Third Edition "Gone With The Wind"

Value (2013) | $5 Retail$10 Retail
Watch  

APPRAISER:
What have you brought in with you today?

GUEST:
Gone with the Wind.

APPRAISER:
Sure is. We see this on the Roadshow quite a bit. Margaret Mitchell's classic book.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
What's special about this copy?

GUEST:
In 1939, December the 15th, Atlanta, Georgia, "Premiere at Atlanta of Gone with the Wind at Loew's Grand Theatre, Peachtree Street, Atlanta, Georgia." Margaret had stopped signing autographs, but her friend Rosie, who lived with her in the apartment building that she lived in on Peachtree Street when she wrote Gone with the Wind, she took the manuscript to Rosie and said, "Will you read this French? Excuse my English." And Rosie said, "I'll read it." And when she got done reading it, she says, "Margaret, you've got to publish that, it's fantastic." She wrote, "To Rosie, my neighbor and my friend, love, Margaret," December the 15th, 1939.

APPRAISER:
That is what it says, that is exactly what it says.

GUEST:
Yes.

APPRAISER:
Now, the book was published in June of 1936. I understand. This edition is 1938, so it's not a first edition.

GUEST:
No.

APPRAISER:
But when something has such an inscription, it would add value that would make up... more than make up for the lack of it not being a first edition.

GUEST:
Well, you've got to understand, Gone with the Wind is the second Bible of the South.

APPRAISER:
It sure is.

GUEST:
And when I saw that, I'm not an appraiser...

APPRAISER:
Now, where did you get it?

GUEST:
I bought it at an estate sale on Peachtree Street in the mid-'70s.

APPRAISER:
And this was the estate sale of...

GUEST:
Rosie. Her children were selling it. And they told me the story about Margaret asking Rosie...

APPRAISER:
Right.

GUEST:
...to read this bunch of French.

APPRAISER:
Right. Well, let me tell you, copies of Gone with the Wind, being such a classic piece of American culture, really one of the greatest books of the 20th century in American literature, most beloved, and especially in the South, inscribed copies, signed copies alone go $6,000 to $8,000. Inscribed copies can go well beyond that. But I have to tell you something, and you can't take it against me, okay? And I've consulted with my colleagues, and I've done a lot of comparisons, and I know Margaret Mitchell's handwriting. This isn't Margaret Mitchell's handwriting.

GUEST:
Ooh!

APPRAISER:
I've got to tell you. And I've got to tell you because this is what comes along often. This is not inscribed by Margaret Mitchell to Rosie.

GUEST:
Wow.

APPRAISER:
It's somebody else named Margaret, which is a common name, to someone named Rosie. And I believe it's Rosie's family. It descended through the family. The story lives on because of that name "Margaret." We checked it very carefully. And you were right: Mitchell doesn't sign autographs easily, and she didn't like to inscribe the book, so that was one bit of evidence that made us a little bit cautious. Whenever we see Mitchell, we're always watching it. She signed with a heavier pen, a very thick pen. The nib is thicker than this, and that's consistent. The M's in the letters are quite different, and we had a lot of examples. And the other thing that is evidence that it's not correct is if you look at this handwriting and this handwriting, it is the same writing. So it would be incredibly unlikely that Mitchell would write out all this information and then turn the book on its side and write an inscription to her friend. It would have been more likely that the friend would have written this all out. That's, in our best estimation of what this is, what you've brought. Because of that, it is merely a later edition of Gone with the Wind with a nice, touching sentiment inside from two people who were at the theater that night, two friends, and wouldn't have any retail value, being a second, or third, actually, edition. It's a later edition. It would only be worth itself as a reading copy and would be worth about five or ten dollars in a bookstore, a secondhand bookstore.

GUEST:
Shucks.

APPRAISER:
Sorry about that.

GUEST:
(laughing) Not as sorry as I am.

APPRAISER:
Do you remember how much you paid for it at the estate sale?

GUEST:
Yes, I paid $2,000 for it.

APPRAISER:
What year did you buy it?

GUEST:
'74.

APPRAISER:
Big number in '74.

GUEST:
Big number today.

APPRAISER:
(laughing)

GUEST:
It's still the second Bible of the South.

APPRAISER:
It's still the second Bible of the South.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Christie's
New York
None
New York, NY
Leslie Hindman Auctioneers
Appraised value (2013)
$5 Retail$10 Retail
Event
Knoxville, TN (July 13, 2013)
Form
Book
Material
Paper

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