Last of 2018 pt.2

Recently I’ve been covering downtown, in particular the Golden Square Mile a little more often. I think I’ve been underestimating the potential of apartment buildings, especially those housing a wealthier demographic. Sure, most apartment trash goes down a chute and mixes together at the bottom, creating an extremely smelly and generally undesirable concoction that I’d prefer to avoid at all costs. However, I’m sure a lot of people, when moving or clearing out an apartment, figure that it’s easier to bring their bags of goodies to the curb rather than cram all their junk down a small hole. Or, so I can hope.

Regardless, I found these coins just off Doctor Penfield while out on a casual run with my mom. There’s more than 10 Euros there, as well as 6+ British pounds, which adds up to around 25 Canadian dollars.

People throw out their foreign coins on a pretty regular basis. This is my current stash of Euros and British Pounds, the currencies most worth holding onto (I also keep Australian & New Zealand dollars but those don’t turn up quite as often).

I forget what this all adds up to now, but it definitely translates to somewhere around 100 Canadian dollars. Most foreign exchange places have no interest in coins but I was able to sell my last collection to a couple of blog readers for somewhere between 1:1 and the actual exchange rate. If anyone else is traveling to Europe soon and doesn’t mind bringing a couple pounds of coins with them let me know!

This pile provided my best downtown apartment finds in recent memory.

Many of the bags held gross chute trash but others contained old china and other kitchenware. You’d think that this kind of stuff would break on its way to the curb but more often than not it survives the trip.

This place was perhaps most notable for its platters, a couple of which look to be quite old. The one at top left is a Paloma Picasso piece so that’s not quite vintage, but the ones below it are definitely dated.

I’d guess that this one is the oldest of the bunch – it has a sort of uneven glaze, especially on the bottom, and bears no signature. After a bit of google searching I found a platter that has a similar design, at least in terms of the octagonal shape and the way it was glazed. That one was made in the 1700s, and shows wear on the underside that you’d expect from a piece that age. Mine doesn’t show much sign of wear, save for a few chips around the edges, meaning that it’s either been extremely well preserved (aside from it’s trip to the curb) or is a relatively recent reproduction. I don’t know much about old dishes, so please let us know if you do!

This one looks quite old as well. The pattern slows slight inconsistencies, making me think it was painted by hand. It does have a mark of some kind on the underside, though I have no idea what it says. It’s possible that they’re letters or numbers in a language other than English – the first two symbols look a lot like Arabic.

I also found this little guy. It measures about 15×6″ and looks pretty “mid-century.” Unfortunately it doesn’t seem to be signed, but let me know if you’ve seen something similar.

This large 17″ decorative dish was also an interesting find. There’s a Star of David in the middle so I’d assume it’s of Jewish origin but I know nothing of the design otherwise. There are wires on the back for wall hanging, but I suppose those could have been put on after the fact. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, so let me know if you have! Regardless, I feel lucky to have found it in such good condition.

Unfortunately that was all I found here. Maybe I missed out on even more great stuff on the previous garbage days…

I found a bunch of intriguing stuff at a spot in TMR this summer, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to catalogue most of it. I still have one unusual object I found there, that being this ceramic vase (about 5″ in diameter) that looks like stone or petrified wood.

It’s signed on the bottom but I can’t make out what it says. If you know anything about it please let us know in the comments!

I found this necklace in with some other less notable pieces. There aren’t any hallmarks but I’m guessing it’s made from a low grade silver (like 80%). I should test it. Anyways, it’s a neat design and I’m hoping someone here will recognize it. It looks a bit “tribal” to me.

The dryer at my house broke, so when I happened upon this one on the curb in a rich part of town I decided to give it a shot. I didn’t know if it would fit in the car, but it slipped into my hatchback with an inch or two to spare. I wish I had a video of me wrestling this into the car by myself – it was quite the feat! It did end up working, so I’m glad I made the effort.

Let’s finish with this old c. 1930s “Magicoal” faux fireplace that I spotted one night on my way back from the grocery store. I met the guy who brought it to the curb, he was clearing out his apartment because the triplex he was living in had recently sold. He encouraged me to take it, and mentioned that it had been in the house since he moved in – and presumably for a long time before that.

I was going to take it either way. These things make fun mood lights (as seen above), and if I decided not to keep it I knew it’d sell for a bit of money at the auction house. As I went to pick it up I also thought about how it’d be a great place to stash something.

Indeed, I looked in the back and spotted a dusty bank envelope. I excitedly carried the beast (the thing is cast iron and must weigh about 50 pounds) back to the car for further inspection.

Inside the envelope was 262$! I doubt it belonged to the guy who tossed it, as he was younger and didn’t seem like the type to forget their stash (especially after going out of his way to bring this thing to the curb). I’m guessing it was left by a previous tenant – the bills were all from 2004 and the toonie, which looked lightly circulated was made in 2012.

