Visit Your Local PBS Station PBS Home PBS Home Programs A-Z TV Schedules Watch Video Donate Shop PBS Search PBS


Support ANTIQUES ROADSHOW by supporting public television! Give Today
  • SHOP
  • Appraisals

    Inscribed 1960 Harper Lee 1st Edition "To Kill A Mockingbird"

    Appraised Value:

    $15,000 - $20,000

    Appraised on: July 23, 2011

    Appraised in: Tulsa, Oklahoma

    Appraised by: Thomas Lecky

    Category: Books & Manuscripts

    Episode Info: Tulsa, Hour 2 (#1602)

    Originally Aired: January 9, 2012

    slideshow IMAGE: 1 of 2 Next 

    More Like This:

    Form: Book
    Material: Paper
    Period / Style: 20th Century
    Value Range: $15,000 - $20,000

    Related Links:

    Understanding Our Appraisals
    Useful tips to keep in mind when watching ANTIQUES ROADSHOW


    Appraisal Video: (2:18)


    Appraised By:

    Thomas Lecky
    Books & Manuscripts
    Vice President Department Head, Printed Books and Manuscripts

    Appraisal Transcript:
    APPRAISER: I got so excited when you walked up to the table this morning with this book. Why don't you tell me about how you got it?

    GUEST: Um, my dad left it to me.

    APPRAISER: And do you know how he got it?

    GUEST: He collects books, I don't know.

    APPRAISER: He collects books? Well, what do you know about this book?

    GUEST: It's signed.

    APPRAISER: That's right, let's look at that now. This is Harper Lee's To Kill a Mockingbird, one of the most famous books in American literature. And I noticed that your name is Harper. You're named after her, right?

    GUEST: Yeah.

    APPRAISER: Your parents named you after one of the greatest writers that we have here in our country. And when we open it up, this is the first edition, it's inscribed, and who did Harper Lee inscribe it to?

    GUEST: My mom and dad.

    APPRAISER: Yeah. And if we open it up, we'll see that it is the first edition of To Kill a Mockingbird. That's the title page. And here on the back, we see that it's the first edition, stated there. Now, when you came in with it and I saw it, I opened up the box that you keep it in and I thought, "Wow, this is the most incredible thing I've ever seen, it's just perfect." And then I looked at it a little more carefully, and I opened it up, and I saw in the dust jacket that it says here, "Facsimile." That means that it's a copy. It's a copy of the original dust jacket. And when we open it up, we see that there's in fact another dust jacket underneath the original dust jacket. This dust jacket, you'll see, has a little bit of wear to the top of the spine, to the bottom of the spine, and along the joint. And people who collect modern literature want it to be in as perfect condition as possible. Now, the most amazing thing about it is that inscription, because Harper Lee has always been a very private person and has not signed books very often at all, so it's very unusual for her to have signed books. In terms of value, in this condition, with a little bit of wear but with the incredible inscription, the estimate would be, at auction, $15,000 to $20,000. Did you think it would be worth anywhere near that? No? Well, you've had a pretty incredible gift, and a superb book in your collection. Have you read it?

    GUEST: Not yet.

    APPRAISER: Now that you know how much this is worth, maybe don't read this copy. Maybe read a paperback, okay? Or get one from the library.

    WGBH This website is produced for PBS Online by WGBH Boston. ©1997-2015 WGBH Educational Foundation.
    ANTIQUES ROADSHOW is a trademark of the BBC and is produced for PBS by WGBH under license from BBC Worldwide.
    WGBH and PBS are not responsible for the content of websites linked to or from ANTIQUES ROADSHOW Online.
    PBS is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization.

    ROADSHOW on Facebook ROADSHOW Tweets ROADSHOW on YouTube