World’s largest private collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia goes on sale

Andrea Divirgilio / April 27, 2011

the schmidt museum of coca cola memorabilia

The famous Schmidt Museum of Coca-Cola Memorabilia in Elizabethtown closed late Tuesday, and now, its 80,000-item collection will be up for auction starting this September. It is the biggest and the best privately held collection of Coca-Cola memorabilia in the world, which includes one-of-a-kind posters, rare serving trays, unique bottles, colorful jewelry, lighted signs, antique delivery trucks and Santa icons. The amazing Coca-Cola advertising art and memorabilia collection is worth as much as $10 million.

With this, the Schmidt Museum offers collectors a chance to grab some of the best advertising art ever seen. Jan Schmidt, who started the collection in 1972 along with her late husband Bill Schmidt, said…

A big portion of our life has gone into collecting these wonderful, artistic pieces. We didn’t set out to accumulate the world’s largest (privately owned) collection. All we wanted to do was tell a story and put it on display.

Allan Petretti, author of “Petretti’s Coca-Cola Collectibles Price Guide,” said…

The Schmidts defined collecting. The depth and breadth of their collection is beyond incredible. They have the rarest of rare pieces. They have things from every era and from every category – clocks, posters, toys, trucks, bottles. You name it, and they have it.

The collection includes a bright-yellow poster, circa 1895, that is valued at $30,000. This poster is the only one of its kind to survive more than a century, and shows a woman with a beverage in her hand. It reads, “Drink Coca-Cola. Delicious. Refreshing. Cures Headache. Relieves Exhaustion. At Soda Fountains 5 cents.”

Richard Opfer Auctioneering will handle the sales. The items will be sold in a series of auctions, and are sure to start a bidding war among antique collectors, ad art lovers and Coke enthusiasts.

Via: PRNewswire/Schmidt Museum

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