I never had much luck finding actual cash in the trash before 2018, but then I found three figure stashes on three separate occasions. I’d be happy if this trend continues in 2019, but it’s more likely that the garbage gods will choose to reward me in some other totally unpredictable way.

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Last of 2018 pt.1

Before I sum up my 2018 campaign I figured I’d share the rest of my now year-old photos and start 2019 with a fresh slate. These finds came from another interesting spot in Nouveau Bordeaux, a part of town that is quickly becoming one of my favourites. I met the folks doing the tossing and they didn’t mind my looking through their trash at all, in fact they encouraged me to do so. I haven’t seen anything there since, but I have the feeling more will appear on the curb at some point in the future.

I really like these old aluminum canisters. They feature both French and Arabic writing and I wasn’t able to find any similar ones online (though perhaps I was searching in the wrong language). Either way, I expect them to sell for a bit more than the usual vintage canister. I currently have them priced at 90$, which I think is a high but reasonable valuation. They were pretty grimy when I found them, but they cleaned up pretty nice!

This place provided a couple of cool ashtrays, including this one from Florida …

… and the 1964 New York World’s Fair Unisphere one at top left. Those Expo 67 trays were in great shape, and while common they still sell pretty easily.

I found some decent kitchen stuff here, including the pie plates above and the sturdy old pizza pan below. I also saved some miscellaneous pieces of Pyrex that are now part of a lot at the local auction house (edit: the lot sold for around 40$, I wasn’t able to get the post up before the auction ended).

I think these are bowls for a hookah pipe, though the flat tops are a bit unusual. The auction house didn’t want them, but I think they might do well as a lot on eBay.

I also found a bunch of jewelry and mending materials. Much of it wasn’t worth keeping, but I did set aside several Bakelite and glass buttons, some yard sale worthy jewelry, and a few more interesting bits.

The enameled scarab brooch is hallmarked with something that looks like “300” or “500” but neither seems to be a known gold purity (500 would be 12k, but that’s not a commonly used purity or hallmark). I’ll have to have it tested, or maybe it’s time to figure out how to test gold myself. To the right of that are some WWII-era “wings” that were turned into a screw-back earring. The copper bracelet also has a military look to it. I’ve never seen anything quite like it, so please let us know if you have!

Lastly, with the encouragement of the tosser I took home a suitcase full of old clothes, most of which dated from the 60s and 70s. Judging from the patterns and tags I’d guess that these made their way to Canada from somewhere around the Middle East, perhaps Turkey, Egypt, or Lebanon. I figured an eclectic consignment shop would have the most interest, so I brought them to Eva B and got a 150$ store credit. Not bad! I hate shopping for clothes and rarely do it, but fortunately this place also lets you buy tasty and reasonably healthy food with your store credit (I’d recommend a visit if you’ve never been!). Below is a selection of the most notable pieces according to me, plus a picture of a tag I found inside one of the jackets.

Now let’s travel way back to the summer when I was too busy to focus much on the blog. This jewelry haul was my best find from one particular spot in a rich part of town. There was a bit of gold and a lot of silver, the most valuable piece being that bangle near the middle of the picture.

It was made by the Georg Jensen company sometime after 1945 (I’d guess the 50s or 60s). His name carries a lot of prestige, and I expect this piece to eventually sell for around 3-400$.

I also fished this old 80% Italian silver pill box from the bottom of the recycling bin. It should sell for around 100-150$. I like to think I saved everything good from that bin, but it’s pretty hard to look through a 360 liter container when it’s stuffed full of junk.

Elsewhere, I found this Tiffany collar in its original packaging the same night I found a Montblanc pen also in its original box. That was a good run!

It’s not that often I find luxury products in their original boxes, so this was definitely an outlier. However, as a trash picker I’m bound to beat the odds (in one way or another) a few times a year. The sterling silver 1837 collar was in great condition and should sell for 300$.

 

I’ll try to get part two up soon, and then it’ll be time to close the book on 2018 with a “best of” post.

Otherwise, I want to apologize to all the people who have sent me emails in the last six months because I’ve been very bad at responding to them. I don’t think my brain is made for multi-tasking, and my emails often fall to the wayside behind picking, eBay, blogging, and so on. I will try to catch up soon however, and start fresh in the New Year.

On a related note, from now on I can no longer fulfill most item requests. I may make an exception for uncommon items that provoke a specific nostalgia, but for things that can be easily found elsewhere I would suggest buying from someone else. For one, my brain explodes when I try to juggle too many things at once, and organizing a private sale requires more energy than if I sold the item as I normally would. Also, these days a lot of my junk is already listed, packed away, or long gone by the time it makes the blog. If you consistently like my finds your best bet is to keep an eye on my eBay listings, come to my yard sales, and sign up for an account at Encans Quebec, the local auction house I frequent. I’ll try to link to their still active listings of my items when possible (unfortunately, there’s no way to link you to a specific account page like I can with eBay). They do offer shipping, so even if you’re nowhere near Montreal you can still buy their stuff.

