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The Right Ratio

July 17, 2010

"Looking for something special?"

After leaving downtown Pomona last Sunday, we headed down the road to Ontario and Treasures n’ Junk. I first became aware of this antique mall after catching sight of its distinctive warehouse-type building from my commuter train window. Making a mental note of its approximate location we finally made a special trip to check it out. The review? Loved it! Treasures n’Junk is the perfect name for this mall as it has just the right ratio of treasures to junk. Similar places with similar names often skew too heavily on the junk side of things, but not here. And, one thing that sets T’n’J apart is its great array of garden-ready artifacts and ornaments. They have a large outdoor area full of terrific stuff that may have begun life as garden gear, or, that because it could stand the effects of weather, could easily become a focal point outdoors. Ever wanted a life-sized buffalo for your landscape? It’s here, but, that’s not all …

Top of the world

You could also score this upstanding world-dominating eagle called ‘Old Abe’ that was the symbol for the J. I. Case Threshing Machine Co., out of Wisconsin. I was able to track down online a certificate that features this symbol on a certificate (click here), circa 1900; while the etched symbol is terrific, this version in concrete is awesome! I can see this becoming a worthy feature in either a traditional or ultra-modern scheme …

Both junk and treasure

Some of the junk has already been re-worked into great pieces like this cabinet made from a wooden shelf with rippled trim and chicken wire inserts. The duck decoys stored inside could easily escape as far as I’m concerned, but alone it’d make terrific storage for garden tools and supplies. Surrounding it is more stuff that could be put to good use outdoors … T’n’J is one of those places that benefits from focused ‘digging’ …


There’s lots of stuff here that, at first, doesn’t seem garden-worthy … but then, with a little thought, possibilities present themselves. For instance, I see planters, display items, storage, and decorative pieces for the garden, where some might see only a random collection of discarded farm and automotive junk …

Weathered antiquities

This pile of superbly rusted items includes cast iron columns and pedestals, farm implements and the enormous blades from a very large weather vane. I want it all, but will have to wait since I’ve still got stuff at the Rancho that needs placement. But … we are putting in a large outdoor shed soon, and those columns just might …

Rustic containment

Part of the outdoor area is being made into display bays for more outdoor-oriented items. T’n’J is big on vignettes and even though these were not completed yet, they look promising. It’s nice that there’s nylon shading overhead, it’s hot in Ontario!

What's your sign?

There are faves inside the mall, too. Like this corridor filled on both sides with brightly graphic enameled-metal signs. The strong colors and large sizes of these examples makes them a perfect pop art-y addition to a scheme, indoors or out. Prices can be daunting on these, but if you’re a serious collector you might be willing to take the plunge for a hard-to-find number.

Good to go

T’n’J also has one of the best collections of auto-related goods I’ve ever seen. Neon, enameled-metal signs, tools, equipment, accessories — even a complete filling station attendant’s uniform — they’re all here waiting to be driven home. Again, bold graphics and colors designed to stop drivers on the move catch the eye. I bought a galvanized metal tire-washing tub here and re-purposed it into a planter on a previous visit.

A big deal

Of course, there’re more standard items to be found in the vast maze-like space of T’n’J, most of them not my cup of tea. But there are deals here, too, and I was struck by the price on this massive all-wood door leaning against the wall in one of the booths. For a mere $250, someone could come away with a statement piece that will set their entry apart from their neighbor’s.

Crazy, mixed-up mix

Part of the fun of antique mall shopping is stumbling across that inadvertent melange that makes you rub your eyes and wonder how these pieces all ended up in the same booth. Here, a stalwart fireman wields his mighty hose, while a bouncy-giddy clown and stoic elk’s head look on … a birdbath serves as an unlikely base for a grand fondue pot, a hobby horse waits expectantly for a new generation of riders, and an art class painting provides a floral backdrop. That’s a lot to fit into an approximate 8’x10′ space!

An attractive front

Treasures n’ Junk is a little out-of-the-way but worth seeking, and I can’t imagine even a casual shopper not finding something worth purchasing. But, the non-casual, dedicated antiques aficionado, and/or junk junkie, will most certainly find something they have to can’t live without — check them out soon!

Treasures n’ Junk: 215 S. San Antonio Avenue, Ontario, CA. (909) 983-3300.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. Megan permalink
    July 18, 2010 12:44 am

    I want a life sized buffalo for the backyard!

    • reubix1 permalink*
      July 18, 2010 12:54 am

      We can’t decide between the buffalo or the eagle…

  2. July 29, 2010 2:12 pm

    HI!!! Thank you for the great post. I am glad you enjoyed our mall. And there is definitely something here for everyone. Dealers are always having sales and you never know what amazing items they are going to bring in next.

    You can visit us on our blog 🙂

    • reubix1 permalink*
      July 30, 2010 7:30 pm

      You’re welcome, feel free to send the link to others … I believe in supporting good junk/antique dealers!

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