Hans was excited to see the green Santa Claus bottle had caught Mr. Sanderss eye.
"What about this bottle?"
Bauer replied, "Not badthis bottle was made by Coca-Cola in 1922, the first edition of Santa Claus on Coke bottles to celebrate Christmas."
"Just now I heard you saying this is a collectors bottle?" Li Du mentioned, emphasizing the keyword.
Bauer nodded his head. "Yes, in 1922, Coca-Cola was not a popular drink yet. There were fewer people drinking it during winter. Therefore, the number of bottles produced was smallthey sold less than 5,000 bottles during that period."
Hans commended, "Youre so familiar with the history of the beverage maker. Youre like a walking treasure yourself!"
Bauer was someone who liked to hear nice things being said about him. He said proudly, "Of course. I know this version of Coca-Cola bottle especially well because I also collected some items related to it."
That gave Li Du a fright; he thought Mr. Sanders might have already had the first edition Santa bottle.
Bauer went upstairs and came back with two big picture frames that contained two old, vintage-looking posters.
In the first poster, Santa Claus was saying hello to a child who had stayed up to wait for him. The child looked refreshed after drinking a bottle of Coke.
The second poster had warmer color tones and depicted a fun, mischievous tone as Santa secretly brought two children to the fridge, and they all drank Coke together.
The illustration was outstanding for the second poster, as the cautious and alert expression of Santa was portrayed so well that people could make out what was happening with just a glance.
What was most distinctive about the posters was that Santa Claus had different colored clothing. Santa wore a green hat and green clothes in the first and red clothing in the second.
Bauer asked both Li Du and Hans to look closely at the two posters. "Look at the first poster, look at the Coke bottle the child was holding and the one you brought over."
Although the first poster was not as fine as the second poster, extra focus was placed on the illustration of the Coke bottle. They could see Santa on the green Coke bottle clearly, which the child was holdingit was exactly the same as the one they had brought over.
Hans suddenly said, "This poster was created to promote this Christmas version of Coca-Cola, right?"
Bauer nodded with a smile. "Yes, thats right."
Hans asked, "That means the green Santa Claus bottle is the most valuable among the Coke bottles I brought?"
Bauer nodded his head again. "YesI offer you 20,000 dollars for this special bottle. And 1,000 dollars each for the first generation Coke bottles."
Li Du felt that the offer was reasonable enough, but Hans thought otherwise.
"Mr. Sanders, youre the expert, so you should know these bottles are works of art. Moreover, this is the collectors edition, green Santa bottleyou might not come across one ever again."
Bauer said, "Youre being dramatictheyre only glass bottles. If you had the Space Can from Coca-Cola, Id offer you 100,000 dollars!"
The Space Can Bauer mentioned was known as the "Coca-Cola Space Can." It looked similar to the usual Coke aluminum cans but it was full of high-tech elements.
This bottle was created in 1985 when the whole world was hyped up about outer space and astronauts. Coca-Cola had spent a large amount of money to design the Coca-Cola Space Can.
The company had developed a valve-capped can that would work in weightlessness to keep the cola fizzy without spewing out of the can.
On July 12, 1985, astronauts tested the Coca-Cola Space Can aboard the Space Shuttle ChallengerNASA had agreed to let the astronauts try the new Coke device.
Coke was, therefore, the first soft drink to be consumed in outer space.
Ten years later, in 1995, Coca-Cola developed and launched their first soda dispenser aboard another space shuttle to supply Diet Coke and Classic Coke for the astronauts.
Both the Space Can and the space version of the soda dispenser were specially developed using advanced technology. Therefore, their prices were high.
However, Coca-Cola had no plans to release the specially developed can or dispenser onto the market. These were solely used for their advertising campaign. It was a pity such special devices could be seen and known but could not be bought.
For a fanatic drink collector like Bauer, the Space Can was definitely a star amongst the other Coke bottles. That was why Bauer would pay so much for a Space Can.
"We dont have the Space Can," said Hans. "But if you combine the worth of these bottles, their value should not be too far behind the Space Can. Mr. Sanders, they are all works of art with a long history. Our grandparents were not even born when they were created!"
Bauer narrowed his eyes and asked, "Okay, tell me how much you want for these bottles?"
"Forty thousand dollars for the 1922 Santa Claus bottle, and 2,000 dollars each for the first generation Coke bottles," Hans said decisively.
Bauer shook his head. "No, thats ridiculous"
"For an ordinary bottle, the price is outrageous. But these arent ordinary bottlesthey are century-old works of art!"
Hans held the Santa bottle in his hand and said, "Mr. Sanders, we did some research on this bottle, and currently you can only see it in Coca-Colas museum, not anywhere else."
Bauer replied, "Yes, thats without a doubt. But 40,000 dollars for a bottle like this? Thats crazy!"
Li Du said, "The weather is very hot todaylets calm down and take a step back. How about 30,000 dollars for it?"
Bauer tapped his fingers on the table and said, "Its still too expensive28,000 dollars is my best offer!"
Li Du and Hans made eye contact. "Since our friend treated us with such nice drinks, we accept the offer," Li said.
Bauer laughed and stretched out his hand. "Nice dealing with you, my friends."
Hans had a vigorous handshake with Bauer. "Thank you for buying our bottles. I can see the happiness in your eyes. The amount you spent is worth it."
Bauer guffawed at Hanss remark. "Of course it isthese shiny little things are adorable. They bring people joy, dont they?"
Out of the twelve bottles, ten of them were first generation Coke bottles, and two were Santa Claus collectors bottles. These were sold for an amount of 70,000 dollars, out of which 14,000 dollars was from selling the first generation Coke bottles.
Bauer transferred the money to Hanss account, and they shook their hands once more.
"Since you have such a huge collection of bottles, are you also looking for something to keep them in?" Hans asked as he sipped on his Ginger Coke. "We have two automatic vending machines, are you interested in them as well?"
Bauer seemed to be interested. "Whats the model?"
Hans replied, "Great model, its the Peak Shift. I give them an eight out of ten. Theyre in perfect working condition."
Bauer finished his Coke in one gulp and waved to them. "Come with me, I have something else to show you."
He brought the two into a room.
Inside the room, there were more than 40 vending machines neatly sitting by the wall, all labeled with the Coca-Cola brand.