Bits & bobs

This past week was another busy one. I filled the car with quality garbage on three different runs, and came away with other great stuff (including what might be my best find of the year) on a couple others. All this extra junk made it hard to get around my garage; fortunately the auction house reopened after a two week vacation and I was able to bring four carloads of stuff there! I definitely went over their not strictly enforced limit of 20 items a week, but I got away with it by being charming and well prepared (plus, because I have a small car I never bring too much at one time).

I’m nowhere near close to cataloguing last week’s finds so here’s some random stuff from the last month or so. Some folks in NDG tossed a few interesting things, including this collection of tribal weapons. The previously owner wrote the origins of the pieces in pen: “Outback” is written on the top piece (which looks like a non-returning boomerang – I assumed all boomerangs returned before I did my research!); the club in the middle says “Masai” (an ethnic group in Kenya and Tanzania); and the sword on the bottom reads “Amazone.” All these pieces are wood and seem to be higher quality than your average tourist junk. I brought them to the auction house and we’ll see how they do.

I also found this signed Guy Lafleur sports card.

It’s hard to know why someone would throw this out, but I guess whoever owned (or inherited) it didn’t appreciate it fully.

I also found these Norman Bethune postage stamps inside a little envelope. Apparently Canada and China worked together to design these and they were issued in both countries. They’re signed by someone (on the left) though the scrawl doesn’t seem to match any name associated with the project.

This spot is still producing, though I haven’t found anything particularly interesting there since that first day.

A spot in Outremont has produced some great finds, including some paper ephemera that I was able to quickly sell for good money. Here’s a collection of business cards I found one garbage day.

Here’s a selection of some of my favourites. I love old business cards!

Tucked among those cards was a 1959-1960 Toronto Maple Leafs season schedule. It was printed for the Westbury Hotel, a luxury establishment that operated not far from Maple Leaf Gardens in downtown Toronto. I tried to find another like it online but had no luck, much like the 1944-1945 Montreal Canadiens schedule I found last year. I seem to have a knack for finding uncommon pocket schedules!

Pricing things without any specific precedent can be tough, but looking on eBay you can find that old NHL schedules can sell for a pretty penny. I sold that Canadiens schedule for 150$, but this one was a more recent so I priced it a little lower. It sold very quickly for 100$, and I already got positive feedback.

Maybe I could have gotten more for it, but I’m pretty happy to get 100$ for a little piece of paper!

Another quick seller was this vintage (I’m guessing late 50s or early 60s) Pepsi vending machine catalogue. I also couldn’t find any others like it online – it sold quickly on eBay for 75$. From what I can tell the previous owner ran a furniture store back in the day, and it looks like he went for the Model 6 in the gallery below.

Soft drink collectors are a passionate bunch so it’s always a good idea to aim high when pricing!

I also found some old store display signs, which I think were made in the 60s. I have three of these Zenith signs, two of which are still in their original plastic. I listed the non-bagged one for 60$ and it has a fair number of “watchers” already.

I also saved a similar sign for Kuba, a company known for their sometimes luxurious mid-century stereo consoles. This one sold pretty quickly for 50$.

This spot is still producing, though the quality junk to actual junk ratio is pretty high on the wrong end.

Westmount hasn’t been very productive for me lately, though this haul of vintage colognes was a pretty good find. I can’t remember which ones are worth eBaying (they’ve been in my basement since I found them) but I think the Dunhill Edition, Hermes, and Giorgio Beverly Hills VIP Edition are probably the most valuable. The ones I don’t list online will go to the auction house.

I happened upon this beast while walking to my space on Coloniale. Fortunately it sat only a few minutes from home, the thing weighed at least 100 pounds and quite likely more. I had to carry it there myself – I took breaks every 30 seconds or so. It’s an old industrial stapler made by Bostitch, I’m guessing in the 30s or 40s.

I’m not sure who’ll buy it, but I lubed up the mechanism and brought it to the auction house. We’ll see how it does!

Saint Michel has been pretty productive this summer. The first day I stopped at this section of the curb I saved a bunch of nice dishes (and a few other things, like a working fan).

Those teacups were pretty cute, if not particularly valuable. The Fire King stuff is very nice, but it’s mostly loose pieces so not worth listing on eBay. My plan is to group all my mismatched Fire King, Pyrex, Glasbake, Federal Glass, and other similar pieces together for an auction lot.

Those Pyrex mugs on the right are great. I sold the Corelle pieces at a yard sale for 3$, unfortunately there were a bunch missing from the set.

This spot produced some great stuff a couple weeks later, but that’ll have to wait for a future post!

I found these rings in an otherwise gross box elsewhere. The ones on top aren’t anything special but the three on the bottom are pretty cool. I took a more detailed picture which you can see below.

