It’s not hard to understand why some collectors arefixated on Coca-Cola memorabilia. For over acentury, the company has produced numerousbanners, posters, signs, cans, and other products, some of which now fetch a premium on thesecondary market.
One glass bottle in particular is currentlycommanding a price that might raise eyebrows: Ifestimates for an upcoming auction are met, it could sell for well over $100,000.
The bottle, offered by Morphy Auctions, features the curvaceous shape familiar to Coca-Colafans, with a tapered neck and bottom. It’s said to be one of the prototypes the company toyedwith back in 1915, when they were in search of a distinctive shape for their glass containers. (Aluminum cans weren’t introduced until 1960.)
The bottle, which differed from the straight tube-shaped product issued by bottlers, was anattempt to make Coca-Cola stand out among copycats and was designed so it could berecognized even if it was broken.
Why is this bottle so revered? In addition to being a “missing link” of sorts in the evolution ofthe curved bottle, which was finalized and released in 1917, it was also supposed to have beendestroyed, as all the other test bottles were. Discovered in the personal effects of a formerCoca-Cola employee, it appears to be the only surviving intact prototype, making it highlydesirable among collectors.
A prototype of an earlier design sold for $240,000 in 2011. Bidding on this bottle is currentlyat $90,000 and will almost certainly increase when the auction goes live.