Tag Archives: collecting

Collecting 101: Coca-Cola

Coca Cola collection

Collectors today can find an enormous selection of Coca-cola memorabilia and collectibles, Coca-Cola collectors divide themselves up into smaller groups of collectors. There are those who specialize in bottles, cans, clocks, signs, toys, trays, and many other groups. Some collectors focus on just one group of items while others collect a little bit of everything. There are several items you can start your Coca-Cola collection with including bottles, wooden crates, metal serving trays, and calendars. 


Coca-Cola Bottles

Coca-Cola did not originally intend to sell its products in bottles. In fact, the first man to bottle Coca-Cola did so without the permission of the company; in 1894 Joseph Biedenharn began to bottle Coke so customers could take the carbonated drink to picnics and other spots outside of the soda fountain. There are many styles, and even colors, of Coca-Cola bottles. The earliest bottles had very different shapes from the contour bottles we see today. Most bottlers produced clear bottles, but some bottlers went with light green, a widely used and less expensive color. Because bottles were still hand-blown into molds until about 1910, irregularities were common. In addition to the embossed “Coca-Cola” on the bottles themselves, bottlers also glued a diamond-shaped paper label to the side of each bottle to further identify its contents. Dating Coca-Cola bottles made after 1916 is relatively straightforward, thanks to the manufacturer’s numbers on the base or bottom of the bottle. These four-digit numbers, which are separated into pairs by a dash, identify the bottle mold (the first two numbers) and the year of its manufacture (“30,” for example, would indicate 1930). Newer bottles also have four-digit numbers, but they provide even more information. In these bottles, the first digit represents the year, the second indicates the mold, the third is the manufacturer’s symbol, and the fourth identifies the plant where the glass bottle was blown.


Coca-Cola Wooden Cases

Wooden cartons were generally used in the 1940s while paper was in relatively short supply due to the outbreak of World War II. These wooden cartons come in a variety of shapes and sizes with different designs. Coca-Cola also made wooden crates meant to hold a dozen bottles as well as wooden carriers for six-packs, often made out of planks of wood but in some cases made of bent veneers. There are often a wide variety of cases and crates available on Ebay.


Coca-Cola Metal Trays

Coca-Cola began distributing tin serving and change trays to soda fountains in 1897. Trays produced from that date until 1968 belong to the first, or classic, period of Coca-Cola trays. Because trays made from 1970 onward were often reissues of older trays or were made from new materials, these trays belong to the modern age of Coke trays. The earliest trays often have the slogan “Delicious and Refreshing,” but slogans changed over time, with phrases like “Drink Coca-Cola,” “Coke Refreshes You Best,” “Here’s a Coke for you,” and “Be Really Refreshed!” Some trays had no slogan at all, only the familiar Coca-Cola logo.


Coca-Cola Calendars

The earliest known Coca-Cola advertising calendar was issued for 1891. Using the latest printing technology, the company published a beautiful full-color lithographed calendar with an image of a pretty young woman drinking Coke. It’s believed that Coca-Cola distributed at least one calendar every year, although calendars from 1905 and 1906 have never been found. Early calendars promoted the “health” benefits of Coke; for example, the 1897 calendar called “Victorian Girl” reads, “Delicious and Refreshing. Relieves Mental and Physical Exhaustion. Cures headaches.” A 1904 calendar is unusual because it features a little girl, breaking an unspoken rule of the era that discouraged using children in advertisements. The 1908 calendar contained the slogan “Good to the Last Drop,” which was later trademarked by Maxwell House Coffee.

Check out Collectors Weekly for more great info on collecting Coca-Cola.


1936 50th

Coke ad 1951

thirst stops


Collecting 101: Avon Bottles

Avon History:Over 120 years old, the company was founded in 1886 in New York City as the California Perfume Company. It didn’t take long for “CPC” to reach 10,000 representatives in 1906. That same year, 1906, was when the first color brochure was distributed. In 1928 the company boasted 25,000 representatives and introduced the first products under the name of Avon. In 1937 the company’s name officially changed to Avon Products, Inc.

During the mid 1960’s Avon began marketing novelty containers and the first Glass Car Decanter is introduced in 1968. This is followed over the next 25 years with hundreds of interesting novelty and figural decanters in both Men’s and Women’s lines. The product line itself grows to includes Fancy Soaps, Scented Candles and Holders, a complete Children’s Line of plastic toys filled with soaps and bubble baths, Stationery items, Christmas ornaments and Special Occasion gift packs, even Avon Jewelly introduced in 1971 and Family Fashions in 1973.

There are many Avon Collector Clubs in North America that can be contacted, and several books with history and information on Avon available.

