A cornucopia of quality vintage junk pt.1

I was having a pretty average run a couple weeks back before happening upon a collection of around 20 trash bags in front of a fourplex in TMR. That’s a fair bit more garbage than you typically see coming from four households, so I checked it out and ended up saving quite the variety of quality vintage junk (QVJ). I pretty well filled up the car, taking maybe 1/3 of the total volume from the bags when all was said and done. While there were no “omg” finds, I found a few things for eBay, some auction worthy items, and a lot of great yard sale stuff.

That box of records came from another house, FYI. It was actually a pretty good collection, including a lot of classic rock that’s typically pretty easy to sell.

One of the first things I found was a large stash of silverware. I enjoy finding these collections, as there’s sometimes a bit of sterling mixed in with the plated stuff (and the plated stuff is still nice, good for the yard sales).

On the right is the cutlery I saved for a future yard sale, and on the left is the more common stuff I left on the curb for others to pick through.

I did find my bit of sterling, a small spoon made by Birks. It’s always a bit of a thrill to find solid silver, even if it’s only worth about 10$. You can see how dirty my finds got picking through all that tarnish!

I saved a whole bunch of nice vintage scissors here. These are always a hit at my yard sales.

(PS: my camera is working fine again after I bought a new battery for it. This is the only picture from this post I shot using the camera, as opposed to my iPhone).

This spot was noteworthy for providing notable quantities of certain vintage items, in this case rotary phones. Finding four in one night, let alone one spot, is likely my all-time record. These old rotaries tend to do well at the auction-house, so I’ll likely bring them there when they open again.

Here we have a collection of radios. I haven’t done much research yet. but I’d guess that Hitachi transistor in the middle is worth a bit of money. People like their transistor radios, and they tend to like them even more when they come in different colours. Also, it’s in very good cosmetic condition. The radio at back right, a portable RCA Victor from the 40s, is probably valuable as well.

Here’s another portable radio, as well as five different combination alarm clock / radios. For some reason these folks had two of the exact same, very boxy model of Detson flip clock. I like the boxy look (I once owned a Volvo 240), and I’m sure others will appreciate them as well.

Vintage lamps are always a good find. This one’s a pendant lamp, meant to be attached and hung maybe 1.5′ from the wall. Another easy sale, unless I decide to keep it for myself.

My most unusual find was probably this framed photo of a 1930 medical exhibition featuring a wide variety of prosthetic limbs, including the Carnes arm. The price tag indicates that the previous owner either bought it at a sale, or tried to sell it at a sale. A friend who fancies old medical stuff showed an interest in it, and I agreed to sell it to them for 20$.

Lastly, I found two large Expos 1984 team photo posters. The 80s were one of the best times to be an Expos fan – this team features three Hall of Famers (Tim Raines, Andre Dawson & Gary Carter) and Pete Rose, by then a washed up future Hall of Famer (it wasn’t til later that he was caught betting on games), not to mention lots of players worthy of the “Hall of Very Good”. The strike in ’94, terrible / cheap ownership, and constant firesales destroyed enthusiasm for the Expos, ultimately resulting in their relocation after the 2004 season, but there’s hope that they’ll return someday soon (though, for what it’s worth, I think the idea of splitting games between Montreal and Tampa Bay is ridiculous).

I sold one of these posters very quickly for 50$ on eBay. The other, which is in slightly worse condition (a bit of foxing on the right side), is listed at 43$.

There’s yet more stuff from this spot to share, but I’ll save it for my next post. I didn’t see anything but rolled up linoleum there last week, and I’m guessing this spot will end up being a “one-hit wonder.”

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 – note that it might take me some time to reply, and that I am unlikely to be able to fulfill requests for items

The card collector

Here’s some finds from a spot in NDG I’ve been tracking since before the pandemic. There’s never much out on the curb, but every week I pick up a few good bits.

So far the spot is most notable for tossing large quantities of trading / sports cards. I’ve found maybe four shopping bags full, including the two seen above. There are some Topps Chrome cards in there, which are worth a bit more than the average, but these are still relatively modern cards that don’t have much value

However, two weeks back I spotted a hoard of older cards at the bottom of the recycling bin. I spent some time picking them all out, making sure I didn’t miss any.

All these cards were from the late 50s or early 60s. That doesn’t make them automatically super valuable, but from I can tell (via eBay research) these cards tend to be worth a few bucks each, as opposed to a few pennies each for the modern ones. Most were also in pretty good condition for their age.

Maybe 1/3 of these cards featured CFL players. I divided them into three lots, and listed them a couple days ago for 100$, 65$, and 60$.

