Tag Archives: history

Precisa

I had some decent luck early last week. On Monday I stopped at this pile and met a lady who was clearing out her son’s apartment. She told me he had moved up north. Why he didn’t deal with his own stuff, I don’t know but maybe he just ran out of time. She seemed nice and offered me a few things but the best stuff was in the bags.

One of them held a bunch of jewelry, some of which was silver.

The rings were the most interesting pieces from that lot. The bottom row are all silver, except the one second from the left which is stamped 10k gold. The top middle ring might be silver too, but I haven’t tested it to confirm.

A couple of the rings look incomplete. The top middle one for instance has prongs for stones, but they aren’t bent as you’d expect to see if they were removed afterwards. There’s also a bit of extra material on the back that wasn’t filed off. The ring marked 10k gold may be finished, but is missing its decorations (perhaps pearls?).

I like the ring at bottom middle, it has a sort of mid-century look. It’s not stamped but my acid test confirmed that it’s silver. The ring (or at least I think it’s a ring) on the bottom left is also kind of cool. It’s marked sterling and is signed, but unfortunately as with most signatures it’s largely incomprehensible. I have no idea how to describe the style, so if you have any keyword ideas let me know in the comments!

Here’s some more jewelry. This stuff is mostly yard sale material except for that thing on the bottom.

I thought it looked special, so I posted some pictures on Reddit to see if anyone could help me identify it. There weren’t many guesses, but one person somehow found a link to a very similar “Rajasthan 19th c Anklet” on an antiques website. I don’t know how the seller came to that conclusion, but so far that link is the only information I have to work with. Regardless, the listed price is 120 British pounds (roughly 200 Canadian dollars) and I’ll be happy if that number is even vaguely realistic.

Here’s some more junk from that spot. I haven’t had to buy soap for a long time because people keep throwing it out! I always like finding vintage tins like the Borax on the right.

I also found this large 8″ “Malcolm X World Tour” patch that was made for the 1992 Spike Lee movie. It looks to have been signed on the X, by who I have no idea. If you have any guesses let me know! This should be something I can sell for a modest price on eBay.

On Tuesday I found some miscellaneous stuff in Park Ex and Villeray. The best find might be the TI-83+ calculator, which should be good for around 30-40$ though I haven’t tested it yet. The “vintage” phone is going into my electronics recycling pile. The YSL Opium is a decent find too, it’s only around 40% full but a new one costs 95$.

I was excited when I found the iPhone but it turned out to be a fake. It was modeled to look like a iPhone 5s (the phone I’m currently using), and while the phone looks good at first glance it doesn’t take long to realize that it’s junk. The fake is on the bottom in this picture – you can see how the buttons don’t fit very well, and how the material is a cheaper plastic that’s already starting to crack. Anyways, the phone doesn’t turn on and isn’t worth fixing, but at least now it’ll get properly recycled. This is the first time I’ve found a fake iPhone.

Otherwise, my spot in the Mile End continued to produce. I found some more sewing stuff, most of which wasn’t particularly exciting. However, these two unopened boxes of 100 Schmetz needles were a nice get.

Similar boxes sell for between 25 and 95$ each. The price seems to depend a lot on these numbers but I have no idea how to read them. If anyone can help me figure out what they mean I’d appreciate it!

One pretty random find was a folder containing a list of doctors who practiced at the Jewish General Hospital. I’d guess this was typed up in the 1960s.

I do well with vintage calculators. This 1970s Panasonic 1212 doesn’t work perfectly (divide and subtract seem to be glitchy) but I expect it’ll sell for around 100$ regardless. It’s in nice cosmetic condition, especially after I wiped it down with a microfibre cloth.

In one bag was a smaller shopping bag filled with miniature furniture. I would guess these were part of a dollhouse kit. Some were broken but most of those could be easily fixed. I might keep a couple pieces for my collection, I think they’re pretty cute.

My favourite find though was probably this box of watches. There are no mechanisms, just cases. Most of the watches are branded Precisa. The company is not well known, but they made some decent looking watches back in the day. A few of the cases are marked “plaque” or gold plate. All have a very mid-century look to them.

I haven’t really done much research into their value but I’m sure someone will have interest!

I didn’t get much picking done later in the week. There was a big snowstorm on Tuesday night, so I skipped my Wednesday and most of my Thursday run. It’s just too annoying to get around when there’s so much snow. On Friday I had my root canal, so I didn’t get anything done then either. Oh well! The beginning of this week was a bit slow, so hopefully I come across some good stuff on Thursday and Friday to make up for it.

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Svijet

Last week wasn’t particularly productive but I have some things to show you nonetheless. That apartment building again supplied most of my finds.

