Adding a new sales outlet, Coca-Cola Co. will sell Norman Rockwell lithograph sets on eBay.com, the first time the soft-drink maker has sold memorabilia on an online trading site.
Through an exclusive one-time listing, the Atlanta-based company will offer 1,000 limited-edition prints of Rockwell illustrations that ran as artwork for four Coca-Cola calendars in the 1930s. The listings will be featured April 27 through May 7 on eBay's collectibles category.
“This is a new way for us to present classic Coca-Cola memorabilia,” Philip F. Mooney, archivist at Coca-Cola, said in a statement yesterday.
The unframed lithograph sets include a 1931 print called “The Barefoot Boy,” showing a young boy having a Coke and a sandwich while his dog watches. Another, “The Old Oaken Bucket,” was created in 1932 and shows a young boy sitting on a well with a wooden bucket full of bottles of Coke in his lap. The third reproduction is of a 1934 piece re-creating a typical Southern scene called “Carry Me Back to Old Virginny.”
The final lithograph is perhaps the most famous Rockwell work for Coca-Cola. Based on Edgar Guest's poem, “Out Fishin',” the 1935 calendar shows a farm boy on a tree stump, fishing lazily in the company of his dog and Coke. Nearly 2 million calendars were distributed that year to Coca-Cola bottlers.
Hand-numbered, each print measures 28 inches by 19 inches.
Proceeds from the eBay auction will go to The Metropolitan Atlanta Arts Fund, a partnership of the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce and The Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta. The Arts Fund helps small and mid-sized nonprofit arts organizations in the Atlanta area.