Fog-brained

Sorry I haven’t posted in a while. My brain just hasn’t been very cooperative lately. I have a hard time focusing on anything for any length of time, and keep procrastinating on essential tasks like finishing my taxes and buying clothes. I sometimes struggle to see the point of it all, which sure sounds like something someone with depression would say. I’ve probably spent / been spending too much time alone, which doesn’t help. However, I am trying to eat better (snacking on raw veggies like snow peas, carrots, and turnip), exercise more (going on bike rides, often inspired by nearby trash days), and cut down on caffeine. We’ll see how that goes.

Regarding garbage, this year’s really been a dud so far. I haven’t found any “omg” finds, some nice stuff here and there but little that’s blog worthy. I’m starting to feel like a lot of people did their purging last year, which was great for me, and that the next year or two might be less fruitful than usual. Either that, or I just haven’t been particularly lucky.

Anyways, here’s a few things from last year I haven’t posted yet (there’s still lots more to share, including some “omg” finds). Someone sent me a picture of the pile above on Instagram, and I went to check it out. It looked like an entire apartment was on the curb. I saw evidence of potential bedbuggery on one of the furniture pieces, so I decided to focus on small, easily cleaned items. 

This stuff was pretty grody, so it was probably for the best regardless. All my finds fit into this gross lockbox and a cast iron pot.

It needed a good clean, as you can see. The few things that needed a more delicate touch, like that watch, I wiped down with a damp cloth. 

That was a nice hunk of copper for the scrap bin (left). Haven’t seen any others quite like it, so I wonder if whoever owned it worked in metal processing or something.

Anyways, here’s my pick of the most interesting stuff (and a bit of random junk). I saved a pewter gargoyle & bird skull bracelet, a wizard brooch, a Zippo lighter, a small amount of scrap silver and a tiny bit of gold. That skull ring is a little intense, I’m wondering if it’s a biker thing. It’s silver plated and marked “G&S RP 87.” Based on my acid test I think that bird skull bracelet (?) at top right is unmarked solid silver. It looks pretty well made, and the eyes are some kind of milky-coloured stone. I’m going to have to do some research on that one before doing anything with it. 

Here’s some jewelry I found at a one-off in Hampstead. The little necklace in the middle was tangled up pretty bad but was silver & made by Tiffany. I think it ended up selling for a couple hundred bucks. The rest of this stuff was silver as well, if I recall correctly.

This was the only interesting piece of jewelry found at another spot. Can anyone make out this signature?

I found another small jewelry haul in NDG, along with some other quality junk though nothing exciting enough to post here. The bracelet was silver, and the lone cufflink was 18k gold. The latter was hefty enough that it alone was worth around 250$ for its weight. I was thinking the pearl earrings were gold too, but they were not. 

Here’s some stuff from a Westmout one-hit-wonder. There was lots of relatively high-end touristy stuff here, a lot of which went straight to the auction. I took pictures of the smaller stuff, like that little stone dish (made in Kenya), and those little ceramic tiles (made in Mexico). 

They also tossed a nice collection of pens. The nicest: a Sheaffer fountain with an 18k gold nib (gold cap near middle), a Cross fountain which I can’t find right now, and a matching Pelikan fountain & ballpoint. Most of the rest were medical swag, so I’m guessing the previous owner was a doctor. I didn’t know thalidomide was still around… the more you know.

Finally, some pens from a particular successful run (at least when it came to finding pens) in NDG. One spot offered two of the same Parker “cisele” sterling silver ballpoints, which are always an easy sale (though I may keep one), while another spot gave me a set of Sheaffers, a nice green Parker fountain, and a very striking gold-tone Parker with a 14k nib. I still have all these, I have to figure out the model name and all that if I want to get the best price.

Anyways, that’s all for now. Hopefully it won’t be another two months before I can get my brain in gear again.

Flash in the pan pt.1

This spot was briefly productive during the dog days of summer. I happened upon the first pile completely by chance, came back the next week to find this one, and that was it. Last I saw the house was up for demolition. So it goes. As usual, I wonder what I might have missed before I first arrived.

On this day I saved a bag largely filled with old tobacco pipes & accessories.

It was quite the collection, though most were quite dirty. I performed some light cleaning and brought them all to the auction house, where I think the lot sold for 55$. That seemed reasonable to me, considering none of the pipes looked to be super valuable individually, and definitely needed further cleaning and maintenance (including new stems in many cases).

