DENVER, Pa. – More than 800 lots of quality antique advertising will be auctioned at Morphy’s on Friday, December 5th, led by the only known example of an 1891 Coca-Cola calendar. LiveAuctioneers will provide the Internet live-bidding services for the sale.
Entered as Lot 481, the historically important Coke calendar was previously part of the Gordon P. Breslow collection. Years prior to Breslow’s acquisition of the near-mint rarity, it surfaced in Louisiana as part of a pre-1900 pharmaceutical collection.
“No earlier Coca-Cola calendar is known to exist, and significantly, it also promotes the Asa C. Candler & Co. on Peachtree Street in Atlanta,” said Dan Morphy, president of Morphy Auctions. “Asa Candler had a retail and wholesale drug business that served Coca-Cola at its soda fountain. Candler saw how popular the drink was and could foresee its potential on a much larger scale. In 1891, he paid $2,300 to become the sole owner of Coca-Cola, and a year later, he dissolved his pharmaceutical business and formed the Coca-Cola Bottling Company along with four other partners.” Iconic not only for its connection to one of the world’s most valuable brands, but also for its place in American history, the calendar is expected to make $100,000-$150,000 at auction.
Other enticing Coca-Cola antiques include Lot 482, a rare version of the company’s richly colorful 1908 calendar, estimate $20,000-$35,000; Lot 507, an extremely rare 1902 poster, $30,000-$45,000; and Lot 506, a scarce and beautiful calendar featuring the exquisitely dressed model Hilda Clark, $10,000-$20,000. There are many other desirable Coca-Cola lots in the sale, including additional early posters and calendars; serving trays, thermometers, door pushes, blotters, photos, clocks, coolers, store displays and signs.
Nineteenth and early 20th-century advertising was dominated by vices – especially smoking and drinking – as well as various outdoor pursuits, such as hunting and fishing. A fine array of antique advertising signs representing these “manly” categories and more will be offered on December 5.
Lot 261, a paper poster for Deep Spring Whiskey is dated 1911 and marked “American Litho Co.” The profusely illustrated Civil War image depicts the surrender of the Southern army at Appomattox, with General Robert E. Lee on horseback as the central figure, surrounded by troops carrying Confederate Flags and a woman dispensing a drink of whiskey to a wounded man. The poster measures 31 by 39 inches and is estimated at $7,500-$10,000.
Lot 79, an 1896 large-format (36½ by 23½-inch) calendar advertising Winchester Cartridges, has several images of hunters in snowy, wooded settings. In excellent condition, it carries a $4,000-$5,000 estimate.
A rare, 19-inch-tall papier-mache figure of the Philip Morris bellhop in full livery, atop three stairsteps, is emblazoned with the words “Yes Sir!” and “Call for Philip Morris.” A very nice example of a hard-to-find tobacciana piece, it is entered as Lot 693 with a $6,000-$8,000 estimate.
Lot 329 is a 31½ by 48-inch porcelain sign for Croce’s Beverages of Asbury Park, New Jersey. “Drink It – It Is Pure,” the sign assures. Dating to the 1930s, the sign is estimated at $1,000-$2,000.
The auction encompasses many other categories that are popular with today’s collectors, including antique straight razors, occupational shaving mugs, and other barber-shop accoutrements: bottles, canisters, jars, brushes and mirrors. Additionally, there are soda fountain syrup dispensers, early tobacco tins, Mr. Peanut collectibles, a collection of crate stencils, and much more.
The Friday, December 5, 2014 auction will begin at 9 a.m. Eastern Time. For additional information on any item in the sale or to reserve a phone line for live bidding on auction day, call 717-335-3435 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
View the fully illustrated catalog and sign up to bid absentee or live via the Internet at www.LiveAuctioneers.com.
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ADDITIONAL LOTS OF NOTE