Sunnyside

Quality finds were pretty hard to come by all through February and so far in March, but I expect things to pick up once spring cleaning gets going. Here’s some stuff from late September, when some rich folks moved from a house they’d clearly been in for a while. They were nice, and told me to take whatever I wanted.

This bag interested me because I saw a jewelry/trinket box poking out the side. I brought the whole bag to the car and sorted through it there, partly for convenience and partly because people can be weird about their bags. Most of my best finds were inside.

A lot of it was kids stuff from the 70s and 80s. I brought these games, electronic and otherwise to the auction where they sold for 60$ or so.

I also brought them mementos from a slightly controversial 1986 class trip to the Soviet Union. They sold for 22$ if I recall correctly.

Here’s some sunglasses and watches, the nicest of which were vintage Timex. Nothing super fancy, but they did sell on eBay for a bit.

I saved a lot of miscellaneous “quality junk,” the kind of stuff which is fun for yard sales.

Some of this stuff, like the “thumbcuffs,” were sold on my new Instagram account “garbagefindssells.” To be clear, I got someone else (Katie) to run the account in exchange for a good cut of the profits because I suck at doing that kind of thing. So far it’s gone as well as I could possibly have hoped, helping me unload a certain class of item more quickly and for more money than I’d get at the yard sale or at auction. Also, I like how the format helps to highlight certain items that might not look like much at first glance.

If someone wants to go back in time and beat the 1980 Selwyn House football team I got their playbook!

Lightly used wallets are always a hit at my yard sales, and these ones weren’t even used!

Believe it or not vintage batteries can sell for decent money on eBay. I’ve been stashing them away for a while, and now I might have enough for a lot. 

As is often the case, my most valuable finds were some bits of jewelry. I saved a silver Wolf Cubs ring, silver Mount Stephen Club cufflinks, a large silver ring with the word “veritas” and a lion on it, a 14k gold razor blade pendant, and a gold chain with a skeleton key pendant attached. All in all, this spot netted me several hundred to a thousand dollars worth of stuff.

I know I said I would post more, but I’ve been feeling uninspired to say the least. Depressed is probably a better word. I blame February, the weather and the 8pm curfew we had, which our all-knowing Premier graciously extended to 9:30pm yesterday. I suppose the curfew is all well and good if you have a family to go to home to, but for us single folk it can be a pretty isolating experience. Plus, I’m not sure it accomplished anything. Cases are down, sure, but in my opinion that’s due to the other restrictions. Anyone who tried doing grocery shopping before curfew started knows first-hand that forcing people to go to the store (or do anything, for that matter) around the same time isn’t a great way to encourage social distancing. Anyways, don’t get me started!

I look forward to the warmer weather, the later curfew (and, perhaps one day no curfew), and finding good trash again.

The rusty blue dumpster pt.2

It’s a new year, and I have lots of aging garbage pics to share before they stop feeling relevant. This dumpster was an exciting destination for me in the late summer. I must have spent a few hours in there all and all, pulling out intriguing old junk while trying to avoid cutting myself on broken glass or stabbing myself with nails.

I really had to dig deep in the dumpster to pull out this 1930s light therapy lamp made by Hanovia Chemical in Newark NJ. The top section pops out, so that wasn’t too bad, but the bottom section must have weighed 100 pounds and was sitting at the very bottom of the dumpster. It was quite the feat of strength to get it to the top of the dumpster, and then I used a piece of wood to roll it out.

I brought it to the auction, and it ended up selling for 5$. After all that effort, all I could do was laugh! At least it probably sold to a tinkerer who’ll probably do something cool with it, but if I knew I was only going to make 5$ (- fees) I might have left this beast in the dumpster. At least it was a good workout. Unfortunately, the actual bulb broke before I got there, likely from being thrown in a dumpster, so that definitely reduced its value.

I picked up a whole lotta hardware here – more pics below.

That wrench was the biggest one I’ve ever found, or maybe even seen.

I haven’t been able to test this grinder yet but I’m betting it works.

