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Atlases & Vintage Graphics
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Close: Feb 7th  Auction is closed. Bid Status
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Answers to Frequently Asked Questions


Do I need to register again if I have bid in previous auctions?
No! You should not register again. Use the Sign-In where you will only need to provide your user name and password. Click here to register to bid.

I've bid in previous auctions, but this is my first time using the on-line system. Do I need to register?
Yes. You can either register online and provide all required information, or contact our office at 804-290-8090.

What do I do if I forget my user name or password?
We have a program to help you recover your user name and password. Click here for help.

How do I update my address, phone number or other personal information?
You can easily change any personal information, email address, provide special shipping instructions, etc. in the Bidder Center.

What if I submitted the registration form but didn't get a confirmation email?
If you didn't get your confirmation email please contact us directly either by email or by telephone 804-290-8090.

Can I get high quality images of the maps I purchase at auction?
Yes, we have a digital image service. Please click here for details.


How can I find a particular item?
First, you can browse the catalog by using the Table of Contents, as the catalog is organized by subject or geographical region. Second you can use our powerful Search Center to find items matching your specific criteria.

How can I find out more information about an item?
We are available to provide additional information and condition reports. You may telephone (804) 290-8090, fax (804) 482-2611 or email Please be sure to obtain this information prior to the closing date. We have a small staff and are all fully committed to receiving telephone bids on the last day of the sale.

How can I find the items I have bid on?
Once you have placed bids you can monitor your bidding status in the Bid Status Page.


Why was the next bid increment larger than I expected after I placed my bid?
The bid increment gets larger as the bid price increases. Please refer to the Bidding Increments table.

Why did my bid jump so high?
If you place a proxy bid that is higher than the next bid increment, there are several instances in which the bid will be increased above the next bid increment.

 · Scenario A: You place a proxy bid and there are no other bidders. Proxy bids only take effect if they are above the reserve, because the reserve is the lowest price for which the consignor is willing to sell the item. Any bids that are equal to or below the reserve are entered at face value. If you set a proxy bid above the reserve, your bid will be set at the reserve value. In this scenario, you will be the current high bidder.

 · Scenario B: You place a proxy bid, and another bidder has already placed a proxy bid that is lower than your proxy bid. Your bid will then be increased to one increment over his/her maximum bid. In this scenario, you will be the current high bidder.

 · Scenario C: You place a proxy bid, and another bidder has already placed a higher proxy bid. The other bidder’s proxy bid will come into effect, and his/her bid will be increased to one increment over your proxy bid. In this scenario, you will NOT be the current high bidder, and may place a higher bid if you choose.

I bid against myself to raise my maximum and the high bid increased. Why?
The system will not allow you to bid against yourself. However, there are two exceptions where it may appear that you have bid against yourself. First, if another bidder has placed a bid that ties with your bid and then you place a higher maximum bid, the system will increase your bid by one increment. Second, if your first bid is under the reserve, your next bid will be accepted at face value up to the reserve amount.

Why do I get a message telling me I've been outbid when the current high bid is the amount of my bid?
This will happen if another bidder has placed a proxy (maximum) bid for exactly the same amount that you bid. Because the other bid was received first, it becomes the current high bid. You must place a higher bid in order to become high bidder.

Why doesn't the website show who has the high bid?
We protect the confidentiality of all bidders. This prevents collusion among bidders and protects our consignors. You can monitor the status of all your bids on the Bid Status Page.

I bid on an item and got the message that my bid is under reserve. But there isn't a reserve shown. Why?
Reserves are kept confidential unless they are set higher than 75% of the low estimate. You can assume that items with an estimated value above $25 have a reserve. Typically reserves are set between 50% and 75% of the low estimate.

What is the QwikBid button for and why don't I always see it?
Our QwikBid feature lets you quickly place another bid if your last bid is not the high bid. It will only appear after you bid on an item and you are not the current high bidder. The box above the QwikBid button tells you the amount of your bid using the QwikBid button, which is one increment above the current high bid.
The QwikBid feature is also available from your Bid Status page. Smaller QwikBid buttons will appear next to all lots where you are not the high bidder - both in your Bid Status and the Watching sections. Clicking on this button will immediately place a bid at the next increment. From the watching pane, the QwikBid button will place the bid at the published starting amount if no bids exist.
A few important notes regarding QwikBid:
   · QwikBid only works when you are not the high bidder.
   · You cannot use QwikBid to place a higher 'maximum' bid if you are the high bidder. You must place this type bid in the regular way, e.g. either from the lot detail page or from the Bid Status page using the Express Bidding System.

How can I cancel a bid?
If you have placed a bid in error you will need to contact our office either by email or telephone 804-290-8090.

