Questionable judgment pt.4

I was organizing my garage with a friend the other day (well, more like the other week) when she noticed these candelabras. I hadn’t thought much about them since I found them in the fall, and I was prepared to give her one as part of her payment for helping me out. However, since I found so many other precious metal items at this spot I decided I should give them one more look over before giving one away.

Sure enough, this time around my eyes spotted some impressions I hadn’t seen previously. The candelabras are actually made from 80% German silver and likely date to the early 20th century – check out the stamps below and zoom in for a better look!

As you might expect this increases their value greatly. I might sell a silver plated candelabra for between 5-10$, but I should be able to sell these 80% silver pieces for a few hundred dollars each, maybe more if I clean them up nicely. One of them has a bit of a break on the arm, but that could probably be easily fixed.

I figured this was a great way to finish up this series. This spot provided my best ever haul of precious metal items, and I hope to be similarly lucky sometime in the near future!

I’ll offset the months-old finds by posting about some stuff I found this past week. I love seeing moving trucks in rich neighbourhoods (in this case, Westmount) on garbage day as often there’ll be some bags of “trash” waiting off to the side.

 

 

 

I found this mug inside a shipping box. I guess someone didn’t appreciate it?

(By the way, if you know of a program I can use to trim off parts of a video please let me know! I couldn’t figure out how to get rid of the useless sections, for example the bottom part where nothing happens).

I saved a bunch of yoga books (there were several others not pictured) and CD / DVD sets. The discs might actually be worth good money. For instance, that Master Immersion with John Friend set contains 19 discs and the cheapest one on Amazon costs over 100$. It’s probably a long-tail item, however.

I saved a bunch of nice soaps (the brown ones cost 10$ each) …

… some Chameleon Color Top markers (apparently these are fairly pricey);

… a working Kindle;

… some unopened food, all of which is barely or not at all expired;

… and a bit of jewelry. Most of these are silver. That white thing could be ivory, and I hope that nose piece is gold. Below is a silver snake, it’s quite large so I think it’s made to be worn on a leg.

One of the bags contained a smaller bag that held miniature objects which smelled like cat pee. Most of the items were charm-like, so maybe someone decorated their cat’s litter area? Regardless, this toonie and the metal (pewter?) shell were among those things. Fortunately, it was easy to remove the smell.

I also saved a nice feather pen with a pewter “quill” and stand …

… and a Parker Ingenuity 5th pen, which seems to be worth about 50$.

My best find though was this collection of fancy perfumes. The Byredo Super Cedar seems to be popular, I had many people asking about on Instagram but I ultimately sold it to a friend for 45$. The Salvatore Ferragamo “Tuscan Scent: Incense Suede” looks to be pretty expensive – there’s none on eBay, and a similar bottle sells for 260$ new at Saks. The Kilian “Smoke for the Soul” refill bottle and Terre D’Hermes are also very good finds. I should do well here!

The end of the month is near… here’s hoping I find more rich people move-out stuff!

Most of my success on Friday came while biking around the Plateau. This pile in particular contained some interesting quality junk.

I saved a bunch of vintage photography bric-a-brac, including glass slide-binders, filters, and a couple small lenses. I doubt any one piece is worth a lot, but a good number are likely in the 5-20$ range.

There’s a lot of neat stuff here (zoom in for a closer look!). I’m intrigued by that miniature light (on top, above the orange filter) as I’ve never seen anything quite like it before. Near the bottom above the other orange filters is a pin from the 55th Esperanto convention in 1970, or sometime around then. Esperanto is an interesting concept, a constructed language made up of a combination of many different languages in an attempt to bring world peace. It never really took off as hoped, though more people are learning it these days thanks to its inclusion in various language learning apps. You’ll see a few more Esperanto-related baubles in one of the next pictures.

I’m also curious about these glass pieces, one of which has a copper backing. I’d guess that they were part of some photography mirror, but if anyone knows for sure please inform us in the comments!

Here’s some more camera doohickies. The labels on those filters appear to be written in Esperanto.

The contraption near the top right of that picture is an old Kodak self timer. It’s not worth a lot, maybe 5$ but it’s cool nonetheless. Perhaps I’ll return to this spot on Friday to see if any other goodies make it to the curb.

You might notice that I added a couple new links to eBay below. I make a bit of money when people sign up for an account or buy something after getting to eBay via these links so keep that in mind if you’ve been considering doing either of those things! eBay is also a great tool for researching the value of an item so use that third link if you want to look up something you have lying around the house (I don’t make money from searches, it’s just a good idea). Keep in mind that completed / sold listings are a much more reliable indicator than active listings, so check those boxes if you want a more accurate assessment (I use completed listings for the unusual items and sold prices for the more common).

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listingsSign up for eBaySearch for something you want / research something you have
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
6. Follow me on Instagram

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

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!

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Contribute to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

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

Best of 2017

At long last here are my top finds of 2017! This was definitely my best year yet for a variety of reasons – I’ll dig into those deeper in a future blog post – and my top 10 looks an order of magnitude better than it did in 2016. I also made more money (roughly 27k) than ever before, a trend that I expect to continue in 2018. Below is a compilation of the finds that helped make this past year special. If you think I forgot something, or want to debate the order of my picks please let us know in the comments!

(FYI, to see my lists from previous years hover your clicker over the “archives” tab above).

Top 3 unusual finds

3. Tarot collection. The decks, both of which were first published in the 70s, were much more psychedelic than the ones I’d seen previously. The Secret Dakini Oracle above was missing a card but still sold for 50$, though the package appears to have been lost in the mail. The Joseph Campbell-inspired “New Tarot” (below) sold to a reader for 150$. Fortunately, that one was complete. Found in the Mile End.

