“Sold! To buyer 19…” 

Those were the best words I heard earlier this month when I attended an auction of Coca-Cola memorabilia. I traveled to the Morphy Auction house in Pennsylvania, U.S., with Coca-Cola Archivist Ted Ryan for one particular item – a piece of original art featuring Edgar Bergen with Charlie McCarthy (see below).

Ted and I walked the floor the morning of the auction, double-checking what we wanted to acquire for the Coke archives. We were able to win bids on other pieces of art, plus a clock, some white buttons, cardboard signs and posters. It was stiff competition as other Coca-Cola collectors were in attendance and bidding against us. This is serious business and not for the lighthearted; I was careful to keep my hands down and never nod towards the auctioneer!

Once the items are in our archives, we can catalogue, photograph and carefully store them. As a team, we are always on the hunt for art to add to the collection. Right now, we have more than 2,000 pieces (and counting) of original art in the archives.

Every item we collect helps us to dig deeper into the history of Coca-Cola. We continue to be on the chase for the next piece of art we don’t have in the collection. And who knows… it could be at the next auction. Who will start the bidding?

Read our interview with Coke’s Director of Heritage Communications Ted Ryan.

Justine Fletcher is a processing archivist at The Coca-Cola Company and a Coca-Cola art hunter.