1908 L. M. Montgomery, “Anne of Green Gables,” First Edition

Value (2005) | $12,000 Auction$18,000 Auction
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GUEST:
I actually just got this book out of our attic. When my daughter was young, we found Anne of Green Gables on PBS.

APPRAISER:
Right.

GUEST:
And once we found that, we fell in love. My daughter was about ten years old when we started reading the Anne of Green Gables series. And then at a flea market I saw this book. And I thought, "Perfect, we'll take it."

APPRAISER:
Can I ask how much you paid at the flea market?

GUEST:
I don't think it was any more than five dollars. It's only a book.

APPRAISER:
It's only a book. It was written in 1908 by Montgomery. There was really a lot of boys' books up to that time. But that was one of the first of the women's, girls' books, say.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
And because of that, it had a great audience. And it took off, and the series followed. It's just one of these most beloved girl books ever written. And it really means a lot to people.

GUEST:
Mm-hmm.

APPRAISER:
And because it was the first book, they often didn't print many copies; the runs are very small. Publishers aren't sure, is this thing going to take off or not? Turns out it was a huge success and everybody wanted the book. But to get a true first edition was very, very difficult.

GUEST:
Hmm.

APPRAISER:
The book is dated on the title page. 1908. And here, it says, "First Impression, April 1908." That's very important. Because this marks it as the true, true first edition.

GUEST:
Hmm.

APPRAISER:
And for a collector, that means everything. The last copy that sold two years ago sold for $20,000.

GUEST:
(gasps)

APPRAISER:
Yeah.

GUEST:
You're kidding!

APPRAISER:
Copies rarely come up at auction. I've only handled three in my career. And this is in equally good condition to that one. And I would estimate it safely $12,000 to $18,000 at auction.

GUEST:
Oh, my gosh.

APPRAISER:
So you've got a real treasure and a book that you love.

GUEST:
Oh, my gosh.

APPRAISER:
And I really am grateful you brought it here to the Roadshow.

GUEST:
I had no idea.

APPRAISER:
It's a very special thing and take good care of it.

GUEST:
Gosh. Now I'm worried.

APPRAISER:
Now you're worried. The best thing you can do is keep it out of the direct sunlight so it stops from fading. You want to make sure it doesn't get any wear or tear or soiling. So you always want to handle it with clean hands. And I would recommend getting some kind of a protective box or case for it for preservation. Because you really want to keep this well.

GUEST:
Oh, my gosh, my daughter is not going to believe it.

APPRAISER:
Yeah, well, you can call your daughter up and tell her.

GUEST:
Thank you very much.

APPRAISER:
You're very welcome, thank you.

GUEST:
I appreciate it. Oh, I am just shaken.

APPRAISER:
Well, good.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Christie's
New York, NY
Appraised value (2005)
$12,000 Auction$18,000 Auction
Event
Providence, RI (June 18, 2005)

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