Terms and Conditions of Sale


The Bicentennial 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!


Auction Rules 


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 increments.

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 invoice.

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 call!

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. ONCEAGAIN: 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.

20. Participation requires advance registration.                                   


© 2009, The Rail Splitter. All material, both text and graphic, is copyrighted and subject to this notice.