A Community for Abraham Lincoln & American History — For Collectors, By Collectors. More About Us.

Auction Rules


212/691-1224 (FIVE LINES)





In order to bid in this aucion you must register with us
at least 24 hours prior
 to the close of sale on
Thursday, September 27, 2007!


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 find.
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, didn’t you?

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 12th 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!

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

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. 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.

20. Participation in this auction represents an understanding and agreement to all rules detailed herein; the placing of bids are contractual obligations taht will be enforced — bids are deemed to be offers to purchase; the exlusive jurisdiction and venue for resoution of any dispute will be the courts of the City of New York.

© 2007, The Rail Splitter. All material, both text and graphic, is copyrighted and subject to this notice.