Le quartier ukrainienne

I’ve been keeping my eye on this spot in Rosemont for a few months now (as you can probably tell from the snow in this picture!). It’s near Boulevard St Michel, in a part of town that’s home to a large Ukrainian population. One thing I enjoy about visiting different parts of town is finding different kinds of stuff, and I appreciated the little look into Ukraine that this trash provided me.

[Here’s an interesting fact I found on Wikipedia: “According to the 2016 Census, there are over 1.35 million Canadians of Ukrainian background living in Canada, giving Canada the third-largest Ukrainian population behind Ukraine itself and Russia.” I didn’t know it was that many!].

On this day one of the bags looked to have been run over by a truck. There were bits of junk all over the place, but I tried to clean it up as best I could (I keep extra garbage bags in the car just in case the need arises).

That bag held some interesting stuff. I found an old Expo 67 just laying there on the ice. It survived in pretty good condition, but probably wouldn’t have if it had ended up in the stream of water not far away.

One neat thing I found that day was this silver & enamel pin. According to people on Instagram it means “Ukrainian Canadian Committee” (or something along those lines).

I finally got my photo lights set up the other day, and I figured processing the stuff I found here should be my first order of business. A lot of it had been sitting around since the spring, and I figured it was time to add most of it to my yard sale pile. If you like the photos, or have any constructive criticism please let me know in the comments! Also, remember to zoom in if you want a better look!

Here we have a few film reels (contents unknown), a bowling award, the Expo 67 passport, three dusting powder containers (alas, little actual powder), and a weird boob thing with a broken bell inside. It’s made to be hung on the wall.

Here we have some quality junk, like an ashtray and pen holder both featuring the number “69” and some bowling pins. Not sure how they’re related, but I’m sure someone will appreciate them at my upcoming yard sale. The walrus on the left is one of those faux Inuit pieces that apparently littered gift shops back in the day – here’s an article from 1983 discussing the issue.

The lily tin was filled with sewing stuff. The wooden box on the right was made for Invincible cigars.

I found these small things the same day as the cigar box, and I had them stashed in there for the last little while. I love finding those old wire rim glasses, in good condition they usually sell for around 30-40$.

Here’s some miscellaneous quality vintage junk. I’m a sucker for old containers, so I picked up some “Suede Renew” spray, Lady Empire shoe colouring, and Baribo-Maid toothpicks. That bottle of Crabtree & Evelyn “Lily of the Valley” eau de toilette still smells pretty good! It looks to be a popular scent, and should be worth listing on eBay.

Here’s a big collection of little junk. The most valuable item might be the Birks “Regency [silver] Plate” ring box to the top right of the Bay Bob Pins. It’s a nice piece, and looks to sell for around 60$ on eBay. Otherwise we have another bowling trophy, an image of the Ukrainian Orthodox Jesus in a brass frame, an “I love to read” pin, some kind of Eastern European perfume, and an old Schwartz tarragon tin.

The icons were one of my most recent finds from this spot. These people are tossing pretty intermittently these days, but it’s not too far out of the way so I still go every week just to see.

The blue piggy bank on the right was made by Reliable toys. I found a pink one exactly like it a while back. The “baby” cup (second from bottom left) is pretty cute as well.

Yes, those sunglasses are larger than usual. There’s a silver tie clip around the middle, and next to it is an enameled pin. The Japanese fan originates from Expo 70 in Osaka.

One day I saved a bunch of handkerchiefs, many of which were stuffed in the pouch on the bottom right. I think handkerchiefs are coming back into style somewhat, and I expect these to be popular at my upcoming garage sale.

A lot of this paper ephemera originates from a Furness Bermuda Line cruise. The trip in question took place in 1953, which seems to be around when the post-war cruise industry was peaking (later to be replaced by “megaship” cruising).

One day I found these two paper bags with old ponytails inside. I didn’t know what I’d do with them, but I’m drawn to save unusual items! I think there’s a market for old hair, but I don’t know what people do with it. I think it’s too old to be of much use in wigs…

Otherwise, this Labatt lamp was a fun find. It sold at auction for around 10$. I was hoping for more (local brewery stuff often does pretty well, even when it’s really kitschy) but that’s realistically about what it was worth.

I also saved a nice old Waterman fountain pen. It’s definitely an older model, probably dating to the 30s or 40s, and comes with a 14k gold nib. I haven’t had time to research it much, but I’m sure it’s worth at least 50-60$.

So, a lot of fun finds, and some with a bit of value as well. I’ll keep my eye on that spot, and if they toss anything else of note I’ll be sure to post it here.