Otherwise, I picked up a shoe shine box, which included some very old paste made by Palmer McLellan in Fredericton, New Brunswick…

… a few interesting framed things (unfortunately, no group of 7s);

… a collection of old books, mostly for kids (I just brought most of these to the auction in the past week);

… a collection of vintage blankets, many of which were wool (the Ayers one in the pouch on top got a nice price at the auction, I’m thinking 75$ but it sold a while back now);

… and a c.1950s Wood Arctic Junior “Sleeping Robe.” Apparently these replaced wool blankets as the go-to for winter camping and travel in the late 1800s/early 1900s, but were later set aside in favor of more modern sleeping bags starting in the 1960s. You can find a good explanation of the history, as well as more pics here. Vintage camping gear seems to be a popular market, and I expect this old robe to sell for around 200$.

Moral of the story: most of the time dumpsters are full of renovation junk, but occasionally they can get stuffed full of quality junk as well.

Otherwise, the Fiesta from part one only got to 80$ at auction. Thankfully I put a reserve at 100$, so I got them back (at a cost of 10$) and gave them to a friend to sell. She got 250$. It’s often a buyer’s market at the auction, and it’s hard to know whether a specific niche will generate a bidding war, so I’m glad I have a few people now who’ll list this stuff for me. If you put in the effort yourself, you’ll almost always get a better price, I just don’t have time to do it all myself.

Wild horses / not so fast

I decided to do a Monday morning run for the first time in a while. It was real cold out, so I did my usual driving route which includes the Golden Square Mile, some Westmount adjacent, and a bit of Cote-des-Neiges. I didn’t have much luck til near the end of my run, when I spotted this horse near the UdM campus.

It was an old Tri-ang rocking horse, probably from the 1950s. The horse is metal, apparently tinplate which is steel or iron coated with tin. All in all it’s in pretty decent shape for its age, just missing the “hair” and the rubber saddle is all dried up (here’s a pic of a pretty similar horse).

As I was loading it in my car, the previous owner came out to talk to me. She was really happy to see that I was taking it, telling me that she’d bought it as a project 10 years ago but never got around to it. It’s always nice to have a positive encounter out on the curb. I brought this to the auction, and soon it will be someone else’s project.

At the same pile was this cute hand-made rocking horse. Apparently, when the neighbour of this woman saw her horse on the curb, he decided to bring over a horse of his own that he was looking to purge. Anyways, I took this guy as well and dropped him off at the auction.

Otherwise, here’s some pics from a spot I mostly wrote off, but ended up producing one more good haul. I picked up a few nice bits of glass and pottery, including those colourful ashtrays, two cute Mexican plates (signed by someone fairly known, but I forget who right now), and a promotional Continental tire ashtray. That style of ashtray has become fairly collectible, and I think this one ended up selling for around 40$ at auction.

Here’s a few more bits and bobs, like a vintage electronic blackjack game and some coins, including one of those 10% silver Mexicans pesos from the the 1960s.

I also found a neat old transferware plate with a copper frame. I’m not sure if the frame was there originally, or if it was added after because of that big crack in the middle (I read somewhere that you can make the stain go away using boiling milk, but there’s got to be a better way).

Here’s the production mark on the back for folks that are interested in such things. I’d like to know more about it, but I didn’t have any luck figuring this one out. Please let us know in the comments if you have any ideas!

Lastly, I found a box full of vials containing weird compounds like c25h34o4 aka Crispatene. I don’t actually know what that means and after googling it I still don’t, other than it’s probably used in organic chemistry. Anyways, I didn’t really want to mess around with this stuff so I brought them to the eco-centre for safe disposal.

Anyways, I’ve spent much of the last three days on the computer following this dang election which is hopefully over soon. I’ve still been doing my runs, and have continued my string of good luck. I found bit of gold today and Monday, which is always exciting and profitable. Anyways, I’m hoping to share more here soon now that I’ve gotten most of my big organizational / winter preparation projects done.