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Gone with the Wind Collectibles: A Look April 29 2022

Gone With the Wind is an all-time American movie classic. Even when it was released, way back in 1939, it was already a national sensation, as its opening day was declared a state holiday by the governor of Georgia. Gone With the Wind was the most expensive film production until that time, yet it grossed 25 times its cost on its initial run. It also became a big obsession for collectors all over the globe, as Gone with the Wind Collectibles have been sought after for several decades now.

If the inflation correction is taken into account, Gone with the Wind can be considered to be the most successful film of all time. The film received thirteen Academy Award nominations and won eight, including best picture. It also launched the career of lead actress Vivien Leigh, who can arguably be called one of the best actresses of the twentieth century. The film was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the United States Library of Congress in 1989.

 

Gone with the Wind movie ticket

Gone with the Wind original movie ticket, 1940

 

The story, which was based on Margaret Mitchell's bestseller of the same name, is set in the southern part of the United States, on the eve of the Civil War in 1861. At the center of it all is Scarlett O'Hara (Leigh), a spoiled brat who is used to getting everything her heart desires. She lives with her family on the Tara estate when she falls in love with Ashley Wilkes (Leslie Howard). However, he prefers and chooses her niece Melanie (Olivia de Havilland). Scarlett avenges herself by marrying a man she doesn't love. When she is widowed, she enters into a marriage of convenience. After all, she wants to put the parental property that was destroyed by the war back on track.

Gone with the Wind movie poster 1939

Gone with the Wind has many passionate fans, among them a lot of collectors who have been chasing memorabilia, merchandise and various other items and props related to the classic love story for decades. There are numerous social media accounts, websites, books and even museums dedicated to Gone with the Wind Collectibles.

 

[Image] Gone with the Wind movie poster 1939

 

These collectibles include various prints of the original book, movie posters, props from the film, autographs by the leading actors, home video releases of the film on media like video tape, laser disk or DVD, merchandise, collector plates and dolls, and much, much more. In this article, we are going to take a closer look at some of the most sought after Gone with the Wind Collectibles.

 

POSTERS AND LOBBY CARDS

Original lobby cards for Gone with the Wind

The original Gone with the Wind poster was made in the iconic old painted artwork style that was typical for Hollywood movie posters in the 1930s. The concept was conceived by freelance art director Tom Jung and illustrations were made by painter Howard Terpning. But because the movie saw several re-releases many different posters beside the original exist.

 

[Image] Original lobby cards for Gone with the Wind

 

They can range in value from $25 all the way up to $10,000 or more for posters from the original 1939 showing. A lot of collectors are also passionate about international versions of the poster, as the film was released in many countries, and languages. True collectors are able to instantly recognize from what year a Gone with the Wind poster is actually from. All the posters from the 1954 re-release for example carry the tag line “The Greatest Motion Picture Ever Made”.

 

PLATES

Gone With the Wind Collector Plate - Scarlett and Rhett’s Honeymoon

Starting in 1978 there were several commemorative plate sets released that pay homage to Gone with the Wind. These plates depict both costumes worn by the film's actors as well as classic scenes from the movie. These plates were sold for around $20 to $30 apiece upon the time of release, and most of them are worth twice that as of today.

 

[Image] Gone With the Wind Collector Plate - Scarlett and Rhett’s Honeymoon

 

One of the most rarest are a set of 8 porcelain plates that were to be produced and released by Collectors Originals in the early eighties of the previous century. Only these 8 exist because 2 days before production was set to start Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer cancelled the series and went with another plate manufacturer.

 

DOLLS

Gone with the Wind doll set

A wide variety of Gone with the Wind dolls have been released over the years. A lot of these are Scarlett dolls, but there are also a few other characters from the film available.

 

[Image] Gone with the Wind doll set

 

Some of the more well-known series are the porcelain dolls from Franklin Mint, the collectible baby dolls by Madame Alexander, and the fashion dolls by Barbie. Most of these dolls are not that rare and as a result not that valuable. But there are a few rare dolls out there, like some Gone with the Wind Barbie’s that sold for around $1,000.

 

 

BOOKS

If you decide to start collecting Gone with the Wind books there is a lot to choose from. The original 1936 novel has been translated into 27 languages and issued in 37 countries. And there have been many different releases since then. There were also a lot of books released on the making of the film. And there was a book published on Gone with the Wind Collectibles.

Mitchell, Margaret - Signed Book "Gone with the Wind" First Edition

The first American printing of the original novel numbered only 10,000 copies, and inside is an incorrect release date of May, 1936. There was also a corrected second printing of 25,000 copies. Both prints were released to the American public in June of 1936.

 

[Image] First Edition of the Book "Gone with the Wind" signed by Margaret Mitchell

 

These first editions, when signed, are valued between $10,000 and $25,000, depending on the book's condition. A special Book Club Edition was also printed and released at the same time as these first and second printings.

 

 

AUTOGRAPHS

Vivien Leigh Autograph

Fantastic movie-still photograph of Vivien Leigh and Clark Gable in "Gone with the Wind", signed by Leigh.