I’m planning another garage sale for tomorrow. Most of these things will be there, as will lots of other things. I hope to clear the place out and start fresh! The address is 924 St Gregoire near Laurier Park, and I’ll probably be open from around 12 to 6 (probably a bit later too, if people keep showing up). It’s supposed to actually be hot out for the first time this year so prepare accordingly!

Links

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Restlessness pt.1

I happened upon one of my best spots so far this year completely by accident. I was feeling restless one evening and I decided to go on a garbage run that hasn’t been in my regular rotation for some time (basically, the Montreal West area at night). On my way there I got the idea to check out a couple of streets in a different rich neighbourhood where the garbage is usually picked up early in the morning before I can get there. That’s where I found this massive pile of trash, and discovered a spot that would produce many treasures over the next few weeks.

I met the guy doing the tossing that first night. He seemed pleasant and a bit eccentric. He was happy that I was interested in some of the bigger objects, but was convinced that there was nothing good inside the bags. He was worried I’d make a mess if I looked through them and I couldn’t convince him otherwise. He seemed stressed out, so I decided to continue my trash run and return later in the evening. Fortunately, when I returned maybe two hours later there was no one in sight and I could do my work in peace. I ended up filling the car with bags, and sorting them later in my garage.

In a way he was right, probably 95% of the stuff in those bags was worthless. However, there were also a few treasures within. This bag held some old Archaeology journals, as well as a glass case filled with sherds.

Generally speaking I don’t think individual sherds are very valuable, even if they’re ancient. Still, they’re definitely cool! There were a couple of coins in one of the sections, and maybe those are worth something.

One coin dated to the 1870s (it’s hard to say where it’s from, the other side is pretty illegible), but the other looks to date back to ancient Greece. I’m not a coin expert, so please share any knowledge you might have! I know there are lots of quality replicas out there, but my guess is that this one is real. The fact that it comes in a little package makes it seem a bit more legit.

I don’t think most ancient coins are super valuable either, but I’m sure it’s worth something to someone…

A lot of other great stuff was packed away in little old boxes, like this one from Eaton’s.

Here’s a look inside…

… and here’s the unpacked contents. The dolls look pretty old, I think their faces are made of plaster. I assumed that the piece of wood with two pegs went with them, but now I’m not sure. Either way, the piece of wood is from Poland, Krakow specifically – you can see the stamp below. I also found two skeleton keys, a nice old brooch (probably early 20th century & made from brass), a piece of birch bark with (Polish?) writing on it, and an old pair of eyeglasses of the “pince-nez” variety. That style was apparently most popular in the late 1800s.

Later I was surprised to spot a 14k gold hallmark on the glasses, which you can see in the photo on the right. I’ve never found solid gold eyeglasses before, and this puts their value probably in the low hundreds of dollars. The letters “EBM” are also stamped on the glasses, but I haven’t figured out what that means.

Other boxes contained natural materials, like this box of rocks and shells. One rock had “GaspĂ© 58” written on it.

Another box held a large collection of small driftwood. I wondered what I would do with all this stuff, but fortunately the auction house decided it was interesting enough to sell as a lot. It’s actually listed right now, and the bidding ends tomorrow (Thursday) at around 8:10pm. If you’re interested check it out here!

That’s really just the beginning, but let’s finish with some things I wouldn’t have saved if I hadn’t have returned that first night. There were a few cool things in this old, beat up file box, including an Esterbrook fountain pen and a 1950s (fairly early) Dunhill Rollagas lighter.

You can see the Rollagas again at the bottom left of this shot. Dunhill lighters are pretty sought after, and I recently sold mine via eBay auction for 124.50$ even though it wasn’t in perfect condition. Not bad!

Otherwise, we have a collection of mostly local matchbooks, a few coins, a Parker ballpoint pen with a sterling silver cap, a knife and fork in 800 (80%) silver, and a 10k gold heart-shaped pendant. Not bad for “junk”!

This spot has a lot more to share, but I figure it’s best to space it out a bit. Plus, there’s still some stuff I want to get pictures of.

Elsewhere, garbage has been off the hook lately. That’s always a good thing, but my garage is a mess and I’m definitely feeling a bit overworked (but not quite burnt out). I am occasionally tempted to put everything (or at least the yard sale stuff) back on the street, but it’s probably best to resist those urges.

At this point the only way to get my garage organized is to get rid of some stuff, so I’m hoping to do a yard sale this weekend, probably Sunday. I’ll add an edit below on Saturday updating the status one way or the other.

Edit: Garage sale is Saturday instead because they’re now calling for thunderstorms on Sunday! Address is 924 St Gregoire, near Laurier Park starting around noon.

