Antiques Roadshow and Coca-Cola join forces to hunt for missing art

The Coca-Cola Company have asked the Antiques Roadshow to join them in their hunt for three important paintings by Norman Rockwell.


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Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, Coca-Cola commissioned Norman Rockwell to paint six advertisements for their company. They remain in possession of three of the original works, but a further three of the important advertisements are missing.

The paintings, depicting all-American figures drinking from the iconic green and red bottles, are believed to have never been returned after being loaned to other companies for promotional work. They are estimated to be worth in the region of $500,000 each.

Rockwell's artwork was instrumental in the creation of some of the world's best known images, including his classic portrayal of Santa Claus, which became the standard following his 1920s illustrations for Coca-Cola.

Unsurprisingly, his artwork continues to sell with brilliant results in auction houses. One Rockwell painting, which was discovered behind a false wall in a Vermont home, sold for $15.4m in 2005, setting a record for the artist at auction.

The US version of the Antiques Roadshow has posted the paintings in their "Roadshow's Most Wanted" section of the PBS website in the hope of finding the missing pieces. The section features stolen and lost artworks with the aim of returning them to their rightful owners.

"These paintings have been the top of the list for us as long as I have been here and that's been about 15 years," said a spokesman for Coca-Cola.

Coca-Cola has become an institution across the world, with millions of passionate collectors snapping up items at auction. In 2010, a painting by Andy Warhol of the distinctive Coca-Cola bottle made $35.4m at Sotheby's.

The effective imagery of the Coca-Cola Company is perhaps only rivalled by that of Walt Disney. Paul Fraser Collectibles has this fantastic image of Mickey Mouse for Americana collectors, signed by the man himself.

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