Wow, I love this listing for so many reasons! First off, this is an awesome piece. Second, the seller, someone who I am quite impressed with and whom I will add to my list of endorsed dealers tonight is selling this the right way - with an itty-bitty opening price, no reserve and with an auction format willing to entertain zero behind the curtain BIN offers. Third, this great seller details the imperfections minutely, even though the imperfections are, in fact, minute. (As an aside, this has to be one of the finest such examples of this lantern that has come up for sale in this venue in years. Oh if it was the smaller version!!) Lastly, I appreciate the care he is showing toward this piece in explaining that it will be shipped as is so as not to "...stress the old cardboard any more than I have to." Sir, you have provided me with quite a spark indeed. Collectors, if you don't have this item in your collection, now is the time to pony up.
08/14 Update: The final gavel price for this simply superb lantern was $1,613.00, which according to my records is a record price with the next lower selling price significantly below this level. I think the lessons here are several: near-mint items carry a huge premium, the auction format works if engaged properly and being a seller with a good reputation is a strong factor. Congratulations!