A DECADE OF SHARED PASSION
We have long believed that there are two kinds of collectors. Both can
share a passion for the material they seek, but there is a profound difference
in their approach to collecting. The first is someone who has a much more
casual approach. This is likely an individual who places a secondary emphasis
on his collection. More often than not, the contents of his collection
consist almost exclusively of material found “under his nose.”
That is to say, his “finds” are limited to those items either
brought to him or those found at the few auctions or shows he frequents
close to home.
The other is
a collector you may find more familiar. This is more likely a person consumed
or obsessed with building his collection. Not merely content to add items
by chance, this person is constantly, actively seeking new acquisitions.
He likely subscribes to numerous auction catalogues, scours the internet
regularly, networks with other collectors, and travels great distances
on countless sojourns in the pursuit of his next treasure, his next great
By virtue of holding this auction catalogue in your hand, you are most
likely considered among the latter. And for that fact we congratulate
you. Like us, Lincoln refused to believe that good things come to those
who wait. And we understand that the best collections are built by those
who make them a priority. That is why you will scour these pages in an
effort to find a piece of history to make your own.
A few years ago, we compared this undertaking to putting a puzzle together.
The beauty of this is we are all putting different, yet similar, puzzles
together. That is why we all are seeking different pieces. Some seek political
relics; others look for material related to the advent of photography
in the mid-19th century. Some want material related to the Civil War;
others treasure a first-person narrative written by a participant of life
in the 1860s. Whatever Lincoln-related material we seek, we know it will
be found in the Rail Splitter.
The term “relative rarity” is one that is thrown around, but
one we sometimes fail to appreciate. We must remember that just because
we have seen an item once or twice before, doesn’t mean it isn’t
prohibitively rare. We are often spoiled by the Rail Splitter... failing
to understand that a full year has been dedicated to assembling this auction
for our collective use and enjoyment. As we’ve said before, it only
requires one collector or one institution to take a great piece out of
circulation for our lifetime. And just because you’ve seen it once,
don’t be misled into thinking you may ever see it again. But as
a member of that obsessive class of collector, you already knew that,
This year marks the eleventh anniversary of the Rail Splitter and of this
great auction tradition. Like the rest of us, we know you will find a
treasure or two that you will look back on in the years to come as a pivotal
acquisition; one that helps you tell your own personal story of your connection
to Abraham Lincoln. Please take your time to go through this entire catalog
as material is at times grouped in sections you may otherwise overlook.
And... please let us know if you have any questions before the sale concludes.
We are here to help! Happy collecting!
The 11th Annual Rail Splitter Lincolniana
and Civil War Auction!
For those unfamiliar with our journal, a few words are
in order. The Rail Splitter is a quarterly written by collectors for collectors.
Our name refers to an early period in Lincoln’s life when he toiled
on the frontier, cleared the land, and built a homestead. As a candidate
for president in 1860, Lincoln campaigned as the “Rail Splitter
of the West,” a slogan and image that propelled him to the White
House. After ten years of publishing, we still delight in reporting on
new discoveries, auction prices, the care and preservation of material
culture, and other necessary topics in a graphic and substantive fashion.
We hope you join us – please let us know if you require information
about membership and subscribing to our journal.
Auction Participation Made Easy! Auctions are the most popular means of
marketing antiques and collectibles. But you may not be familiar with
a mail/telephone auction format. Unlike a live auction, bidders don’t
have to travel – they can participate via telephone and mail. The
items offered in this sale are fully – and accurately – described.
Potential buyers are invited to submit offers to buy (“bid”)
on individual lots within a specified time period (before the “deadline”).
These bids can be sent to us via facsimile transmission (“fax”),
via telephone, or by mail. To then simulate a live auction, those calling
on the last day can find out what the current high bid is and opt to advance
– or “top” that bid. The next increment would be 10%
above the high bid. Once the time for submitting bids has passed (see
auction rules), the high bidder wins the lot and will be invoiced. Upon
receipt of payment, the winning items are shipped to the purchaser. It’s
easy to participate. Don’t be intimidated. If you have any questions,
give us a call. For us, this is a labor of love – we would be happy
to discuss strategies and accommodate you in any way possible. Here are
some hints: don’t put the catalog aside and forget our deadline!
