"Gone With The Wind" Signed by Margaret Mitchell & Cast
Appraised Value: $7,000 - $9,000
IMAGE: 1 of 3
Appraisal Video: (3:34)
Books & Manuscripts
Director, Fine Books and Manuscripts
Bonhams & Butterfields, LA
GUEST: Well, it's a copy of Gone With the Wind that my Aunt Sue Myrick used in Hollywood when she was technical advisor on Gone With the Wind. And if you look at the edges, you'll see it's very well worn, but it was sort of her bible. Any time Selznick asked her a question, she went to this book to get the answer.
APPRAISER: So your aunt is Susan Myrick, one of two technical advisors on Gone With the Wind, the person that David O. Selznick went to, to create the perfect, authentic reproduction of the Old South.
APPRAISER: And what else is special about it?
GUEST: Well, it's really special because it's signed to her by Margaret Mitchell-- "To Susan Myrick, who has charm and gumption and gallantry, and totes her own load, Margaret Mitchell." And it was given to her, to Sue, before she went to Hollywood. And while Sue was out there, she had a lot of the people sign it. You can barely see Clark Gable and Victor Fleming's names. They used vanishing ink. But Hattie McDaniel is at the bottom. Vivian Leigh is here. Olivia de Havilland signed up this way. This is Cammie King, who played Bonnie Blue Butler.
GUEST: Alicia Rhett. Who's India Wilkes.
GUEST: India Wilkes got Scarlett into trouble.
GUEST: This is one of the Tarleton twins. That's George Reeves, who went on to be...
APPRAISER: Right, changed his name.
GUEST: ...television's Superman.
APPRAISER: Can we look at the back? You've got... there are more signatures in the back. Wilbur Kurtz signed up here. Wilbur Kurtz is the other technical advisor...
GUEST: Is the other technical advisor...
APPRAISER: ...on Gone with the Wind with your aunt, Susan Myrick, yes. And both of them knew Margaret Mitchell very well.
GUEST: They were good friends. And they were appointed...
APPRAISER: they were actually selected by Margaret Mitchell to perform this job. I think this is a really remarkable book for a lot of reasons. Your aunt had a signed copy of this book before she went to Hollywood. This inscription is dated 1937, so two years before the film went into production. And yet, even though this would have been her cherished copy, this is the one she used on the set. And yes, almost everybody associated with the film is represented here, plus Margaret Mitchell, which makes it really just a wonderful, wonderful book. Now, with 20th-century literature, usually condition is everything.
APPRAISER: In other words, we want to see the dust jacket. This would be one exception where a little bit of wear and tear, or a little bit more than a little bit of wear and tear, is okay. Because as you say, she used it every day. And we want the person who's on the set of Gone With the Wind every day to always be referring back to the text, to make sure that the film is true to the original. Have you ever had this piece appraised?
GUEST: No. Back in about 1980, a man who was writing Gone With the Wind books offered me $500 for it, and I thought, "Uh-uh."
APPRAISER: (laughs) That's a little low, even back in 1980. In spite of the condition, this is the kind of thing that the Windies-- the people who are diehard Gone With the Wind fans-- would just plotz over. I mean, they would just really, really love to see this book, to have this book. We would put an auction estimate of $7,000 to $9,000 on this book.
APPRAISER: Yeah, much, much better than $500.
GUEST: Yes, it sure is.
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