Originally posted Tuesday, July 2, 2019 by RODNEY HOfirstname.lastname@example.org 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.
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.
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.