Coca-Cola Advertising Trays, ca. 1930

Value (2014) | $8,500 Auction
Watch  

GUEST:
So it is something that I inherited from my father. He spent years collecting. He did have an antique store, and so as a child, my brother and I would go find antiques with him, and so part of the Coke tray collection was something that I zeroed in on and liked, even as a child. Some would have dings or would be damaged, and then we would find a better, more mint condition tray, and then he would then sell the other trays as part of his antique store.

APPRAISER:
He was a professional, so he knew what he was doing, and this is a good lesson to all people who are collecting, and going out and doing it. This is the way to do it. You constantly upgrade. You sell what you have to get a better one, and you got to witness that. So you spent years combing through the markets, and he slowly curated this collection that you guys put together, together really.

GUEST:
Right.

APPRAISER:
You have a really wide range. You have celebrities, you have Johnny Weissmuller, and he's with Maureen O'Sullivan in this tray. Johnny Weissmuller, obviously, who famous played Tarzan, and starred with Maureen O'Sullivan in Tarzan. He's a very desirable tray. You have Frances Dee, you've got Madge Evans over here, and these are some of the more glamorous representations. You've got Norman Rockwell up next to you. We have a sporting image here, we have the girl with straw, we have the 1932 yellow bathing suit beauty, who's a pin-up. So it's a really wide range, and it's a testament to how much Coca-Cola obviously knew its market. They were constantly changing with the times, keeping up to date on what was going to sell their product. One of the other things you mentioned is the other reason you do trade up through time is because condition is so important. And that is what struck me about your collection. You've got really vibrant colors, beautiful representations, great imagery pulled throughout the years, and this is just a small segment of your collection. So do you know what your father paid for the collection that we see here?

GUEST:
He would typically pay anywhere from $25 to $120, maybe $150 for a tray. I was surprised that you picked some of the collection that you did here, because these were some the ones that my father had also valued as the highest.

APPRAISER:
There's a method to our madness.

GUEST:
You knew what you were doing.

APPRAISER:
These weren't the only ones. Honestly, your collection is so deep, we could have picked another ten or 15 out of the collection. These are some of the most rare. One of the more popular ones is the Johnny Weissmuller. The only thing detracting from the value on this one is the scratch here.

GUEST:
Yeah.

APPRAISER:
And you have a little bit of a scratch over Maureen O'Sullivan. So that's going to detract slightly. It's still, in this condition, is going to be worth $1,500.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
You also have the Norman Rockwell, which is $1,500. Frances Dee, $1,500. The rest are all about $1,000 apiece.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
So all together here is about $8,500, if I've done my math correctly, in a fair market environment. For insurance or for retail, it would probably be even more than that. You said you and your brother helped your dad. Why did you get this collection?

GUEST:
Growing up as, you know, part of an antique family, you always have antiques in your home, as well as your store. And as children you learn everything is for sale.

APPRAISER:
You're describing a kid who grows up on a farm and doesn't want to name the barnyard animals. So you never tried to become attached to the property?

GUEST:
Yeah, but obviously I was. And one day I came home from high school, and the wall where most of these were mounted was empty. And I was just broke down and just, you know, was horrified that they had been sold. And my dad did not realize how much that I was attached to the collection. So he went back, and negotiated, and bought it back.

APPRAISER:
And I can see you're emotional about it because obviously, your father means a lot to you. It's a really touching and sweet thing that he did for you. So this is kind of a legacy of your father.

GUEST:
It is a legacy.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
The Collector's Lab
Los Angeles, CA
Appraised value (2014)
$8,500 Auction
Event
Santa Clara, CA (June 07, 2014)

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.