The door and casement of the Tara plantation from "Gone With the Wind," which has been loaned to the Margaret Mitchell House property for the past two decades, was auctioned to an unnamed buyer on June 27, 2019.
Photo: RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com
Photo: RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com

Tara ‘Gone With the Wind’ door auctioned for $120,000

The Atlanta History Center was outbid

Originally posted Tuesday, July 2, 2019 by RODNEY HO/rho@ajc.com on his AJC Radio & TV Talk blog

The casement and door of the Tara plantation featured in the 1939 classic film “Gone With the Wind” was auctioned to an unnamed buyer for $120,000 last week. 

This tripled the starting bid of $40,000. 

Profiles in History, which specializes in Hollywood memorabilia, auctioned the door in Los Angeles. 

The buyer chose to remain anonymous, a spokesman for Profiles in History said. 

The door has been featured at the Margaret Mitchell House museum in Midtown Atlanta the past 20 years. The Atlanta History Center, which owns the Margaret Mitchell House, said it was outbid. “We were disappointed the price exceeded our highest reasonable expectation,” said History Center spokesman Howard Pousner

>>RELATED: Mansion that inspired “Gone With the Wind” up for sale

Betty Talmadge, wife of the late Sen. and Gov. Herman Talmadge, purchased the door for $5,000 in 1979 and spent $8,000 to restore it in 1989. She loaned the door to the museum in 1996 for a special History Center “Gone With the Wind” exhibit before it was moved to a space on the Margaret Mitchell property. Betty Talmadge died in 2005. 

Betty’s son Gene Talmadge Jr. , whose name is on the plaque, died in 2014. He filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection the year he died and assets are still being sold off five years later. In January, 2019, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of the Northern District of Georgia approved the sale of the Tara door in court documents. 

Fred Crane, Vivien Leigh and George Reeves in the opening scene of "Gone With the Wind," which features the door that is being auctioned off next month.
Photo: From the book "Making of Gone With the Wind"

A separate lot of set pieces from the movie such as windows, shutters, doors, porch posts and railings were also put up for auction at a starting bid $15,000. They were purchased for $42,000. 

>>Read here for a full history of the Tara door


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About the Author

Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho
Rodney Ho covers radio and television for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
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