2. Ghost box. This Sangean DT-200X isn’t unusual outside of the fact that it’s one of the few radios that can be converted to a ghost box. I ended up modding it myself (basically by removing a few pins on the circuit board) and it sold quickly for 150$. If you’re curious here’s a short video I made of the ghost box doing it’s thing. Found in Outremont.

1. Jar of mercury. This contained about 225g of mercury. I’m glad it didn’t make it to the landfill! I ended up giving it to a reader with an interest in old bottles. Found in Outremont.

Honorable mentions

MacBook Pros. I found one in January, February and April. None worked as intended but they still sold for 125$, 245$, and 180$ respectively. The first two came from the Plateau, the last from McGill move-out day.

Home Hardware gift card. It still held 63$, which I spent on plastic storage bins. I found it in the Mile End as part of the McGill move-out day haul.

Montreal Canadiens 1944-1945 schedule. These are pretty rare, or at the very least I couldn’t find anything else like it online. I found it tucked between the pages of an old book. It sold pretty quickly to a local collector for 150$. Found in Villeray.

Vintage Universal Geneve watch boxes. There’s a solid market for watch boxes, particularly vintage ones belonging to luxury brands. These two sold to a buyer in Italy for a total of 450$. Found in Hampstead.

10k gold bracelet. This thing was a bit scratched but it was still quite valuable for its weight in gold. I ended up melting it for an easy profit of about 650$. Found in Westmount.

The top 10 finds of 2017

10. Vintage wedding dress collection. They were stored in thin plastic bags and appear to be in great condition for their age. By most estimations they date back to the 40s or 50s. I’m not sure what I’ll do with them yet, especially since selling clothes is not my forte, but they’re definitely cool.

9. Krieger tidal watch. Krieger isn’t a particularly well known brand but their tidal watches serve the sailing and boating community, an often wealthy niche market. It needed a new battery, the replacement of which cost 35$, but it eventually sold for 550$. Part of the “Very Rich People” series.

8. Sterling silver dish. This was a gift made in 1968 to honour the business relationship between two families. It weighed almost a kilogram and sold at its scrap value, which was about 450$.

7. Louis Muhlstock still life. Muhlstock was one of several prominent Jewish “social realist” painters in Montreal during the 30s and 40s. He’s best known for his sketches of the working class and lumpenproletariat, but this beautiful still life should earn me a bit of cash once I finally get around to dealing with it.

6. Moscow 1980 Olympics bid book. Bid books are fairly collectible, and this one seems to be pretty uncommon based on what I’ve seen (or, perhaps more accurately, haven’t seen) on the internet. It also came with the business card of an Olympics organizer / known KGB agent. I expect it to eventually sell for 3-400$.

5. Chimento 18k gold earrings. My best jewelry find from the “Very Rich People” spot. These are worth around 400$ in gold weight alone, but I should be able to sell them for a fair bit more than that.

4. Photo / postcard collection. Some of these photos dated back to the late 1800s. My favourites were the scrapbooks, one of which contained some great WWI-era shots taken at the Royal Military College in Kingston, ON (click here for an in-depth look). That one’s currently for sale on eBay at 200$. I also enjoyed the set of four Notman & Sons photos below that ended up selling for 125$. A lot of this stuff is still in my basement – I’ll eventually list the other scrapbooks on eBay, and sell the postcards at a yard sale.

3. Chinese export silver collection. I found other jewelry here as well, but the Chinese pieces featured below were definitely the best of the bunch. All date to the early 1900s and each is made from either solid silver or silver plated copper. So far I’ve sold the first, second, and sixth for a total of 1000$, and overall the collection should make me close to 1500$.

 

2. Edmund Alleyn painting. I don’t know much about the art market, but it seems like Alleyn’s work has gained recognition in the last few years. There was a major retrospective at Montreal’s Musée d’art contemporain in 2016, and since then all his works that have been auctioned by Heffel have sold at the high end or way above estimate. He definitely doesn’t have the name recognition of Monet or whoever, but he’s probably the most famous (or at least contemporarily relevant) artist whose work I’ve found on the curb. The painting is a little damaged but when I have some extra money I plan on getting it restored. I don’t know what it would go for at auction in perfect condition, but based on recent results it could be a fair bit.

1. Carl Poul Petersen silver box. The same folks who tossed the silver plate (#8) threw out this sterling silver box a couple weeks later. I guess they really didn’t know much about recognizing precious metals, or maybe just underestimated their value. Anyways, this box was made by Carl Poul Petersen, a renown Canadian silversmith who apprenticed under Georg Jensen, one of the most respected names in the business.

The box was a retirement gift (dated 1944) to the President of a local temple. It weighs around 1.2kg, of which I’m guessing 1.1kg is solid sterling. That makes it worth about 500$ in silver scrap, but because it’s a Poul Petersen it should sell for a fair bit more than that.

It was tough choosing between the Petersen box and the Edmund Alleyn painting at number one. I ended up going with the safer of the two options – the Petersen box seems like a lock to be my first single find to sell for a four figure profit. However, I could definitely see the Alleyn painting looking like a better choice at some point in the future. Only time will tell!

Here’s hoping 2018 brings similarly great finds! I’ve already found some excellent contenders for this year’s top-10, but I’ll have to keep picking if I want an equally good list come December.

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings
3. Etsy store
4. Kijiji listings
5. Donate to garbagefinds.com
6. Follow me on Instagram

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