Specialists of the South to sell collectibles cache Sept. 22


Computing Scale Co. candy scale. The Specialists of the South image

PANAMA CITY, Fla. – Items from the lifetime collections of Pat Bovard and Sherry Smithson of Lynn Haven, a suburb of Panama City – a massive accumulation of objects that began with a 6-foot-tall Coca-Cola bottle and snowballed from there into thousands of collectibles in many categories – will come up for bid Saturday, Sept. 22, at The Specialists of the South Inc. Absentee and Internet live bidding is available through LiveAuctioneers.

The auction, packed with over 600 lots, will start at 8 a.m. Central Time/9 a.m. Eastern.

Aside from the Coke collectibles (of which there are many), the couple also owns a dazzling array of Roseville pottery, breweriana, toys, advertising signs, advertising glasses, kitchen collectibles, clocks, telephones, trays, vintage hats and boxes, linens and embroidery, and more.

It all began with Smithson, who grew up in rural Alabama and was visiting an uncle when she saw that he had a huge, 6-foot-tall Coca-Cola bottle on display. She was so captivated by it he gave it to her (it’s not in the auction, by the way). And so, began a serious Coke collection, later added to by Bovard. The two met while both were teaching physical education in public schools and became kindred spirits – and collectors.


Antique Coca-Cola Bottling Company Panama City, Florida, seltzer bottle. The Specialists of the South image

They joined the Coca-Cola International Club in Atlanta and eventually traveled to every state in the country to find new additions to their Coke collection and search for items to start new ones. “We’d hit the major shows like Brimfield in Massachusetts and Round Top in Texas, plus we’d haunt the malls and flea markets,” said Bovard.

Coca-Cola items certain to strike a chord with collectors include a rare Coke Panama City seltzer bottle; a 10-piece set of Coke cooler glasses (10- and 16-ounce), like new and sealed in the box; a grill, also in like-new condition, about 21 inches tall and 15½ inches around, originally given to a Coke salesperson for having achieved a sales goal; a cardboard truck sign showing the best times of day to enjoy a Coke, measuring 56½ inches by 32¼ inches; a pair of mid-20th century Coke machines, both in good working condition and accepting nickels; Coke clocks and phones.

Some items in the sale were inherited. For Smithson, that included the vintage hats and boxes, the linens and embroidery, vintage tools and primitives. Bovard, who grew up in Louisiana, inherited glassware and china, such as Roseville, Libbey, Chantilly, Regal Pastelle, Camelot American Rose, Castleton Rose, Aladdin Hollandia and more.

Both women had an eye for advertising glasses. Their extensive collection includes glasses that promote Coke, Pepsi,  Dr Pepper, A&W Root Beer and others.

Individual items of note will include a wooden barber chair made by Koken and an oak ice box with liners and metal shelving (below).


Oak ice box with liners and metal shelving, made in Pennsylvania. The Specialists of the South image

The ladies were nuts for Planter’s Peanuts memorabilia. Items to be sold will include a dart board, manuals, glasses, cups and advertising material. Their many clocks include examples advertising Garfield, Mickey Mouse, Snoopy, Coca-Cola, Dr. Pepper and others. Breweriana includes clocks, glasses and signs.

Also up for bid will be old gumball machines and a coin-operated sidewalk scale that doubles as a fortune teller.


Fate-or-Fortune sidewalk scale. The Specialists of the South image

Another coin-op machine in the sale is a vintage McPhail “Talking Vendor” toy/gumball dispenser.


Talking vendor toy dispenser with toys. The Specialists of the South image

For details contact The Specialists of the South Inc. at 850-785-2577 or auctions@sospcfl.com.