Items from The Estate of Former Coca-Cola Head Robert W. Woodruff are Sold at Auction February 26th

Top Quote Included were dazzling jewelry items, a portrait of Mr. Woodruff by Norman Rockwell, a painting of George Washington by Dwight Eisenhower, and items from four residences. End Quote
  • (1888PressRelease) March 12, 2022 - Atlanta, GA - A vintage platinum and diamond anniversary ring given by the late Coca-Cola president Robert W. Woodruff (1889-1985) to his wife Nell, and Mrs. Woodruff’s custom Art Deco platinum and diamond bracelet, combined to bring $231,750 in an online-only sale of items from the Woodruff estate held Saturday, February 26th, by Ahlers & Ogletree, based in Atlanta.

    The gorgeous anniversary ring boasted a 4.61-carat marquise brilliant center cut center diamond with F-color and SI1-2 clarity, plus two 0.30-carat trapezoid shape side diamonds. It was the auction’s top lot, bringing $118,750. The circa 1920s Tiffany & Company custom Art Deco platinum and diamond bracelet comprised 20 ctw old European cut, modern cut and various cut diamonds with H-I color and VS-clarity. It also topped six figures, selling for a robust $112,500.

    Mr. Woodruff was a world-renowned American businessman and philanthropist who served as president of The Coca-Cola Company from 1923 to 1955. Nell had been a Red Cross nurse. The auction featured over 400 lots and included a portrait of Mr. Woodruff by Norman Rockwell and a portrait of George Washington by Dwight D. Eisenhower, a longtime friend of the Woodruffs.

    Also offered were items pertaining to Woodruff’s longtime friendship with legendary golfer Bobby Jones (including a birthday letter from Bobby Jones and Eisenhower to Woodruff, plus golfing books written by Jones and inscribed “to Bob”); items relating to cigars and pipes, two of Woodruff’s passions; and many rarities, including Coca-Cola items belonging to Mr. Woodruff.

    Following are additional highlights from the auction, which grossed about $1.1 million and attracted over 1,700 registered online bidders, who participated through, and There were also 437 phone bidders. All prices quoted include a 25 percent buyer’s premium.

    The oil on canvas Portrait of George Washington after Gilbert Stuart (Mass./ 1755-1828) by former President Eisenhower (with whom Mr. Woodruff often played golf) was housed in a giltwood frame measuring 35 ½ inches by 29 ½ inches. It was signed lower right with a plaque reading, “To Nell and Bob from their friend Ike.” The portrait found a new owner for $50,000.

    The charcoal portrait on tinted paper by Norman Rockwell (N.Y., 1894-1978), titled Portrait of Robert Winship Woodruff, was artist signed and contained in a 26 ½ inch by 21 ½ inch frame. It depicted Mr. Woodruff as a young man and sold for $43,750. A portrait of Woodruff as an older gentleman, with cigar, by Thomas E. Stephens (British/N.Y., 1885-1966) fetched $12,500.

    The Woodruffs led a full, exciting life, and the items in the auction reflected that zest for living. They were pulled from the couple’s four homes: Windcrofte, their opulent primary residence on 16 acres of prime real estate in Atlanta; the TE Ranch in Wyoming, the 8,000-acre onetime home of the legendary Buffalo Bill Cody (1846-1917); a two-story River House complex on 52nd Street in Manhattan; and Ichauway, a vast, 29,000-acre working-hunting plantation in South Georgia.

    Ahlers & Ogletree’s next major event will be a Spring Estates & Collections Auction on April 9th and 10th. To learn more about Ahlers & Ogletree, or to join their email list for info on upcoming sales, please visit Updates are posted often. You can also follow Ahlers & Ogletree through social media on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook.

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