and more – so don’t wait to check it out! It’s all vintage Americana, it’s all in great condition – you’ll find no flea market junk here – and it all smacks of nostalgia!
I participated in the last auction by Railroad Memories – based in Denver, where the railroad buffs are every bit as dedicated as the ones here in the Northwest – and I thoroughly enjoyed the experience … and that’s not just because I won something I really wanted. Frankly speaking, I hate the ANGST involved in bidding in most other auction: the constant checking of how high the bidding is on an item; the conflict over whether and when to bid higher when I’ve been outbid; the clock on the auction sites ticking off the minutes and seconds remaining, which adds to the pressure; even the bending of the rules I’ve witnessed during live online bidding as an auctioneer reopened a closed lot to get a higher hammer price.
Railroad Memories is comparatively low-tech and very low-stress: You just e-mail your best bid using a simple online sheet, or you can fax or call in your bid. (As I’ve written before, this removes the awful temptation to get sucked into a bidding war, which other online auctions – from eBay on up – profit from.)
I also like the way the fact that the buyer’s premium for non-subscribing bidders is only 10 percent of the hammer price: Most auction houses charge about 20 percent. Or for $45 a year you can become a subscribing member of Railroad Memories, which means you pay NO buyer’s premium for items won, plus you receive a great catalog for each of the four annual auctions and a list of prices realized – excellent reference material for any “railroadiana” collector. The combined subscription and buyer’s premium exemption themselves are a great choice for the train lover on your holiday gift list.
“With this, our 77th issue of the auction catalog, we are proud to be offering many rare and seldom-found pieces,” Railroad Memories owner Susan Knous told me. “And the catalog has a wide, diverse selection, so that makes it even more enjoyable.”
I asked Susan about some of highlights of this auction. She noted, “One of the more unique items in this issue is a surveyor’s transit from the Baltimore & Ohio Railroad (Lot 130), patented April 30, 1901. It comes complete with a wooden tripod and the first we’ve ever had the opportunity to handle.
“Our usual assortment of quality lanterns includes one from the Florence & Cripple Creek Railroad (Lot 415), a narrow-gauge line here in Colorado that was gone by the early teens,” she continued. “The lantern has a red etched ‘F&CC’ and an extended-base globe, which is what makes this piece so desirable: Very few have survived.”
Want to add some refinement – as well as a great conversation piece – to your dinner table? “We are also proud to be offering a beautiful cut-glass water