It’s pretty clear now that whoever lives, or lived here worked in the fashion industry. A while back I found this folder full of designs, and now I find …

… a whole bunch of buttons, many of which are sets. Most look to have been made in the 70s and 80s, but some of them could be a bit older. I put them all in one medium-sized box and listed them as an eBay auction – I usually do “Buy it Now,” but I don’t really know much about the market and didn’t feel like listing them individually.

There’s some nice stuff in there, like these mother of pearl (?) buttons that were made in Japan …

… and some vintage needles and threads. The auctions ends today at 10:10PM EST, so if you’re interested put in a bid! Unfortunately, because of the weight of the package it would be kind of expensive to ship to the States. A local buyer who can come and pick them up would definitely get the best deal. Here's the link, and there’s more pictures on the listing if you want a better look.

Some of my favourite finds from this spot were tucked away in this 1960s Chatelaine magazine. I didn’t even know they were there until a few days ago.

They were four hand-drawn fashion designs. The art is classic and very much “of its time.” I think they’d look great framed, even the one with a piece cut out as that part would have been negative space anyways. Do you like them too? Zoom in for a better look!

There’s a little description glued to the back of each of the coloured drawings. They look to be written in Italian, but I’m not sure.

I also thought this book was cool. It contains a collection of Svijet (which according to Google means “world” in Bosnian) magazines dating from the mid 1950s. From what I can tell this magazine was about the fashion scene, but I have a hard time figuring it out exactly.

Regardless, the images inside are pretty cool. The graphic design is very 1950s, and distinctly Eastern European.

Buttons nearly always come with other small items that aren’t buttons. This time it was vintage Christmas lights. These actually have decent value on eBay, and sell for 1-3$ each depending on the condition. Some other, more unusual ones sell for a lot more. I’ll hold onto these until next fall, by that time the Christmas light market should pick up again. Otherwise, I found a vintage receipt, some scissors, an old toothbrush, and a stamp last used on August 10 1984.

I also found a cool vintage Shell Oil file holder (I listed it on eBay for 100$, my go-to totally made up price in hopes that a petroliana collector might want it, but so far no bites) …

… some miscellaneous paper stuff, including a 1960s guide to Montreal and a small folder with photos inside (most of the photos I’ve seen here have been ripped up, so it’s nice to find some that aren’t);

… and a small collection of 1970s Playboys. These always make good yard sale material.

This spot produced a lot more stuff this week, I look forward to showing it to you!

The week was pretty dismal otherwise. I will share the story though of a random trash can that in recent times has offered me a small collection of books nearly every week.

Sometimes the books are cool, sometimes not so much (ie: textbooks from the 70s and 80s). This was my selection from last week’s offerings. My favourite of the bunch is the 1920s Ritter Practice Building Suggestions book, which details how new dentists should design their facilities. It’s in very nice condition for its age. The others I’ll try to sell at a yard sale, though I expect some will end up in a free box or donation bin.

A good number of the books feature old Montreal City Library bookplates. I imagine these were discards though they’re not marked as such. This one was last taken out in 1985.

Here’s the section for Montreal from that old 50s lodging book if anyone’s interested.

Some of the books I find there have been ruined by moisture. However, I salvaged these encyclopedias despite their non-optimal condition. The covers are in pretty rough shape, but the pages are in good condition.

A lot of people like making art, or doing collage with these. The print and the drawings can be pretty fun to work with.

One was an atlas. Most of the maps unfortunately are printed over two pages which makes them less desirable for framing. However, if someone was careful they might be able to cut them out and reattach them mostly seamlessly. The encyclopedias are from 1909 if I remember right, and as you’d expect the maps are very outdated. For instance, in this map Newfoundland is still its own dominion, and what’s now the north of Quebec is a territory called Ungava. Can you spot any more differences?

This week has been better, even with the recent snowstorm that mostly cancelled my Wednesday and Thursday runs. I’ll share it all with you soon!

Tomorrow I’m finally getting that root canal that I’ve been putting off. It’s my first one, and I hear they’re not that bad but I would appreciate any words of encouragement!

Relevant links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to Garbagefinds.com

Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com. I often fall behind on emails, so I apologize in advance if it takes me a while to get back to you.

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Old stock

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I went out a fair bit last week despite it snowing a tonne, or probably many tonnes. I think there was 20 or so centimeters one day and another 15 not long after. All that snow makes it hard to drive or park, not to mention bike. I took it easy the first half of the week while the snow removal went down. I didn’t want to lose my parking spot (it was unlikely I’d get one even half as nice) and figured that people were too busy shoveling to throw much out anyways. Thankfully, I did have a few productive runs later in the week.

azoreslfflag

Let’s start though with an interesting find from the week before. I got around to sorting through all those clothes I found in the Plateau. A lot of them look pretty decent and likely yard saleable, perhaps even Etsyable. I’m not really a clothes guy though so this flag was of greater personal interest. I didn’t know what it was at first, but was able to quickly identify it as the flag of the Azores Liberation Front, a right-wing paramilitary group whose goal was to gain independence for the Azores Islands from Portugal. The organization was of note for only a few years in the mid-70s and this flag appears to be pretty uncommon as a result – I can’t find any on eBay, and there’s not even very many referenced on Google. My plan is to list it on eBay for 100$ and see if anyone bites. I think a flag collector, particularly one with an interest in aspirant peoples might find it interesting.