There was quite the snowstorm on Sunday, and it’s been very cold to boot. I’ve skipped a couple garbage runs as a result – the potential (but not guarantee) of quality garbage did not outweigh my desire to not go outside and not lose my parking spot. However, the streets should be cleaned up soon, and the temperature is expected to rise so I’ll be back out there soon enough.

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

White Owl

Let’s go back a couple of months to this pile I happened upon in Cote-des-Neiges. I met a woman involved in the tossing and she told me they were clearing out an apartment that had been empty for years.

A lot of the stuff in there was pretty old. I found a few interesting radios, including these little transistors. The Sharp sold for 13$ at eBay auction, which was a bit disappointing as I know I could have gotten more using a set price. The market for some transistor radios is pretty good overall, but I guess there’s a lot of models to choose from, thus making an auction for any individual radio a bit risky (unless it’s one of the most collectible models of course). I added the Zenith to a portable radio lot that did well at the local auction house.

This old Candle 12 Transistor is pretty neat. It works, though the controls are very quirky. I’ll likely bring it to the local auction once their vacations are over.

This portable tube radio is definitely the oldest of the bunch – it probably dates to the early 1930s (“Patented 1916-1932 inclusive”). It was made by General Electric, but the exact model number was erased by the rust. It was probably high tech for its time!

I couldn’t find anything quite like it online, so if you happen to recognize it please let me know! To view a close-up of the photos below, scroll to the bottom of the screen and click “view full-size.”

 

A few of these pictures aren’t great, but at some point I figured crappy photos were better than none at all. I still have to replace the photography umbrella bulbs that were stolen during that crazy yard sale, and it’s harder to take photos outside in the winter. Anyways, this is a beautiful mid-century portable record player made by Philips. It didn’t work at all, but still sold for 44$ at the local auction. It’s very much in style at the moment.

The eBay auction result for this VW beetle was also disappointing, perhaps for the same reason as the transistor radio. It didn’t help though that I misspelt “Volkswagen” and forgot to add the VW keyword. Oh well! I guess another good thing about Buy It Now listings is that they give you more time to fix your mistakes – eBay doesn’t let you change much once an auction starts, and they don’t like you cancelling auctions that have bids on them.

This Tri-Ang electric Jaguar seems to be worth around 30$, though I’ll probably use it to sweeten to future toy car lot at the local auction house.

This awesome poker chip caddy was made from solid Bakelite, which was the first plastic made from synthetic compounds. It was very popular from the 1920s to early 1940s, and is now pretty collectible due to its solid nature and excellent color. This piece sold pretty quickly on eBay for 120$ + shipping.

This Parker 75 “ciselé” ballpoint pen & mechanical pencil set was also pretty collectible. The pair sold pretty quickly for 150$ + shipping.

I also saved a stash of Canadian Tire money, which looks more impressive than it is (I’d guess there’s about 3$ in there) …

… a collection of 8×10″ racetrack photos (there were four in total, and they’ll soon be listed at the auction house);

… a receipt from 1920 (one can only wonder why the previous owner thought this was worth framing!);

… a vintage fan;

… and some miscellaneous junk. The clock goes with the marble pen holder, it just needs to be glued back on. I’ve never found smelling salts before, and wouldn’t have expected them to have been made by a traditional perfumer like Yardley.

This spot was most notable for providing neat old junk boxes, most of which once held cigars.

One held some less interesting papers, as well as several pennies and a well worn 18k gold ring.

Another held old business cards, some old stamps, and a silver dime. I’ve found a lot of vintage business cards recently, many of which were made for establishments that once did business not far from my home. I’m thinking it might be fun to walk around and match the business with the building, taking a picture of both and sharing them on Instagram. Could be a good excuse to get out of the house at least! What do you think?

This box held the most valuable item of the bunch.

Inside was a collection of interesting paper ephemera, including this dollar bill and a bunch of old bus tickets.

There were a few old photos inside, most of which featured this dog.

Most of the papers were sports-related, however. Here’s some old horse-racing tickets & schedules …

… some Canadians & Alouettes schedules;

… a bunch of tickets stubs, mostly from minor hockey and Expos games;

… and a collection of Expos schedules. Most of these weren’t worth much, with the exception being the 1970 Expos schedule at bottom right. It was made for the 1970 season, the 2nd of the Expos, and appears to be fairly uncommon. I listed it at 95$ and it sold very quickly – perhaps I could have gotten more for it, but oh well.

This spot didn’t produce for very long, but my finds here still netted me at least 500$. Not bad! However, in my next post I’ll share some junk from an even more profitable pile.

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