Antique Sleigh with Reported Historical Background

The ultimate holiday decoration for business or home. Antique (circa 1900) sleigh with reported historical connection.
  •   Nov 7 @ 4:30PM EST (Start)
  •   Nov 28 @ 7:00PM EST (End)
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Bidding ends:
Wednesday, November 28, 2018, beginning at 7:00 pm with extended ending.
Inspection: By appointment only. Call our office at 502-489-5515 to schedule.
Checkouts/Pickups: Auctioneer will make arrangements. The sleigh must be paid for in full prior to removal no later than 3:00pm on Friday, November 30, 2018.

Auctioneer’s Note: This sleigh is currently owned by one of our customers and has been stored in the (temperature controlled) basement of his home for the past 20 years. The sleigh is believed to have been once owned by Samuel Moffet Ralston (1857–1925) a former Governor of Indiana from 1913 -1917 and U.S. Senator. The current owner, an author, historian, and collector of old west and military memorabilia, said his records documenting the provenance of the sleigh were either stolen or destroyed. Thus, the information contained in this description is based on the owner’s recollection of conversations with various people and what he had previously documented. At the end of the description, you will also find a brief bio about the owner to get a better understanding of his background and experiences.

Regardless of history, this antique sleigh would be a great addition to one’s personal collection or a fantastic retail/marketing display item for the Christmas holiday season.

About the Sleigh

As previously indicated it is believed this sleigh was owned by former Indiana Governor and U.S. Senator Samuel Moffet Ralston who served as Governor from 1913–1917. The current owner purchased the sleigh from an estate sale of the late Governor’s heirs outside of Columbus, Indiana around 1987. While in office, the Governor brought the sleigh into the capitol rotunda each Christmas and had it decorated for children to enjoy. After he left office he continued this practice until his death. Following his death his heirs were required to continue this practice for a period of 20 years. When purchased, the sleigh was attached to a frame on casters so it could easily be maneuvered in and out of and around the capital and anywhere else. The sleigh is still attached to the frame and casters. (This information was provided verbally to the owner at the time he purchased the sleigh, by the person handling the heirs estate sale).

Around 1990 the current owner took the sleigh to Bluegrass Carriage Shop, a carriage restoration shop in Danville, KY, to get it appraised by shop owner Darrell Shannon (now deceased). He told the owner that the sleigh was similar to the Portland Cutter design but it also appeared to be custom made as it had no company identifying plate underneath as was standard for normally manufactured sleighs. Something akin to a present VIN plate and number on automobiles. He stated that the sleigh was made at the very end of the 1800s or the early part of the 1900s and was of cutter design.

Based on our research, the sleigh resembles a Portland Cutter sleigh, however, again no VIN plate could be found to verify this. Two features that set this sleigh apart from most other sleighs is that this sleigh has: 1) doors on each side of the body, and 2) a bench in front of the seat that could be used by a chauffeur to drive the sleigh.

For its age, the sleigh is in its original, un-restored condition, which is excellent. Naturally, it shows some aging and has good patina. Following is more detailed information about the construction, features, and condition of the sleigh. It has been kept inside the owners house for the past 20 years.

Body: Wood and metal construction, overall length is 66”; front height is 49”; front width is 37”; rear height is 52”; length of runners is 80”. Different parts of the sleigh have different colors which are maroon, hunter green and dark brown with pin-stripe and hand painted design accenting. The interior of the two doors and surrounding area is black leather.

Seat: The seat is made of green velvet upholstery. The seat back and sides are made of the same green velvet but is a tuck and button design. The upholstery condition is typical for age with signs of wear but there are no tear or major negative wear marks.

Bench: In front of the seat is a bench, also with green velvet upholstery that can be raised for a chauffeur/driver to sit or lowered if there is no chauffeur/driver.

Attachments: 1) There are ice scrapers (for boots) attached to the body near each doorway. 2) There is a whip holder socket attached to the right side of the sleigh for driver access. 3) There is a decorative chrome filigree panel above the front dash with two bird (perhaps eagle) heads ornamentation protruding from the front dash on each side.

Decorative Accents: There are several decorative raised wood accents around the sleigh as well hand painted pin striping and floral designs. There is also a small painted picture of black rearing horse on the inside of the front dash.

Shaft: It appears this sleigh was rigged to be pulled by a single horse. The owner had a drop heal shaft made by the Amish, in authentic period style using original shaft hardware. The shaft is included with the sale of the sleigh.

About the Owner: (for security reasons, as he has many other collectibles, we shall refer to him as Dr. C.)

Dr. C is a retired neurophysiologist. He received is B.A. in psychology from the University of Louisville, his M.A. in experimental psychology, and his Ph.D. in physiological psychology and psychosomatic medicine in 1975. He spent a great deal of time with the old Sioux medicine men on the Pine Ridge and Rosebud reservations exploring their practices of medicine and the control of pain. During this time he became well liked by the Sioux Indians and was honorarily adopted into the Sioux Indian tribe by the grandson of Chief Red Cloud. Dr. C. has authored and co-authored several books and articles on his study of medicine, the Canadian goose, and Sioux history for the South Dakota Historical Society’s South Dakota History publications. Dr. C’s hobby has been “collecting” and he has amassed an extensive collection of Indian, western, and military memorabilia.

All questions regarding this auction should be directed to Wardlow Auctions, Inc. Any member of our staff would be happy to answer your questions and make this an enjoyable auction experience for you.