These little lighters were worth more than the pipes. They’re both “Baby Mylflams” that were made in Germany, I think in the 1930s. The one on the left is decorated with 835 silver and marcasite. I’m not sure why exactly they have value (many other old lighters do not), but 150$ for the left and 75$ for the right look attainable based on what I’ve seen on eBay’s completed listings (the best and most accessible tool available for researching the value of garbage in my opinion).

I found lots of other quality junk here, like these vintage mugs & cups…

… and a few fur muffs that held together pretty well over the years.

This spot also produced a fair bit of interesting paper ephemera, including old letters and photos. It would have been a bit much to show everything here, so I condensed the collection to several interesting pieces. That board on the left, which I assume was the back cover of a book, was first signed in 1826. I saved lots of letters like the one on top, which is written in German and dates to 1946.

I’d guess that a past owner of this stuff was a German Jew who emigrated here sometime before WWII. That little booklet dates to between 1933-1935, based on the German flags seen below. There could be some interesting info in all those letters I found, if only I could read German.

This signature book is a fun piece of ephemera. Most of the entries are written in German, and all date to the 1930s.

Drawings, clippings, and photos accompany many of the entries. The book is about 100 pages long (rough estimate), but only around half the pages are filled. You can look at a few of the standouts below!

I also found three or four of these old bulletins from the Temple Emanu-el, which is apparently the oldest Reform synagogue in Canada. I think two were from the 30s, and one was from the 50s (I don’t know where I put them, or else I’d check). This one in particular was interesting because it was published around six months before WWII began. It features a Passover message that speaks of inclusivity and liberty in the face of racialism, a message that’s still relevant today.

I found more, mostly small things here, which I’ll share soon enough. I’ve been pretty busy recently, in large part because one particular spot is producing a tonne of very cool old stuff. Sorting through it all is a job in itself, let alone figuring out how to blog about it! But that’s a good problem to have I think.

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search for something you want / research something you have (I’m a member of the eBay Partner Network so I make a bit of money if you buy things [even if they’re not mine] or sign up for an account via these links)
3. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
4. Follow me on Instagram
5. Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com

The great sink experiment

In the past I never gave sinks a second glance, but this year I’ve picked up a bunch. I have more storage space than I used to, making them less of a burden in that way, and I’m also a sucker for vintage architectural elements. But the main reason for the change was that I thought they could make me some money.

The first one I saved was this pink one from the early 60s. I brought it to the auction house, and ended up buying it back for 12$. Not a great result, but sometimes you need to put the extra work in if you want to make the extra money. I ended up listing it on Kijiji, and eventually the sink sold for 50$.

I found this late 50s green / jadeite sink outside an apartment building off Cote-des-Neiges.

This one cleaned up pretty well, and also sold for 50$, though it did take maybe a month and a half to find a buyer.

My biggest haul of sinks came from an apartment building near downtown. I picked up five yellow ones, which I think date to the late 60s. They were pretty dirty, but I cleaned them up pretty good with a hose and some elbow grease. I haven’t had much luck selling them so far though. It’s pretty clear that sinks are pretty slow movers, but I’d like to open up that space in my garage eventually!

I also picked up this white pedestal sink in TMR. It hasn’t sold yet either.

My most recent addition is this cast iron pedestal sink, which I found on Monday night in Cote-des-Neiges.

This beast was near the upper limit of what I can reasonably carry & lift, which I’d guess is about 75 pounds.

It was made in Port Hope, Ontario. I thought it was older, but I think it was actually made in 1953.

The main issue: it was dirty. The grunge on the bottom looked like damp, caked-on cardboard, which isn’t the worst thing to clean off, but it still looked pretty gross.

Here’s how it looks after about 15 minutes of effort. Already the sides are looking pretty clean, and a fair bit of the grunge has been removed. I’m going to use a plastic scraper tool to get rid of the rest of the cardboard, and then hopefully I can get the white of the enamel back without much effort.

We’ll see how it goes. Perhaps I’ll come to regret lugging this thing to my garage, but for now I’m optimistic that it’ll sell for something. If you have any experience in the sink market, please share your thoughts in the comments! Also, sink cleaning advice would be much appreciated.

Links

1. Facebook page
2. My eBay listings, Sign up for eBay, Search for something you want / research something you have (I’m a member of the eBay Partner Network so I make a bit of money if you buy things [even if they’re not mine] or sign up for an account via these links)
3. Help me pay off student loan debt / Contribute to the blog
4. Follow me on Instagram
5. Email: thingsifindinthegarbage@gmail.com