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I found a bit more junk at that spot in CDN where I found that silver picture frame. There were a couple of vintage Parker ballpoint pens, nothing too fancy but nice nonetheless. The Swiss Army Knives were cheap knockoffs, but a cheap knockoff is still better than nothing. That Timex watch looks to be in nice shape, though I don’t have a battery to test it with.

selfhelp

I also found a couple of self-help tapes / cassettes that should make for good yard sale material. The Bruce + Kris Jenner exercise video is a blast to the past for a variety of reasons, and apparently Tony Robbins went by Anthony Robbins in the 80s. Both are still in their original shrink wrap.

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I stopped at another spot when I noticed two bags of books sitting on the curb. Inside the bin were even more books, and fortunately they were placed in bags. There’s nothing quite as annoying as coming cross a bin stuffed full of books, as getting to the ones on the bottom without making a mess is pretty near impossible.

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A bunch of them weren’t in great shape – they looked like the had spent a little too long in a basement. But a lot of them were still in good condition, including a number from a set of Victor Hugo books published I think in the 1930s. I don’t think that set is in good enough condition for me to list them on eBay, as book collectors tend to be a picky bunch and I don’t know think they’d be worth the hassle of describing and listing, but I’ll bet that they’ll be a hit at yard sales.

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I went back to that same spot on garbage day and found a bit of decent junk. Inside one bag was a collection of screws which should come in handy, especially to my roommate who does a lot of woodworking.

ericclaptonslides

I also found a box full of old photo junk. Nothing too exciting really, but there was a box of slides there that appear to have been taken at an Eric Clapton show in the late 70s. I have them listed on eBay for 40$, and they should sell for around that.

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doohickey

I also saved this dark room enlarger doohickey that might make me 50$ on eBay.

ospot

I came across this spot later on that day and saved a bunch of decent stuff. I’m glad that empty box was there, I needed somewhere to put my finds!

boxes

I salvaged a bunch of nice jewelry boxes, a lot of which are from Birks. Unfortunately none of them came with any jewelry (though I did find a broken 14k gold chain that’s worth about 40$ for scrap), but some of will be useful for mailing out eBay junk. The ones that are less conducive to mailing, like the watch boxes I’ll try selling at a yard sale. Also in the box are a couple sample sized vials of Chanel #5, a 100ml bottle of Teck by Molinard (already sold!), a snow globe, and a few vintage lottery tickets from the 70s.

butterflys

I also saved these cool framed butterflies. I’m sure someone will pounce on this at a yard sale.

newstuff

My best find however was a large collection of wooden combs, toothbrushes, and safety razors, most of which were still sealed in plastic. The look to have been made for a local startup, but judging by their website they’ve since moved on to some different designs.

I won’t share the name of the startup here, as I’m sure they’re not the only one that has tossed out old stock over the years. And in a way I get how a small local company like this might not want to donate their old stuff, as by doing so they would devalue the very market they’re trying to access. Still, it’s a little frustrating to see these things get manufactured and then tossed out in favor of a slightly different design. It’s a waste of resources, and it’s obviously not great for the environment. Plus, the products are actually nice, so they really should be put to use.

Oh well, at least I was there to save it all! I’m not going to get rich here, but this stuff should make me a bit of money over time. I’ll probably bring several of each to every yard sale, maybe selling the razors for 2$, the wood combs for 1$, and the toothbrushes for .50$. I’ll probably still have some left by this time next year, but I don’t mind if it brings me some easy pocket change.

threefooteddish

Otherwise, I saved this cute three-footed dish from some bags in Outremont. It’s pretty small, about two inches tall, and looks to be quite old. I doubt it’s worth much – for one, it probably used to have a lid – but I’d be interested to hear if anyone knows where and when it might have been made. It looks similar to a lot of old Nipponware to me, but there’s no makers marks that would help identify it as such.

bodum

I’ll finish with a funny story. A while back one of my roommates requested that I find him a French press. I did, and for a while it worked out well for him. However, the other day we were talking in the kitchen, and as he was trying to empty his can of coffee into the press he tapped the glass a bit to hard and it broke. Fortunately for him I had found this other French press just a couple days before, and it wasn’t long before he was able to drink his usual morning cup or three. This press is actually nicer too, it’s a real Bodum while the other one was a cheaper knockoff. This just goes to show that there are benefits to having me as a roommate!

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