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!

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One hit wonder

It was just another pile of trash to most people, and I’m sure many passed it by without a second thought. But to me it was a pile of trash worth checking out, given that it was somewhat larger than your average pile of trash. Collections of this size will often disappoint, but until I develop x-ray vision my best chance at finding great garbage is to investigate piles that deviate from the usual. Fortunately this particular one was pretty good.

I found several neat items, including an old camera, a leather picture frame, a vintage alarm clock, and a few photos. That hearing aid remote control (to the left of the frame) was also a good find, I sold a similar one a little while back for about 80$.

It was the silver and jewelry that really made by night though. Those brushes are Birks sterling and should fetch a good price. The cufflinks weren’t super exciting, but the 14k white gold necklace chain (top right of the open jewelry box) was. The necklace at bottom right is nice as well – there are four strands of what look like tiny pearls attached to an 18k gold clasp, which featuring three stones that are probably diamonds.

I spotted my best find loose in a bag alongside some clothes. I had a feeling it was gold, given its weight and look, but had a hard time finding hallmarks. I eventually spotted some on the pin catch, but they were indecipherable. So, I brought it to my jewelry guy who confirmed that it was 18k gold, and was worth a bit over 700$ for its weight in gold (about 18 grams).

I wanted to make sure it wasn’t some fancy designer piece, so I took it home to do some research before making a decision. However, I wasn’t able to uncover any useful info, and after consulting Reddit I decided to sell it for scrap.

I think it was the right call. The price of gold is fairly high right now, and it’s hard to find buyers willing to pay above scrap value for pieces like this. I’ve had (and continue to have) other quality gold jewelry that languished on eBay for way too long, and sometimes it’s nice just to make a quick buck! Or 700…

Another interesting find was this small cup featuring a scene from Exodus.

The design is unlike any cup I’ve seen before. Most of the design looks like a repouss√©, except for a small piece of the wall (to the right of the door) which is etched. I’m not sure why the maker did it like that, but maybe there was a good reason to do so. The cup is hallmarked “13” (around the top in this picture), which I hope means 13 loth, a base 16 German (and apparently Austro-Hungarian) silver standard that’s been obsolete since the late 1800s.

I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s from the 1800s just from the way it was made, but I can’t say I’m an expert in the area. I was able to find some similar cups on Google, but none were exactly the same / had the “13” hallmark. If you have any ideas let me know!

I haven’t seen anything at this spot since. Perhaps it will end up a “one hit wonder.”

Otherwise, I’ve been having a hard time putting words down lately. My family has been struggling with illness and age, and I’ve been dealing with more anxiety & depression, so maybe my brain just hasn’t been in a good place for writing. I hope my focus returns soon, but forgive me if it’s another long wait until my next post.

On the other hand, I’ve been thinking about doing some shorter posts, say between 1-3 photos. It might make it easier to share finds regularly. What do you think? I’ve worried that doing too many short posts might make the blog feel “spammy,” but I starting to wonder if that’s just a figment of my imagination.

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Please note that I am hopelessly bad at responding to emails & Facebook messages.

The horseshoe pt.2

I’ve been pretty busy lately. There’s been plenty of interesting garbage (and free pre-garbage), many organization and reorganization sessions, and lots of springtime chores to do including yard work, bringing the car to the garage, and finishing my taxes.

As such I’ve had a hard time staying on top of my picture-taking and garbage documentation. One thing that would help is getting my garage photo studio going again – it’s been out of commission since my light bulbs were stolen at that chaotic garage sale last year.

Oh well, I should be able to figure it out soon. In the meantime, here are some of my great post-horseshoe finds from around a month ago. This jewelry box came from the same spot that tossed a different noteworthy jewelry box around a month prior. They’ve tossed some other quality stuff too, but that’ll have to wait for another post. I found this box in the recycling bin.

I was excited when I picked it out because I could hear that there were things inside. Plus, after the last jewelry box these folks tossed I knew they weren’t afraid to throw out a little gold. A few pieces were corroded or junk, but several were very nice.

You might have spotted the bills tucked in behind the tie bar holder. They were all Mexican pesos from the 70s, a few of which are sequential. They’re not worth much, but it should make a fun auction lot.

Here’s the jewelry that was worth keeping. There’s a silver St Francis Xavier University pin, a silver tie bar, a 14k gold Rotary Club pin, a 14k gold golfer pendant, and a nice Elgin watch. But the pieces that stood out most were the rings on the bottom.

On the left is a pretty standard 14k band made by Birks. The ring on the right is a little less familiar, I’ve never found anything styled quite like it before. It’s hallmarked 750 (18k gold), which from my experience means that it was probably made in Europe, and also looks to be stamped “427AL.” I have no idea what that one means. The stone is a very dark green with a few red specks. The design on the sides is pretty ornate, I wish I had a better close up but the picture above will have to do for now.

It’s a pretty big ring. It only fits on one of my middle fingers (seems like one is a bit smaller than the other) and weighs about 14.22 grams. That means it’s worth several hundred dollars just for scrap, but I’m sure it’s worth more as a ring. I don’t know much about the design, so fill me in if you happen to know something I don’t!

I’ve had a lot of luck finding jewelry lately so expect more of that in my coming posts. The local university move-out day came and went. I didn’t try particularly hard this year – my normal routes are producing enough quality stuff as it is – but it was fun walking around and seeing the sights. It seems that McGill in particular is trying harder to curb move-out related waste, but there’s still good stuff to be found.

The weather’s looking pretty good for this Sunday so I think I’ll do my first yard sale of the year. It won’t be a huge one, but I hope to unload some of the stuff that’s accumulated around the house and in my basement. If you’re interested check out this post again on Saturday after 6pm, I’ll post an edit below this paragraph with the status & location. Otherwise you can also keep an eye on my Instagram where I’ll post an update in the stories. Regardless, it’ll be in the Mile End.

Links

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