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$110,700 prototype Coke bottle tops Morphy’s $3M Vegas auction

In remarkable condition with no chips, cracks or case wear, this 1915 modified prototype Coca-Cola bottle was designed by Earl R. Dean of the Root Glass Company. It is the only intact example of its type known to exist and sold within estimate for $110,700 on April 14 at Morphy Auctions Las Vegas. Image courtesy of Morphy Auctions

LAS VEGAS – An effervescent six-figure winning bid drove an extremely rare Coca-Cola prototype bottle to the top of prices realized at Morphy’s April 12-14 auction in Las Vegas. The elite three-day offering of antique coin-op and gambling machines, Old West relics, and antique advertising chalked up more than $3 million, with $110,700 of that total attributable to the early-20th-century soft-drink bottle.

Regarded in collecting circes as a bona fide American treasure, the modified prototype bottle was created by the Root Glass Company in 1915 and submitted to Coca-Cola executives to be considered as the design for their standard Coke bottle. After remaining out of sight for more than a century, the bottle was discovered in the collection of a retired Coca-Cola employee who previously worked for Root Glass. According to Morphy Auctions president Dan Morphy, the test bottle is one of only two of its type known to exist and is the only fully intact example.

“This bottle is a missing link in the history of Coca-Cola. From the moment it arrived in our hands, we knew it would create a buzz. It’s considered a highly important piece, not only by Coca-Cola collectors but also advanced bottle collectors,” Morphy said. The new owner of the bottle is a private collector who prefers to remain anonymous.

To discuss a potential consignment, call Dan Morphy at 877-968-8880 or email

All prices quoted in this report are inclusive of 23% buyer’s premium.

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