuff, as well as the card table and mirror. There was some breakage, which is common when people throw ceramics and glasswares into bags and then drag them to the curb, but plenty of quality stuff survived.

There was lots of silverplate, but some was pretty worn out and best scrapped (the plated brass and copper is worth decent money at the yard). That serving dish at the top right had its original glass insert, which is pretty uncommon (at least with trash silverplate). That odd looking thing at the bottom right is a vintage “cake comb.”

I found a few things in protective Birks drawstring bags. The nicest piece is probably that cake server on the bottom. Based on my research, it’s a solid silver piece made by Hippolyte Thomas in France sometime in the 1850s. You can see (and zoom in on) the hallmarks below. I don’t find stuff that old particularly often, so that’s fun. It’s probably worth around 150-200$.

A couple of other favs include this early mid-century Pillivuyt porcelain pot, which managed to escape its trip to the curb without any damage. I sold it via the @garbagefindssells Instagram (managed by someone else, but I post occasionally) for 40$, which I think was a good deal.

Also nice was this old decanter with a silver top. Below are the hallmarks, which show that it was made in Birmingham, England in 1911, probably by John Grinsell & Sons. Haven’t figured out a price yet but I’m thinking it’s worth around 100$.

Anyways that’s all for now. Hopefully I can get another post up soon. It’s not for a lack of stuff, just a lack of brain power.

2022

After a lousy 2021, it was heartening to start this year off with a couple decent scores. I haven’t been going out as much recently due to the cold, the curfew, and some indifference (it’s harder to get excited to go picking when you’re having bad luck), but sometimes you just have to be in the right place at the right time.

This was last Friday. I stopped here largely due to that Turkish leather bag on the left, which looked interesting enough from the car. There was some quality junk inside, so I took the whole thing, though I eventually left the bag for someone else as it needed some TLC.

Some of my best finds came from the trash can, and were revealed after I removed the top white kitchen waste bag (and dug around a bit).

Here’s most of my take, in one picture. You can have a closer look in the gallery below. I wish I had a better photo of that Indian wooden box at the back left, but the one I took didn’t turn out. I’m wondering if it’s vintage or a relatively recent tourist piece… but either way it’s pretty nice. A friend quickly claimed the Gato Negro (black cat) wall plaque, and the two WWF decorative plates.

This wooden box, made by an artist named Clarence Wills, stored some “junk drawer” type stuff. That’s my favourite type of junk to find, because it’s fun to look through, is small / doesn’t take up much space, and is often partly composed of overlooked treasures. That little wooden lidded trinket box at the bottom right held a few nice pieces of jewelry, which more or less made my day.

The two pieces on the right are gold. The ring is old, 18k white gold and inscribed with the date “1943,” and some other words or names that are hard to make out. It has four small diamonds, but the center stone is missing. Together they have a scrap value of around 300$. The rest of the pieces are silver. That cocktail ring is quite something! It’s about an inch and a half tall.

There were a few other nice pieces in there, like three beaded bracelets, a couple of silver chains (one broken), a Haida brooch, and a necklace featuring a donut-shaped stone & (I think) solid silver beads.

I expect this spot will be a one-hit wonder. I passed by again this week and saw nothing of interest. But I had luck again on Monday in the downtown area, and I’m hopeful that I’ll get a few weeks (or more?) of quality trash from there.

This & that

Just posting a few more finds from last summer. This spot provided a fair bit of “quality junk,” but I only took pictures of some of the finer stuff. One day I found a bit of jewelry, most of which was in this black case.
That bracelet was solid gold, which was a nice find because it had some weight to it. Also gold was the pendant (I forget what that design symbolizes… but I’ve seen it before), the broken chain necklace and the metal bits on the beaded necklace. The Givenchy watch has Chinese characters which is fairly unusual, it’ll probably take a bit of time but I expect it’ll sell for a couple hundred bucks (give or take) at some point. The pen was completely empty inside, I thought it was sterling but it turned out to be just plated.
Also nice was this white gold pendant, which I think was originally an antique earring whose pair was lost. The stones were all diamonds, and I think it sold for 200$ (give or take, was a while back now) via eBay auction.
These folks also tossed a bit of silver, including this Seder cup and mini plate…
… and a cute solid silver menorah. The rest of the stuff was plated.
Last but not least is this nice “Boumier ware” set designed by Lucien Boullemier, who was apparently a soccer player before becoming a ceramicist. A couple pieces had been damaged, but repaired in a pretty discrete way. Looking at this picture now, I wish I’d kept a piece or two, the luster was very pretty… alas you can’t keep it all. Or photograph it all – I also found lots of clothes (mostly 80s, and sometimes from the recycling bin), books, kitchenwares, boxes full of brand new golf balls, several pairs of barely used golf shoes, and other quality junk. But eventually the supply ran out, and last I looked the house is still being renovated nearly one year later.