Our antiques expert assesses a Coca-Cola promotional clock to help determine what it's worth today.
Coca-Cola regulator clock
My aunt and uncle owned a small-town general merchandise store in Kentucky, where this clock advertising “Coca-Cola in Bottles” hung for many years. I’m 85 and remember the clock from my childhood. They gave it to me; it still works. I’d love to know more.
—R.C., Utica, Kentucky
What’s It Worth?
A: Once clocks were mass-produced in the 1800s, advertisers used them to help their products stand out in stores packed with merchandise. When shoppers checked the time on a store clock, why not give them a promotional message?
Coca-Cola worked with several clock companies from 1891 to 1910, then began a 30-year partnership with the William L. Gilbert Clock Co. of Winsted, Connecticut. Stores often got a regulator (or pendulum) clock like this in exchange for Coca-Cola orders.
The “In Bottles” note reminded shoppers that the drink once served only at soda fountains was now available to go.
Coke clocks are popular with collectors. Yours features pristine reverse-glass painting on the bottom panel, original hands and no face discoloration or fading. The fact that it’s in working order, with the original brass pendulum, an unscratched case and attached Gilbert label, makes it worth about $1,400.
—Barbara J. Eash (Country Woman Magazine’s Antiques Expert)