Another thing “Windy fanatics” are passionate about are autographs by the film’s cast and crew. Arguably one of the most impressive autographed Gone with the Wind related items ever sold has to be a 1938 printing of the book signed by seven cast members: Clark Gable, Vivien Leigh, Olivia de Havilland, Ona Munson, Laura Hope Crews, Butterfly McQueen and Eddie Anderson. Apparently all these signatures were obtained by Philip Mitchell, a then unknown and uncredited sound mixer on the film. The book sold for almost $6,500 in 2008.

Butterfly McQueen Autograph

Butterfly McQueen as Prissy in "Gone with the Wind" - Photo signed by her 

Autographed pictures from Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh also tend to have a rather high value. These photographs can be worth up to $6,000 apiece. But most autographed pictures of Leigh have a value that lies between $1,000 and $2,000, while autographed pictures of other cast members are usually worth around $800 or less.

Hattie McDaniel Autograph

Signature cut and Photograph of Hattie McDaniel as Mammy in "Gone with the Wind"

 

OTHER ITEMS

While we have already covered the most common Gone with the Wind Collectibles, there are a few other items we would like to mention. For example the many Gone with the Wind lamps that you may find on websites like eBay or Etsy. These lamps are also often referred to as hurricane lamps or chamber lamps, and were produced by a variety of glass companies around the turn of the century. These types of lamps became very popular with the general public and collectors because they were used as part of the set decoration in the film.

 

Gone with the Wind Bubbleheads

Gone with the Wind bobbleheads

If you are collecting home media releases of Gone with the Wind you have got your work cut out for you. Because there have been many, many different releases all over the world on Super 8mm, VHS, laserdisc, DVD, Blu-ray, and other formats. Gone with the Wind discs even occupied the top four spots of Amazon during the summer of 2020 when HBO Max pulled the film temporarily from its streaming service.

Another interesting item to mention is the Gone with the Wind board game released by Marietta Games in 1940. This may actually be one of the very first pieces of memorabilia related to the classic film. While you will be able to find just the board or some of the tokens or money that came with the game, a complete set is very hard to track down, and prepare to pay a steep price if you do. Not to be confused with another Gone with the Wind board game that was released by Classic Games in 1993.

Gone With The Wind Teapot 1994

Gone With The Wind Teapot 1994

Besides the dolls we already discussed earlier Franklin Mint also released quite a few porcelain Gone with the Wind figurines of various characters from the film. These figurines come in various sizes, some of them have a glass dome, and some are sets of two. They are not that rare, but can still be a fine addition to any Gone with the Wind collection.


MUSEUMS

If you are passionate about Gone with the Wind Collectibles we can recommend a visit to the Gone with the Wind Museum, located in Marietta, Georgia. It doesn’t matter if you’re a fan of the novel, the film, or perhaps both, this museum housed in the historic Brumby Hall will have something for you to enjoy.

Margaret Mitchell Typed Letter

Like the original Bengaline honeymoon gown worn by Vivien Leigh, and many other costume pieces used in the film. They also have a wide collection of rare press and publicity books, film posters, programs and advertisements.

 

[Image] A type letter signed by Margaret Mitchell discussing with her publisher about rights and edition of the novel.

 

There are several of Margaret Mitchell’s personal volumes of the novel to see, as well as the personal script of Ona Munson, who portrayed Belle Watling in the film.

The city of Cleburne in the state of Texas also houses a museum dedicated to the all-time movie classic. The museum is called Gone with the Wind Remembered. It is filled with Gone with the Wind memorabilia and original costume pieces, like the original mourning bonnet worn by Scarlett O’Hara and the original wool coat, hat and muff worn by Cammie King.

The props include call sheets from the film’s production, and numerous pieces of costuming and accessories. They also have a collection of over 600 dolls and a theater seat from the premiere of the movie in the Atlanta Loew’s Theatre in 1939. The gift shop offers many Gone with the Wind related merchandise and items available for purchase.

ORIGINAL PROP POSTER MADE FOR GONE WITH THE WIND 1939

In Jonesboro, Georgia, you will find the Road to Tara museum, another museum that is dedicated to Gone with the Wind. The exhibits pay homage to the personal and professional experiences of African American actors Butterfly McQueen and Hattie McDaniel, and honor the contributions of these wonderful women to the entertainment industry.

[Image] Original prop poster made for "Gone with the Wind" - Atlanta Siege Sequence

A fourth museum dedicated to Gone with the Wind is called Scarlett's Secret. It is located in the Nacoochee Valley of North Georgia. The museum is housed in a large, 2 story "Plantation" style home and contains many items of memorabilia related to the movie and the Civil War. This museum’s website has not been updated for a long time so we are not sure if they are still in business. If you plan on visiting it might be a good idea to contact them beforehand.

 

IN CLOSING

We hope reading this article gave you some insight on the many Gone with the Wind Collectibles that are out there, and their value. Maybe we even gave you some inspiration to add new items of interest to your collection, or plan a visit to one of the museums? Thank you for reading, and happy collecting!

Written by Mark de Wit

 

SEE ALSO:

- Butterfly McQueen Signed Photo as Prissy "Gone with the Wind"

- Ann Rutherford Signed Photograph as Carrinee O'Hara

Vivien Leigh Signed Photo in "Gone with the Wind"

Olivia de Havilland Signed Photo in "Gone with the Wind"

Movie Memorabilia: Items Collected Around the World (Blog Article)

- Star Trek Memorabilia: Many Treasures From a Vast Universe (Blog Article)

 

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