Here are some items to inspire your collection:

Avon 1970's "Baby Owl"

Avon 1973 Asian Girl

Avon 1970's 'Remember When' School Desk

Avon 1972-1975 Rolls Royce Decanter

Collecting 101: Cookie Jars

Starting a Collection

Start your collection with a cookie jar that you like or maybe a cookie jar that is meaningful to you. Maybe you’re looking for the cookie jar that used to sit on your grandmother’s kitchen counter when you were little. When you spot the one you want, make sure you conduct the appropriate research before buying, especially if it is claimed to be an original or antique.
The Hidden Treasure
Search garage sales or estate sales for cookie jars to collect. Often it is possible to find a cookie jar tucked away in the corner at these sales. If you are lucky, you might even find one that is worth considerably more than the garage sale price.
Looks Can Be Deceiving
Flea markets and antique malls usually have a nice selections of cookie jars intermingled throughout their displays. Again, be careful of what you are purchasing, if it has a large price tag make sure you are purchasing what you think you are.
To Bid or Not to Bid?
Browse the online or Internet auction sites. These are terrific venues for shopping and researching the various cookie jars out there to bid on. Look at the photos carefully to guard against buying a cookie jar that has cracks or chips, as this would decrease the value. If necessary contact the seller to verify the condition. Be wary of blurry photos as they may be intentionally concealing flaws.

Betty Boop Character Cookie Jar

Character Cookie Jars
Character cookie jars come in all shapes and sizes so there is something for every type of buyer. Whether it’s Blues Clues, Cat in the Hat, Disney characters or Harry Potter, a character cookie jar can be found for just about any pop culture category. Perhaps you are looking for old-time character cookie jars with characters, such as, Betty Boop, The Flintstones, Garfield, Looney Tunes or the Pink Panther, they are all out there.

Coca~Cola Cookie Jar

Memorabilia Cookie Jars
Vintage Coke memorabilia, a staple among collectors, makes collecting more exciting for some cookie jar collectors. Coca Cola cookie jars are created with different styles and personal preferences in mind. The result is a large selection of various types to satisfy the need of every cookie jar collector.
Animal Cookie Jars

There are animal cookie jars created with every type of  animal lover in mind. Whether it’s an owl, rooster, dog, cat or bear, animal cookie jars exist with your favorite animal. Many animal cookie jars are crossover collectibles with characters from pop culture, like Garfield or Snoopy.

Cookie Jars on Bonanzle

Cookie Jars on Ebay

Cookie Jars on Etsy

Collecting 101: Vintage Salt and Pepper Shakers

I’ve learned a lot in the last few years about vintage salt and pepper shakers. In researching the owl shakers from my grandmother’s collection I have come across some excellent manufacturers including Holt Howard, Napco, Lego, and Enesco. Most of these seem to be imported from Japan. Here is some background and lovely examples of these great companies.
Holt Howard

Brothers John and Robert Howard, and Grant Holt met and became friends while at the Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts. The parents of the boys loaned them $9,000.00 to start their business. The business started in 1949 in an apartment on 35th Street in Manhattan, New York.
Originally they did not start out as an importing company. In the beginning they concentrated on Christmas items since in the 1950s Christmas items were very popular. Soon Holt-Howard began to branch out into kitchen-related items which also met with great success.
Pixieware is what the Holt Howard company is best remembered for, produced from about 1958 until the early 1960s. Holt Howard Pixieware is immediately recognizable for the elf heads which adorn the condiment jars and other kitchen ware, painted with bright colors and clever facial expressions from happiness to sadness.
Holt-Howard ceased production in 1990.
Napco Ceramics
Established in 1938 in Bedford, Ohio, the National Potteries Corporation, otherwise known as Napco, imports various styles of ceramic, glass, and china giftware. Irwin Garber, who would later launch INARCO, joined the company in the mid 1940’s and spearheaded its development of head vases. Owned and operated in the Midwest, Napco distributed a variety of collectibles, including decorative wall accessories, ashtrays, ceramic and wood house wares, floral arrangements, ceramic planters, decorative glass, novelty figurines, mugs, trivets, and Christmas ceramics.

Napco used a wide array of marks for its head vases—some transfer marks and some paper labels. The paper labels feature various wording, such as: “A Napco Collection,” “Napco originals by Giftware,” “National Potteries Co., Cleveland, OH, Made in Japan,” and “Napcoware, Import Japan.”

Lego Imports

Lego Imports-Goldman Morgan, the company’s full name, which represents a fusion of the first and last name of the company’s president: Leo Goldman. Based in New York, the manufacturer is known for distributing a variety of collectibles, including bar accessories, figurines, and mugs. The company’s head vases feature a paper label that reads: “Fine Quality Lego Japan.”

Enesco Imports

One of the largest head vase manufacturers in the world, Enesco was founded in 1959 by Eugene Freedman. Originally operating a small plastics and figurine company in Milwaukee, Freedman soon joined a Chicago-based import company, which had spun off of a prominent wholesale merchandising operation, N. Shure Co., the name of which morphed into N.S. Co.—and ultimately, Enesco.

The company began by marketing Southeast Asian giftware out of its modest Elk Grove, IL facilities; by the 80s, Enesco had expanded its presence throughout the U.S., and into Canada, Puerto Rico, Hong Kong, and Europe. Most designs of Enesco head vases were made by Japanese pottery makers and are marked exclusively with paper labels

Coming Soon…

Ok so I’m still getting a feel for WordPress since moving from Blogger. As soon as I figure out what’s what here I’ll be posting some articles on vintage owls, collecting those owls and various other vintage and owl related topics.

I hope to share some of the knowledge I have gained over the last 2 1/2 years since I inherited my grandmother’s owl collection. I’ve learned about not only vintage owls but the owls actual owls they represent. I have met lots of owl fanatics over the years and I am hoping to share some of their stories with you.

If you love owls and or vintage feel free to contact me if you have a great story to tell about your chosen obsession.