Q: I have a Coca-Cola advertisement mirror that pictures a woman in a pink bonnet. It says “Delicious, Refreshing, 5 cents.” The frame measures 39 1/2 inches by 27 1/2 inches and the mirror is 35 inches by 23 1/2 inches. The mirror has a silver back and gold leaf decorations. Is it a saleable item?
A: John Pemberton, an Atlanta pharmacist, invented a syrup he claimed could cure headaches, heartburn and other ailments. His bookkeeper chose the name Coca-Cola because the original formula included cocaine. It was first sold at a soda fountain in Atlanta in 1886. Cocaine was removed from the formula in 1903. Asa Griggs Candler, another Atlanta pharmacist, bought the rights to Coca-Cola in 1891. Advertising calendars with a picture of a movie actress were issued that year. Advertising trays picturing the actress were made in 1897. A female opera singer was pictured on advertising items in 1905. After that, a series of “Coca-Cola girls” were pictured on calendars and trays. The woman pictured on your mirror is Betty, who was pictured on the 1914 Coca-Cola trays. Original Coca-Cola items are sought after and sell for high prices. Many reproductions and fantasy items have been made since the 1970s and sell for lower prices as decorative items. Your mirror is a fantasy item. Coca-Cola didn’t originally make it. Value is about $20.