Last week afforded me a unique opportunity to experience a moment in the history of
Available for decades for a mere 5 cents, Coke’s signature bottle was depicted in multiple Warhol works, including this painting from 1962—the year I was born, coincidentally—that sold last week for $57.3 million. If you’re counting, that’s more than 1.1 billion nickels.
I was in New York for the auction, not to bid on the Warhol but to help represent
And what a spectacle it was! Long lines outside the door, despite the bone-chilling cold. Standing room only inside Christie’s, with people filling every chair. A palpable buzz of anticipation.
When the gavel came down, an anonymous, last-second bidder had agreed to pay $57.3 million for this iconic depiction of our iconic bottle. It was an ironic moment in some ways, seeing this symbol of
And, yet, I think there was something telling in this peculiar barometer of
Warhol, of course, was very much onto something. He understood both the specialness and ubiquity of
“What’s great about this country is that America started the tradition where the richest consumers buy essentially the same things as the poorest. You can be watching TV and see
Coca-Cola, and you know that the President drinks Coke, Liz Taylor drinks Coke, and, just think, you can drink Coke, too.”
Couldn’t have said it better myself.
Clyde Tuggle is Senior Vice President, Chief Public Affairs and Communications Officer at The