The Normie Kwong card (top left) stuck out to me. I figured that there wouldn’t have been too many Chinese football players at this time, and as it turns out he was the first in the history of the CFL. “The China Clipper” later became part owner of the Calgary Flames and Lieutenant Governor of Alberta.

Here’s a collection of 1962 “Civil War News” trading cards by Topps. The most valuable card here is the checklist in the middle – apparently these cards are less common because they tended to get marked up and thrown away. This example is in only fair condition, but it’s still worth somewhere around 80$.

5 Elvis cards were part of the collection. They were printed in 1956, and in this condition are worth around 5-10$ each.

Hockey-hungry Canadians will probably appreciate these late 1950s NHL cards. Oddly enough, there’s not a Canadien among them, but there were two Gordie (or Gordy) Howe cards from 1958 and 1959. A card like the middle one, in excellent condition recently sold for 650$, but in this condition (which is still fairly good) they’re probably worth “only” 60-80$ each

Otherwise, I saved several Fabian Forte cards (I hadn’t heard of him before finding these), four from the NFL, a bunch featuring Robin Hood, maybe 20 from various CBS TV shows, and another 20 or so Goofy Series cards. None of these are worth too much individually, so I’ll probably bring them to the auction house when they finally open again. I still have to research the value of the car series, with the Corvette as the lede, which seems to have been given out by a “Mother’s Cookies” company in 1955.

I’ve never found trading cards of this vintage before, so this is definitely my best card haul to date. Tonight I go back to this spot, and if I’m lucky maybe I’ll find some more.

Part one of a million pt. 5

February 5th was an excellent day for finds at this spot, as you’ll see below.

You really have to wonder what’s going through the heads of some people. You’d think that the value or utility of some of these things that get tossed would be obvious, but I guess that’s not always the case. Common explanations for why great things get tossed include selfishness, laziness, being blinded by privilege (ie: I think some rich people forget what a dollar / item is worth to the average person) or a combination of all three. There’s also this idea that anything old must be junk, which I’d say falls under the general banner of ignorance.

Sometimes this comes from an innocent place. Technology has greatly improved over the years, especially in recent times, so a lot of the things people used in say, the 70s aren’t so practical today. The same goes with fashion – what was cool back in the day often isn’t cool even a few years later. So I can see how some people might use a similar logic when deciding whether to toss an item, especially if they’re not familiar with the antiques & collectibles market, and have no particular interest in history.

Belief in this idea exists on a continuum (according to my theory at least), so someone might use the “old = junk” theory very rarely, or they might use it to a ridiculous degree. For this particular spot, I’d say that the latter applies. I really can’t conceive of what’s going through this person’s head when they chose to toss some of these things away.

The main theme of today’s post is coins. Here’s a “bag-o-vision” shot of several sitting loose in the bag, but there were also a few medium-sized collections stored in small clear bags (like the one on the left in this photo) and in envelopes.

This bag was the least exciting of the lot. But hey, currency is currency right?

This one was both larger and more exciting.

Most of these coins were minted between the 1910s and 1960s. Most are also foreign, and there’s a good quantity of silver in there too.

Here’s what was loose in the bag, or stashed away in little envelopes.

And here’s a few more coins and baubles, including a silver thimble.

Overall I saved 33 silver coins. Most were Canadian dimes, but I also saved a Mercury (American) dime, a 1923 British half crown, a Cuban 20 centavos piece from 1920, and a Syrian 1 lira coin from 1950. Overall, the silver coins are worth an easy 100$, and the others have some collectors value as well.

I also found some neat old watches (and an old compass) that day. I don’t think any of these are worth a lot of money, but they’re definitely quite vintage and cool and worth something to somebody. If I remember right they all run too, which is always a good thing. (I sold the one on the left to someone on Instagram for 20$ – it was gold-filled, and needed a bit of work).

I’d guess that most people would see the value in old coins and watches, even if to just give them to a charity or some kid. I know I would have been thrilled to receive a coin collection like this when I was young! But, for whatever reason, this person thought their best option was to dump them in black garbage bags and let the garbage truck deal with them. I’ll probably never know why they went that route, but maybe it’s because – in their mind – all old things are junk.

I found more great stuff that day, but I’ll save that for a future post. I’ve still been picking (though not quite as often) during the pandemic, but I’ve been pretty careful, using lots of hand sanitizer, cleaning wipes, and Hertel spray, while also letting some bags sit for a few days before sorting through them. I’ve had fairly decent luck overall, in large part because spring cleaning has begun. My storages are getting full, but I figure yard sale season is still about a month away. eBay sales are back up to average, in part because I’ve been listing more stuff, but I’m still struggling to stay focused recently. There’s just too much news to follow!

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 – note that it might take me some time to reply, and that I am unlikely to be able to fulfill requests for items