Can I monitor lots without having to bid on them?
Yes, you may 'Watch' up to 100 lots from the Bidding Status page. Simply enter the lot numbers in any order and press the Go button. Separate each lot number with a space. You may add and delete lot numbers from your Watch List at anytime. If you use the QwikBid button from a Watch List item, that lot will automatically be removed from the list and be added to your bidding status.

AUCTION CLOSING ("10 Minute Rule" applies to individual lots)

Why are some lots still active after the auction closes?

The auction begins closing 10:00 PM Eastern Time when all bidding activity has stopped for 10 minutes. Again this simulates what may happen in a floor auction. The auctioneer signals the impending close of an auction, but does not bring the final hammer down until there are no more bids. This eliminates the problem of sniping often associated with Internet auctions.

Beginning at 10:00 PM the computer will check each item at 10 minutes intervals. If there has been no bidding activity for the last 10 minutes the computer will close the bidding on that item. If there has been a bid in the past 10 minutes, that individual item will remain open, until there have been no bids received for 10 minutes. You may check your status at anytime through the Bidder Center and observe when each item closes.

We strongly suggest that you simply enter your maximum bid early and let our Proxy system competitively enter your bids. This way you are relieved of closely monitoring the auction with the chance of losing the item. We get heavy traffic on the website, and on the telephone, at the close of the auction. For this reason some lots in the auction may not close for as much as an hour after the auction begins closing.


I had the high bid at the closing time, but was then outbid. How can this happen?
We are not just an "Internet Only" auction house. We accept bids from a wide variety of sources: Mail, Phone, Fax, Email and our Website. The auction does not close immediately at the designated closing time; it begins closing at that time and continues until no bids have been received for 10 minutes. Although we always try our very best to enter bids immediately; we simply can not keep up with the flood of bids to be entered near the end of the auction. Always bid your highest, most competitive bid if you are serious about winning! Your bid will always be reduced to one increment over the next highest bid. See Bidding section above for more information.

How do I find out what I won after the close of the auction?
Immediately after the close of the auction your bidding status will be shown in the Bidder Center. This information is preliminary and may change if you have bids under reserve, which are subsequently accepted by the consignor. It takes 5 days to complete shipping calculations. At that time your completed invoice will be posted in the Bidder Center.

I am the high bidder on an item, but it says my bid is below reserve. What happens now?
The day following the auction we contact all our consignors and give them the option of accepting offers below their reserves. If accepted, we will change the reserve and the item status will change to show you as the winning bidder. Please note consignors are under no obligation to accept bids below the reserve. Please contact us via email if you are the under-reserve high bidder on an item that you do not desire to purchase. After the auction closes, all unsold lots, and those with under-reserve bids, are available for immediate sale at the reserve price on a first come basis. The under-reserve bidder does not have priority in purchasing the lot.

What is the Buyer's Premium?
The Buyer's Premium is 15%. This will be added to the total amount of all your winning bids.

How can I pay for my purchase?
We accept payment by all major credit cards, check, or bank transfer. Your invoice will be posted in the Bidder Center as soon as we have calculated the shipping charges. This normally takes five business days after the close of the auction. You will receive an email asking you to review and approve the shipping address and payment method on your invoice. We will not process the invoice until we receive your approval.

When will my items ship?
Your items will be shipped as soon as you have approved your invoice and we receive payment. If you need to request priority shipping or have special instructions, please contact us immediately following the auction. Once the items have been shipped we will post the ship date and tracking number in the invoice section of the Bidder Center.

How will my items be shipped and what is the cost?
Unless we receive special instructions we will determine the best method of packaging and shipment. We generally ship via USPS, UPS or DHL Worldwide depending on the destination and value of the package. You will be charged the actual costs for packaging, insurance and shipping, with a minimum charge of $7.50. Once your shipment is complete the ship date and tracking number will be posted to your invoice in the Bidder Center.

If I purchase something in the auction and decide afterward that I don't want it, can I return it?
Bidding at auction is a binding contract to purchase the item. You are not purchasing on an approval basis. Therefore all sales are final. A sale may be rescinded only if it is determined that the lot is significantly different than described in the catalog.

When are the Prices Realized available?
Immediately following the auction the website catalog will display the winning bid for each individual item. Those items that are unsold will be shown as "Available for Purchase". The official Prices Realized will be posted to the website about one month following the auction, after all payments have been received.

What happens to lots that don't sell during the auction?
Lots that were not sold during the auction are available for sale at the consignor's reserve immediately following the auction close. A link from the home page lists all available lots. From the lot detail page simply click on the Buy button to add the lot to your purchases. These lots are available on a first come basis. Please keep in mind that the high (but under reserve) bidder does not have a hold on the lot - anyone can purchase it at the reserve.


I have items I would like to consign. How should I proceed?
Old World Auctions welcomes your inquiries and is happy to provide a free preliminary evaluation. For more information, please click here to go to our Consignment Information page.