I’m guessing the one on the left is made of some kind of antler. I think the other two are ivory, though I don’t know for sure. The one on the right has a “crown” that could be abalone or mother of pearl (it also looks like it used to have a stone). If you know more than I do please let us know in the comments!

Last week this spot provided a deluxe version of Scrabble (with a rotating board and other accessories) and a few other wooden games. I’m hoping the finds keep coming, even if they’re few and far between.

I found this religious medal in Ahuntsic a little while back and was curious about its origins. On top is written “Paroisse de St-Laurent” while “Congregation de Sainte-Anne” is seen in the purple enamel. I found a similar piece before but these don’t turn up very often, at least for me. Is it the kind of thing that might have belonged to a nun? If you know anything about it please let us know in the comments!

Otherwise, a place not far from home tossed tonnes of great stuff last week. That’ll have to wait for another post, but for now here’s a couple of rosaries I found in the lead up to the big purge. The one with coloured beads is pretty cool, but the one with the clear beads has Italian silver hallmarks. It could be worth a bit of money. The next time I talk about this spot I’ll show you a pair of religious items that I haven’t seen in my travels previously.

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Dribs & drabs

I reached a minor milestone on eBay recently by getting to 500 feedback. That means I get that cool purple star next to my username instead of the old turquoise one! The next colour is red but I won’t be seeing that for a while.

I had my second major yard sale of the season yesterday. It was pretty busy and I got rid of a lot of stuff, which is great because my storage space was a disaster and I needed the money. I was planning on announcing it here, but I wasn’t able to complete the blog post in time. Sorry!

I finally got around to looking through that collection of photos I found recently. There were a lot of good ones, but I think the most interesting was a series taken in the Yukon during WWII. It seems that someone was stationed there with the RCAF during the war. He also had a bit of time to do some exploring, including visiting some natives communities in the area. Fortunately the photos are well described on the back, thereby preserving a lot of the history that would have been lost otherwise. Zoom in on the pictures for a closer look! I wish I had more time to show you a more in-depth look, I just have too many other things to do.

Last month I went to Ville St-Laurent for heavy garbage day and found some old tools. I know this isn’t the best picture, but if anyone can identify these please let us know in the comments! I think the Eastman Machine tools were part of a fabric cutting machine, so maybe that’s a hint…

I found some neat old magazines in NDG. The coolest (to me) were the official guides for the 1969 & 1970 Montreal Expos, the first two seasons of the ill-fated franchise. Based on eBay’s completed listings I expect the 1969 to sell for about 50$ and the 1970 to go for around 40$.

Unfortunately, this spot didn’t provide much otherwise.

I’ve been having fun in St Michel lately. I picked up that cute end table a couple weeks back and sold it to a friend for 10$. I really like the old chair on the right.

It bears a sticker from St. Mary’s Hospital in Cote-des-Neiges and was probably made in the 1950s. It’s still really sturdy after all these years and should sell for maybe 10$ at a yard sale.

I went back to the chair spot the week after and met the folks doing the tossing. They were clearing out an old house, and offered me some furniture and junk they were looking to get rid of. My favourite piece though was one I saved from the curb, a sort of primitive looking cabinet maybe four and a half feet tall. I’d guess that it was handmade sometime in the 50s or 60s. Does anyone else like this style?

I did take a bit of free stuff, including this huge old mirror. It was in pretty nice condition, and I sold it to a friend for 50$.

I also took a few large pieces of art – I’m a sucker for the amateur stuff. These all sold for 10$ at my yard sale. This hunting scene seems to be signed “H. Jelos.”

I was told that “Peter” sold art door to door many moons ago. Based on the frame, I’d guess this was made in the 70s. It’s an attractive landscape.

This one, another “H. Jelos” features some obvious Christian symbolism.

There was some other nice stuff I would like to have taken, but there was only so much room in the car!

I noticed these bottles on the curb elsewhere in St Michel. The tosser noticed me looking at them and offered me two extra cases, which was nice! He told me that these old Italian Brio bottles were delivered door-to-door around forty years ago. That sounds about right based on the graphic design.

Otherwise, my best find from this Thursday’s run came in Ahuntsic. I spotted a pile of boxes on the curb and went to take a look. Most held nothing of interest, like long expired school textbooks, but one contained a neat old Heathkit AA-32 tube amplifier. From what I read this dates from 1964-1965 and was sold as a kit to be assembled by the user. It’s a pretty cool looking machine and is a fair bit older than most of the other amps I find. From what I can tell, this amp (which is in solid cosmetic condition) sells at around 100$ for parts and 250$ in recently serviced condition. I’ll test mine out and will likely eventually sell it for somewhere between those two amounts.

My haul last week was surprisingly small, outside of some stuff I’ll mention in an upcoming post. Here’s hoping this week is better. Some gold would be nice!

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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!

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