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Coca Cola trays have been around since 1897 with the first victorian
woman tray. Since then the trays have covered many different subjects
from the olympics to Norman Rockwell scenes. values change as the
economy changes with the more valuable trays staying pretty well stable
due to a investment nature placed on some of them. Reproductions and
fakes are out there in huge numbers and of course a lot of originals
Originals are valued from a mint value in price guides and as each
scratch or dent or fade place appears in a piece the value is going to
go down. Values were a lot higher during the late ninties and early
2000s but now with the economy down the values are down. Still values
should be based on supply, location and condition. Sales in the larger
cities will be higher at auctions than in a rural area. I base most of
my data on internet auctions and local estate sales with some forays
into larger cities when I have the time.
Coca Cola trays are made in many different countries and each will have
different values on them. This guide covers only the pieces produced for
the US market. That is not saying they are made here but are produced to
be sold in the US. Coke has through time came out with reproductions of
older trays to represent a certain event in their history such as the
1970s when Coke came out with a number of reproductions of the classic
originals. Then again during the 100 year anniversaries of the coumpany
there was different re-issues. How do you tell an original from the ten
dollar reproductions? It is hard and some people are not above working
over re-issues as originals. Below I have made a list of the things I
believe are important to look for when getting ready to buy a Coca Cola
1. Color, The older trays have a more rich deep color almost like a
paint with lots of age that changes it to a darker color. The newer
trays have colors that are louder and speak out more with a actual cheap
2. Most of the originals had the back of the tray painted black, a black
that now should have a aged slightly dull look to it. There was no
writing on the back of the trays. There are some of the originals that
gray or green IMG color on the backs also.
3. The words Made in U.S.A American Artworks, Inc. Coshocton, Ohio will
often be found on originals, but not all.IMG
4. Originals made between 1910 and 1942 were all marked with a date. IMG
may have to have a magnifying glass to locate the print on the trays.
5. Check the tail on the capital C of Coca, inside of the section will
have the registered trademark of Coca Cola. The reproductions pieces amy
also have this mark. IMG
6. The reproductions have the year written at the edge of the artwork
This is often on the rolled lip edge.
7.Originals will also usually include the artist name in the lower left
corner, and one of the most common is Haddon Sundblom. The last known
work done by this man was around 1962.
8. The reproductions by Coca Cola will be marked on the back stating
they are repros. Some even have bar codes on the back.
Even with this list it is hard to define an original from a fake or
worked over repro piece. Since most repros are valued at ten dollars or
less it is very important to follow some sort of guide line when
purchasing a Coke tray.
The following six pages cover a majority of the Coke trays and values are based on the average condition tray. Any mint trays will be marked
|Click on tray to enter value pages.
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