Julien's Icons & Idols auction sells rare 'first' Coca Cola bottle for $240,000

Marilyn Monroe, Madonna, Michael Jackson and even Lady GaGa (you can read our full report here) all starred in Julien's Icons & Idols auction, last weekend, December 1 to 4.

But some of you may be wondering 'what on earth happened with the rare prototype Coca Cola bottle?'

Coca Cola's iconic drink bottles are today among the most famous and recognised packages in the world. The bottle's historic prototype appeared for sale in Julien's auctions.



Global icon: the world's first
prototype Coca-Cola bottle

The last time we checked, presale bids on the bottle had reached $70,000 via the internet. So how did the bottle do in the end?

According to Julien's results, the prototype bottle brought a whopping $240,000.

Of the dozen or so prototypes originally made to designer Earl R Dean's specifications 96 years ago, all but two were destroyed.

Dean's prototype never reached full production due to manufacturing issues, and later morphed into the Coca Cola bottle design which is today famous around the world.

The Coca Cola company owns this bottle's twin and considers its prototype to be both "priceless" and its most-prized archive piece.

With this sort of rarity and calibre, this two-of-a-kind bottle was sure to do well in Julien's sale.

Also auctioned as a separate lot was Dean's original bottle sketch.

Dean is said to have visited a library to get inspiration for his design, searching for images of the coca plant and kola nut which he believed were the two key ingredients in Coca Cola.


Designer Earl R Dean's original concept for the Coca Cola bottle

After finding little inspiration from either, Dean's research led him to an image of a cacao pod - and design history was born.

A bona fide piece of design history, this original sketch sold for $228,000 at Julien's - nearly $0.5m in total for both bottle and drawing.

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