Coca-Cola is tracking down a few Norman Rockwell paintings that got “lost in the mail” back in the 20s and ’30s. According to Bloomberg Businessweek, Coke commissioned Rockwell to paint six billboard and calendar ads, five of which mysteriously went missing somewhere between Coke’s headquarters and the printing company that made them.
Back then, the advertising process worked like this: An artist would paint an actual oil painting and send it to Coke, which then shipped it to a printing company to be turned into a billboard or printed advertisement. When it was done, the company would return the original work to Coke.
But Rockwell was so well-known that sometimes his pieces went missing.
So if you have a Norman Rockwell painting that features a can of Coke, A) Your grandparents were dirty thieves, and B) You might want to contact Coke immediately. The company has already bought back two originals from relatives for something in the ballpark of $400,000 – $600,000, which is karmically the opposite of what should be happening.