This section is from the book "Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: A Guide To Correct Writing", by Thos. E. Hill. Also available from Amazon: Hill's Manual Of Social And Business Forms: The How-To-Do-Everything Book Of Victorian America.
The business of disposing of goods at auction is one of large magnitude. Frequently, when all other means prove futile in getting rid of property, the auctioneer's persuasive language, added to the inherent impression that auction prices are invariably low, entails spirited competition, and thus the figures realized often exceed the most sanguine expectations. As in other classes of trade, there are men engaged in this pursuit who are utterly unprincipled, and who are very properly dubbed "Peter Funks;" while on the other hand individuals, whose character and honor are as high as the highest and as good as the best, also discourse on the auction-block. In Trinity building, the great real-estate mart of New York city, millions of dollars of property change ownership "under the hammer" each year - and in all the leading cities of the Union vast quantities of dry-goods, boots and shoes, and other staple articles, reach the jobber through the same channel.
At the beginning of an auction, the terms of sale are stated. If it be a vendue of merchandise, the crier or auctioneer commences about as follows:
Ladies and Gentlemen : These goods are to be sold to the highest bidder, without reserve. If I accept the first bid and get the second, then the article must be sold. Strangers will be required, in every case, to pay a deposit. Bid promptly, and I will dispose of the goods quickly. I begin the sale by offering this splendid photograph album, known as the Superdonbonsical brand; it is manufactured in the city of Berlin by Henri Von Hytenschnitzenheimer and cost twelve dollars, besides import-duties. How much am 1 bid to start it? Start it along, - it is for sale at your own price; how much do I hear for it? One dollar! One dollar is no money for it, - but no matter - I'm bid a dollar for it - One dollar. One dollar-one dollar-one dollar-one dollar-one dollar; at one dollar-one dollar - and a quarter I have-one dollar and a quarter-and a quarter-and a quarter-will you go the half? - half, I'm bid; one dollar and fifty, one dollar and fifty - will you give the seventy-five? Why what are you people thinking about? - one dollar and fifty cents would not pay the import-duties on this magnificent, hand-made, morocco-bound album, with separation pages, a hinge to every leaf and a patent back and spring clasp - seventy five - one dollar and seventy-five I am bid - and now will you make it two dollars? at one dollar and seventy-five - two dollars will you make it? Will you go the two - do I hear the two - shall I have the two ? One dollar and seventy-five - going at one dollar and seventy-five - going going at the low price of one dollar and three-quarters - once ! twice! one dollar and seventy-five, - fair warning and a fair sale - going, going, going, gone! Next lot.