This example is a reproduction of an original, vintage Coca Cola advertising tray. This tray is marked "Coca Cola Co. 1934" to the left of the Drink Coca-Cola at the bottom of the tray. In the center are Johnny Weismuller and Maureen O'Sullivan, who were a popular movie couple as "Tarzan" and "Jane." Each holds a little bottle of Coke. To the right of Johnny is printed, "Maureen O'Sullivan and Johnny Weissmuller Metro Goldwyn Mayer Featured Players."
Although there are many reproduction Coca Cola advertising trays of which to be aware, this particular reproduction is one of the most misleading because it looks almost exactly like the 1934 original. And unlike other reproductions made in the 1970's, this tray's manufacturer added no indication it is a reproduction. Many later copies of original Coke trays had a stamped mark placed somewhere on the tray to clearly identify it as a copy.
So, what gives this example away as a reproduction?
1. The tray's back is white. The original 1934 "Tarzan and Jane" tray had a black back. Any color other than black means a tray is not old.
2. The original had a metallic gold colored outer edge. Not yellow, as seen on this tray.
3. Originals have a green stripe between the edge of the artwork and the broad red 'Coca Cola' stripe. In the green stripe originals have the small print, "Coca Cola Co. 1934" and "Made in U.S.A." - along with "American Artworks, Inc. Coshocton, O." This tray has a mustard yellow stripe, not green, and is missing the maker's mark "American Artworks, Inc. Coshocton, O" (because they did not make it).
Because the back color is such an easy way to tell old from new for this individual tray watch out for reproduction examples that have had their backs spray painted with the correct color (black) and then artificially 'aged' to make the deception less obvious.
Measures 13 1/4 inches long by 10 1/2 inches wide.
Illustrations and Characteristics for Help in Identifying Many Confusing New Items
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