Put a note in your calendar... leave the catalog in a visible location.
We’ve all left things to the last minute and regrettably missed
on opportunities. If you are interested in numerous lots, send in a preliminary
bid sheet early. You can then call on the closing night to determine how
you are faring on specific lots. At that time you can determine if you
want to advance your bids. Remember – we’re here to help.
Call us if we can be of service.
Best of luck!
1. All lots sold to the highest bidder. Mail and fax bids will be reduced
to 10% over the second highest bid.
2. Phone bids submitted on the closing day are not reduced. All mail and
fax bids must be received one day prior to deadline.
3. Bidders responsible for bidding on correct lot. Check your bid sheets
carefully. Adding a brief description helps.
4. The auctioneer reserves the right to reject any bid for any reason
and withdraw any lot at any time.
5. A 15% buyer’s premium will be added to the winning bid; the resulting
total sum shall be the sales price.
6. Phone bids accepted at any time up to deadline but information on current
high bid will only be divulged on the last day. All lots will be advanced
in ten-percent increments except lots under $100 will be advanced in $10
7. Those calling on the last day may find out current high bid and bid
a minimum of 10% higher or pass. Phone bids will be accepted until 10:00
PM or beyond, as long as no ten minute interval passes without a call.
8. Bids may not be canceled after the Sunday preceding the deadline. In
case of tie bids, earliest received wins.
9. New York residents must provide a valid resale number or pay the appropriate
sales tax which will be added to the
10. All lots sold “as is” with no warranty expressed or implied.
Notwithstanding, we are responsible for accurately describing each lot.
All defects that we feel materially affect an item’s value will
be detailed. Items incorrectly described may be returned within five days
of receipt for a full refund. Please examine your winnings thoroughly
and promptly upon receipt. We shall make the sole determination on the
validity of each claim and have the right to accept or reject same. All
items offered are authentic to the best of our knowledge. Any item determined
to be a reproduction or not as represented may be returned for a refund
within thirty days of the auction deadline. No refunds or credits issued
after consignors are paid. In case of a problem, a phone call is advisable.
NOTE: Group lots and framed items are sold “as is” and cannot
be returned. Framed items have not been inspected out of frame and are
presented “as is.”
11. Estimates provided are our guess as to current market value –
you may bid higher or lower as you see fit.
12. Payment in full is due within one week of receipt of invoice. Estimated
cost of packaging material, postage, and insurance will be added. All
packages will be shipped either U.S. Postal or U.P.S. insured. NOTE: Large/fragile
items that require special handling may be shipped via a professional
mail service and winning bidders will be responsible for charges.
13. We reserve the right to hold lots until check clears. Money orders
or certified funds will expedite shipping.
14. Please... no inquiries on auction results until the Tuesday after
the deadline. (Let us catch our collective breaths!)
15. No descriptions or details on condition will be given over the phone
on the final day. Grading is a subjective skill – we encourage you
to call early for detailed condition reports. We make an honest effort
to describe items. If you feel uncertain, address your concerns with a
16. A small number of lots are subject to a confidential reserve or minimum
bid. Except for “OPEN” lots, bids start at half the estimate.
17. “The Rail Splitter” serves as an “AGENT” to
broker all material offered in this catalog. In this capacity, “The
Rail Splitter” makes no claims as to the correctness of ownership
or provenance. As such, all matters arising from the sale must be resolved
within four weeks of the conclusion of the auction. ONCE AGAIN: after
payment to the consignor is made, no recourse will be available and “The
Rail Splitter” will not be held accountable for any unresolved claims.
18. The placing of a bid shall constitute an understanding and acceptance
of the conditions and terms outlined above.
19. After 10:00 PM on the closing night, the minimum increase is 15% instead
of 10% on those lots that you have not already placed a bid on at some
point during the auction.
© 2006, The Rail Splitter. All material, both text and graphic, is
copyrighted and subject to this notice.