I also decided to buy new photos lights. I think these ones are better suited for taking the kind of photos I want and I’m excited to set them up.

Links

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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
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Shredded bags & tiny treasures

I mentioned in my last post that I’ve been finding lots of jewelry. Well, since then I’ve found even more, though not much of it was top quality.

I spotted this pile on one of my runs last week. A nosy neighbour watched me from their window but I pretended not to notice. The first bags I examined were stuffed full of old purses, each of which were wrapped in a plastic shopping bag. None were worth saving from my estimation (the materials used don’t tend to age well), and I almost moved on before happening upon a bag stuffed with jewelry.

Like the purses, most pieces were stored in old plastic shopping bags.

It was the kind of jewelry you see at the pharmacy. No silver or gold in sight, but most was brand new with price tags attached. It took me a while to empty all the small bags into one big bag! There were around 200 pieces in all, including about 25 watches.

Some of the bags had degraded over time into the tiny bits you see above. They were pretty staticky and often got stuck to my skin. It was gross, and it made me think about all the other decomposing plastics littering the planet.

Here’s my workspace after it was all done. I needed a vacuum to clean up all those little pieces of plastic! It was worth it though. I gave this hoard to another picker friend; he does yard sales sometimes and is a much better seller than I am. We have a 50/50 arrangement, which I think is fair. It also helps me focus on the things I enjoy selling most, that being quality vintage junk.

I have to wonder why this person owned so much unused jewellery. I suppose they could have worked in the industry, but I’m leaning more towards compulsive shopping and perhaps dementia. That’s sad to think about, but unfortunately it’s a reality for some people.

Update: I passed this house again a couple days ago and found another bag (not quite as big, and not as much degraded plastic) filled with similar jewelry. I wonder how long this will go for…

I was excited to find this bag of jewelry (and also some bits near the bottom of the trash bag) in a rich part of town. As it turns out most of it wasn’t too great – there was an estate sale at the house a couple weeks later, so I guess they kept the best stuff. Still, I found a few good pieces, including four medals made for Canada’s 125th year. I’m guessing they were prototypes, as I also found the printing block to go with them.

The silver WWII-era RCAF bracelet is maybe the coolest piece here (I blurred out the name for privacy reasons). It’s worth around 20-30$. The single earring on the left is marked 925, and I think the bangle is as well though the hallmark is not very legible. Both the rings are unmarked, but I suspect the one on the right is solid gold. The one on the left may be silver, but regardless it has a cool modern design.

This little box I found not far from home contained one minor treasure – the silver enameled Catholic charm on the right. I was hoping for more from this spot, but this is the best I’ve found thus far.

I found even more jewellery on a rainy day in Westmount. I’m guessing this was rich kid trash.

I saved some decent costume jewelry and a few silver pieces, including a cute bee pendant. The necklace on the right is pretty nice too, the silverwork is quite good and the red bits look to be coral. I’m not sure what it’s worth, so let me know if you have any ideas! I’m guessing it was bought while on vacation somewhere.

One productive spot was notable in that the tosser had a habit of throwing quality small “junk”, including jewelry in with the kitchen waste. One night I saved a little 14k gold BeauprĂ© watch and a 14k maple leaf pendant that purports to be gold (I’m not 100% sure, so I’ll have it tested). My car got dusted by some kind of flour while looking through the bag but it was definitely worth it. The watch is worth around 100$, and the pendant (if gold) is probably about the same.

Last week they tossed this cute vintage Charlie Brown trash can. It’s gone to the auction house, though part of me wishes I kept it… I think those people have since moved, so that’s probably it for the floury trash.

My car was in the shop for a couple of days (big bill, but I should be good for a while!) so I went on my first bike run in some time. I used my roommate’s beater, which wasn’t smooth in any way but it got me where I wanted to go (I’ve since bought a new used bike). My usual spots didn’t produce, but I did save my first MacBook Pro of the year in part thanks to my slow pace.

It’s a mid-2009 in pretty good cosmetic condition. I got it working after doing a hard reset of sorts, but I think the hard drive is on its last legs (not unexpected for a 10 year old laptop). Either way, it should be worth around 150-200$.

I still have lots of other great stuff (including jewelry) to show you, but that’ll have to wait for another day. One spot in particular was excellent, and I have to figure out how best to share it all here. Otherwise, spring cleaning is finally in full swing and I’ve definitely benefited from the extra trash.

I spent about 10 hours organizing my garage last week. I feel good about it now, and once I have a yard sale things should open up even more. After I clear out some junk it should be easier to get my old photo studio going again, which is obviously good news for the blog.

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