Wardlow Auctions, Inc.
12200 Shelbyville Road Suite 222
Louisville, KY 40243
Office: (502) 489-5515 Fax: (502) 489-5516
Auctioneer – Rick Wardlow, (502) 593-3888

Online bidding is offered as a courtesy. The Auctioneers, Wardlow Auctions, Inc., Seller, and the Internet and Software Providers do not guarantee or warrant the online bidding procedure and/or system to operate without interruption or malfunction, and shall not be held responsible in the event of such.

Inspections: All descriptions and information are believed correct, but are not guaranteed. Items are sold “as is - where is” with no guarantees or warranties. It is the Bidders responsibility to inspect the item and research any and all descriptions and information to their complete and full satisfaction prior to bidding. All sales are final.

The sleigh may be inspected by appointment.  Please call Rick Wardlow at (502) 593-3888 to schedule an appointment.

Buyer’s Premium: A 10% buyer’s premium will be added to the winning bid of each item to determine the final selling price.

Payment Terms:  The sleigh must be paid for in full prior to removal and not later than 3:00 pm on Friday, November 30, 2018.  Payment by cash, Official Bank Check, or bank certified check is preferred.  If buyer wishes to pay by credit card, buyer must pay an additional 3% to cover credit card fees.   

Removal Information and schedule:
The sleigh can be picked up anytime by appointment but not later than Saturday, December 1 unless other arrangements are made.

Shipping:  Shipping is not available for this item.

Registration: Registration is free but does require several important pieces of information. As with our live auctions, bidders must be registered with a full name, address, and telephone number. An email address is also required so bidders may be sent winning bid notifications and auction invoices. Information from either a MasterCard or Visa is to be held on file. This information is obtained to deter defunct bidding and to facilitate payment once you receive your invoice. The account will be charged in the event that an item has been unpaid after the allotted time for payment has passed. Registration may only be completed with an acknowledgment that the bidder has read and understood all terms and conditions for the sale and online bidding.

How to Register for First Time Bidders:  Click on “Register to Bid”, at the next page click on “Sign Up”, and then complete the information requested.  Upon successful completion you will receive notice that you are approved to bid.

If You Have Already Registered:  If you have already registered and been approved, you simply click on the “Register to Bid” link and on the next page, click on “Sign In”.

Description of Items: All descriptions and information are believed correct, but are not guaranteed and as such the Auctioneers, Wardlow Auctions, Inc., and/or the Seller shall not be held liable for inaccuracies in the information. It is the Bidders responsibility to obtain or verify, prior to bidding, any information they consider critical to their decision to purchase. As previously indicated, preview will be made available by appointment for potential bidders to personally inspect the item. All bidders are encouraged to inspect and research all aspects of the item, descriptions and information provided to their complete and full satisfaction prior to bidding. The item is being sold “as-is” “where-is” with no warranties or guarantees of any kind including merchantability and/or fitness for particular purpose.

Bidding: Online bidding is to be understood as a binding contract. Bids will be taken with the understanding that the bidder will honor their winning bid with sufficient funds including all applicable taxes and fees. Do not bid if you do not intend to pay. Notification of winning bids will be sent via email along with an auction invoice within 6 hours of the auction’s close. Be sure to check your "Junk" email folder if you do not receive your invoice within that time frame. Bidding can be made using two methods on our website- by clicking on the “Bid $$$” button or by clicking on the “Set Max” button to establish your maximum bid.  The minimum bid increment is $100.

“Set Max Feature:” This feature does your bidding without the bidder having to constantly view, log in, and bid on an item. Setting a maximum online is much like coming to a live auction with a preset spending limit in mind. The program will bid for you, in the prescribed increments, and only up to your set maximum bid for the item. For example: assume an item is currently at $1,000 with Bidder A having the winning bid, and Bidder B wants to place a bid and is willing to spend as much as $3,000 for the item. If Bidder B places a maximum bid of $3,000, the price of the item rises only to the next required bid increment or in this case $1,100.  Your Maximum bids are kept confidential and not available for other bidders to see. Any bidder can raise or lower a maximum bid at any time prior to the close of the auction.

Sales Tax: The sale is subject to 6% Kentucky Sales Tax.

Close of Bidding: The bidding will begin to close at 7:00 PM (Eastern time zone), Wednesday, November 28, 2018.  Closing may be extended in the event of last minute bidding.  The Seller reserves the right to end the auction prior to the scheduled ending time upon receipt of an acceptable bid/offer.  The sale price will be subject to Seller confirmation.  See paragraph below regarding the Extended Ending feature.

Extended Ending:  Auction closing time will be subject to an extended ending, whereas at the close of the auction, any bidding activity within 3 minutes of the closing time will automatically extend the bidding for 3 more minutes past the time of the last bid. The bidding on that lot will continue to remain open in 3 minute intervals as long as there is bidding activity within 3 minutes of the previous bid. Once there is no bidding activity within the 3 minute period, the bidding on that item will close. For example, if a lot is supposed to close at 7:00 PM but a last minute bid is placed at 6:59 PM, bidding will be extended until 7:02 PM. If another bid is placed at 7:01 PM, bidding will then close at 7:04 PM, unless subsequent bids are placed.

Penalties: Any bidding found to be fraudulent and/or negligence to provide proper payment in the allotted time will result in all appropriate legal action. Any invoice not fully and properly paid for in the allotted time will be charged to the credit card account presented at registration and the items forfeited. Delinquencies will be noted and will prevent the individual from participating in any further live or online auctions conducted by Wardlow Auctions, Inc. Wardlow Auctions, Inc. retains the right to prevent anyone from participating in this and future online auctions who does not abide by the terms and conditions of the auction or whose actions are not in the best interest of our client, the Seller.

Auctioneer's Right to Bid: In accordance with KRS330.220(6)(a), it is hereby disclosed that, with permission from the seller, the auctioneer and any auction staff members reserve the right to bid.