1950s Coca Cola "Dixie" Lighter
Appraised Value: $3,500 - $4,000
IMAGE: 1 of 4
Appraisal Video: (2:13)
APPRAISER: In all the years I've done ROADSHOW, the product that the most collectibles have come in to my table is Coca-Cola. But despite that, there's always something that I've never seen before that comes in. Would you tell me about this lighter?
GUEST: Well, they made two of the lighters. One played "God Bless America..."
APPRAISER: Well, let's put this one on and see what it plays. (music box playing "Dixie") This one plays "Dixie." These were produced back in the early '50s.
APPRAISER: You can tell from the advertising logo and the slogan. And, um... (turns off music box) Have you ever done any research about this lighter?
GUEST: The people I bought it from told me that they recalled the "Dixie" music, because of the controversy, and they supposedly made 5,000 of each one of them.
GUEST: And so I don't know how many of these are out in circulation.
APPRAISER: Definitely very few. Did you ever do any research on your own?
GUEST: We went to the Coca-Cola exhibit in Atlanta. They have a museum there, a fantastic museum.
APPRAISER: Right, and they have... all of their memorabilia is there.
GUEST: And I asked the people about this lighter and I couldn't get any information about it and I didn't see any in any of their exhibitions that we went through.
APPRAISER: Well, it's a very famous piece. They were recalled, obviously, and disappeared from the marketplace. They don't come up for sale, they're not in any of the collectors' books. I can only assume that's so because of the song that it plays. You know, I'm sure the "God Bless America" lighter is quite acceptable, but the "Dixie" lighter is quite controversial.
APPRAISER: What did you pay for it when you bought it originally?
GUEST: I think I paid around $35.
APPRAISER: Thirty-five dollars? How long ago was that?
GUEST: 15, 20 years ago.
APPRAISER: Yeah. This is even beyond normal appreciation of Coca-Cola collectibles, so I have to estimate that the value of this, if it came up in a Coca-Cola memorabilia auction, would be in the $3,500 to $4,000 range.
GUEST: Oh, my goodness.
APPRAISER: It's... they just don't exist. Obviously, Coca-Cola says they don't exist, but it's sitting here.
GUEST: All right.
This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2014 WGBH Educational Foundation.
ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.