“Gone with the Wind” Collection

Value (2012) | $12,000 Retail$15,000 Retail

I read the book when I was in my teens and liked it very much. A friend of mine who is a book dealer found this copy and sold it to me. And I wrote to Margaret Mitchell asking her about floor plans, because I was interested in architecture, and this letter was... came to me as a response from Margaret Mitchell in 1947. And she said there were no plans, and in her letter she included this brochure which Macmillan had issued with the original when they first printed the book.

So you had the audacity as a teenage boy to write the famous writer and ask her some very impertinent questions.

Probably, you're right.

What I find fascinating in the letter is that she goes into quite some detail to respond to you, and she talks a lot about the novel, and Tara, the plantation, and admits to you that from Tara on to everything else in the book that you'll not find on any map, that it's all a mythical creation from her own mind. And then you also... you had the audacity later on, to the letter, apparently to ask her to send you drawings and plans of Tara. And she replies by suggesting that she isn't an artist or an architect and that she really isn't capable of such things. And then she's gracious enough to go on, as you point out, to send you this book that was actually published after the first edition of the book, not simultaneously with it. And if you would open it up to the marked page, where she has annotated the booklet, changing it to the correct of "sprained ankle." And then I'm not quite sure what the blackout is on the second page here. I'm not sure myself. It's quite blacked out, and we can't make it out. But clearly, the famous author objected to whatever she changed.

Whatever it was, she didn't like it or it was incorrect.

Can you imagine the fan mail she would have gotten after that movie came out?

I'm very happy that she took the time and the effort to respond to me.

It's very kind and generous on her part. I can't tell you how many copies of this book I see that people write, or call, or show me, "I have a first edition Gone With the Wind." And of course, as we all know now, it has to say, "Published May of 1936," which your copy does. So this in fact is an authentic first edition Gone With the Wind. And it's in a very nice dust jacket. How much did you pay for the first edition?

You're asking me a question I really cannot remember. That was over 65 years ago, so... I know I did not pay an extravagant amount for it.

Do you have any idea what the book's worth?

I have absolutely no idea. I've never really given it any thought.

Well, the book in and of itself is quite a valuable first edition. You've got a fine copy in jacket. I think I would value your Margaret Mitchell Gone With the Wind collection, the three pieces, at retail at between $12,000 to $15,000.

Well, I'm delighted to know that. Unfortunately, I think I'll put it right back on my shelf again. (laughing) I thank you very much.

Thank you for bringing such a wonderful book.

I'm glad I brought it. Thank you.

Appraisal Details

Ken Sanders Rare Books
Salt Lake City, UT
Appraised value (2012)
$12,000 Retail$15,000 Retail
Myrtle Beach, SC (June 23, 2012)
20th Century
Book, Letter
Ink, Paper

Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.

Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."

Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.

Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.

Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.

Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.

Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.