1850s Stagecoach to be Sold at Showtime Auction An authentic 1850s stagecoach, an early Coca-Cola syrup dispenser (1891) and an outstanding collection of vintage jukeboxes will highlight a Sept. 1-3 sale by Showtime Auction Services in Kansas City.
ACTUAL 1850s STAGECOACH, EARLY COCA-COLA SYRUP DISPENSER, OUTSTANDING JUKEBOXES TO HIGHLIGHT SHOWTIME SALE, SEPT. 1-3
(Kansas City, Mo.) – An authentic Wild West stagecoach from the 1850s, one of the earliest known Coca-Cola syrup dispensers (made in 1891), a truly outstanding single collection of 24 vintage jukeboxes, over 80 firearms and ammunition posters and calendars from 1900-1930, and exquisite lamps by Tiffany, Pairpoint and Handel will highlight a Showtime Auction Services sale slated for September 1-3.
The auction will be held at the Kansas City International EXPO Center, near the Kansas City International Airport. “I don’t think I’ve ever been privileged to be part of a sale that draws so many quality pieces from such a diverse range of categories,” said Mike Eckles, owner/auctioneer of Showtime Auction Services, based in Chino, Calif. “Of all the auctions I’ve held, and I’ve held a lot of them, this one just might be the best.”
The anticipated top lot is a full-size Concord stagecoach, made around 1850 and in outstanding, all original condition. Eckles said he expects the example of Wild West transportation will probably fetch $150,000-$250,000. “This stagecoach was found about three years ago and has been stored in Arizona ever since,” he said. “The consignor is now ready to part with it. The winning bidder will own a true piece of American history.”
Headlining the sale is The Dr. Jerry Mathis Collection, representing a lifetime accumulation of vintage Coca-Cola items. Sure to attract the most attention is a cut glass syrup dispenser made in 1891 by the Crown Pottery Company in London. It is the earliest known Coke syrup dispenser in existence. Eckles said the piece will bring between $50,000 and $100,000. “For Coca-Cola collectors, this is a Holy Grail item,” he said.
The dispenser has a history as colorful as the beverage it once held. It was commissioned in the very early days of the company’s founding, when Coca-Cola was poised to be marketed to pharmacies as a medicinal drink. But within a year, the company changed course, deciding instead it wanted Coke to be sold as an enjoyment beverage. That meant going back to the drawing board with regard to equipment design.
“The company had ordered a clear bottom dispenser from Crown, but when they changed the marketing strategy they decided that nobody should see the syrup in the dispenser,” Eckles explained. “So the example we’re offering became obsolete almost as soon as it was produced. The dispensers made after that were ceramic, not glass.” The Crown piece is fancy cut glass, with a registered design number of #179154.
In 1892, the unit found its way to the Jacobs Pharmacy in Atlanta, where it was used for three years. In 1895, it was acquired by R.W. Griffith of Atlanta, who passed it down to his son in 1933. The item has been in the Griffith family ever since; they are the consignors. The dispenser is 24” tall and is inscribed with