Wednesday, September 2, 2009


Coca-Cola's advertising agencyQ: My dad worked for Coca-Cola for many years. He won this oil painting by Haddon H. Sundblom at a convention in Atlanta. On the back it says D'Arcy Advertising Co., St. Louis, Mo. Does the painting have any value?

A: Coca-Cola's advertising agency from 1906 to 1956 was D'Arcy Advertising Co. Haddon Sundblom (1899-1976) was a commercial artist in Chicago who began doing paintings for Coca-Cola ads in the 1920s. The painting looks like the original art for an ad. Sundblom is best-known for his paintings of Santa Claus that appeared in Coca-Cola ads from 1931 to 1964. His images changed the way Santa was portrayed and the rotund Santa was pictured as a friendly, jolly fellow. The original Santa Claus paintings have been exhibited all over the world and are worth several thousand dollars each today. His paintings of other subjects may not be as valuable, but if your painting is really an original oil painting and not a copy on textured canvas, it is very valuable and should be seen by a local expert. An interesting side note: Sundblom didn't drink Coca-Cola. He is quoted as saying "I never could stand the stuff."


Anonymous said...

Beautiful work by one of the great commercial illustrators of his day. You may want to check the illustration art archives at Heritage Auction galleries for comparables and prices. Heritage can also offer a verbal appraisal.

Carol Duncan said...

Haddon (Sunny) Sundblom was a personal friend of my husband's family. He used himself as a model for the famous Coca Cola Santa Claus, as well as for the Quaker oats man found on the familiar round cereal box. If you look closely you can see the similarity. He often depicted family members and friends in his illustrations for Coca Cola products.

Anonymous said...

If owner is looking to sell or seeking comparative values, they can call The World of Coca-Cola, Atlanta, 404-676-5151. Might have to ask several questions to get to the person within Coca-Cola with authority and correct answers. "World of Coke" is as much a Coke museum as it is an educational promotion facility for Coca-Cola -- and a "must-see" when in Atlanta.