Seldom do we come across passports of such notable nobility in the present day. Presented here is the Austrian passport belonging to Archduke Franz Salvator of Austria-Tuscany from the House of Habsburg-Lothringen. It stands as a genuine treasure in the history of Austrian passports.
Archduke Franz Salvator of Austria-Tuscany (1927-2012)
The Archduke was born in 1927 at Schloß Wallsee, the family home his father inherited from his mother, Archduchess Marie Valerie, herself the youngest daughter of Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria (1830-1916).
In 1962, Archduke Franz Salvator married Princess Anne Amelie of Schönburg-Waldenburg. Princess Anne Amelie’s sisters are Princess Stephanie, who is married to Count Ludwig von Waldburg zu Wolfegg u. Waldsee, Princess Luise, who is married to Prince Andreas of Hohenlohe-Langenburg. Prince Andreas is the last surviving son of Princess Margarita of Greece, who was the eldest sister of the Duke of Edinburgh.
Archduchess Anne Amelie died early, before her thirty-first year. Her husband remained a widower for the next fourteen years, marrying secondly in 1980 Hedwig von Lichem-Löwenburg (1938-2000).
Archduke Franz Salvator and his second wife had two daughters: Margaretha (b. 1981), married since 2001 to Andreas Baumgartner (b. 1977); and Marie-Valerie (b. 1982), who in 2005 married Martin Josef Wagner (b. 1982). His daughters gave the Archduke four grandchildren, all with the last name Habsburg-Lothringen.
The parents of Archduke Franz Salvator, who for many years managed the estate at Schloß Wallsee, also had three other children: Archduchess Theresa (b. 1931), widow of Prince Rasso of Bavaria; Archduchess Maria Immakulata (b. 1933), widow of Count Reinhart von un su Hoensbroech; and Archduke Carl Salvator (b. 1936), married since 1970 to Baroness Wedith Wenzl von Sternbach (b. 1943).
Princess Gisela of Saxony (née Bavaria) is a niece of the late Archduke Franz Salvator, while Margravine Valerie of Baden is his first cousin.
Archduke Franz Salvator of Austria-Tuscany was the eldest son of Archduke Theodor Salvator (1899-1978) and of his wife Maria Theresa, née Countess Waldburg zu Zeil u. Trauchburg (1901-1967). He died on 13 February 2012.
This travel document, identified as Series-A with the serial number 425,156, was granted to Franz Salvador Habsburg-Lothringen. Comprising 48 pages, this document is richly adorned with various stamps and visas. Notably, the passport number is recorded as XI – 545/49, portraying the 22-year-old Archduke as a student.
Dated August 10th, 1949, the passport was officially issued in Amstetten and remained valid for five years. Notably, this travel document showcases an assortment of intriguing visas affixed over time.
In 1949, just four years after the end of WWII, an exit visa was still required to leave Austria. This visa we see on page five for travel to Switzerland and Liechtenstein.
Further countries/visas are from Switzerland, France, Belgium (including Congo), Germany, Spain, Italy, Niger, Sudan, Colombia, Morocco, Algeria (with a special stamp for the Hoggar mountains), Tunisia, South Africa, Egypt
Especially notable are the French for French West Africa and French Equatorial Africa visas and six visas by the Allied Military Government of Occupied Territories (AMGOT), all with AMG revenue stamps.
And finally, there is a green registration card with his data attached to the passport, which was in use from Aug 10, 1949, until May 6, 1954 (last stamp).
What a fantastic and well-traveled passport for an Archduke, and a member of the noble House of Habsburg!
FAQ Passport History pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट
1. What are the earliest known examples of passports, and how have they evolved?
The word "passport" came up only in the mid 15th Century. Before that, such documents were safe conducts, recommendations or protection letters. On a practical aspect, the earliest passport I have seen was from the mid 16th Century. Read more...
2. Are there any notable historical figures or personalities whose passports are highly sought after by collectors?
Every collector is doing well to define his collection focus, and yes, there are collectors looking for Celebrity passports and travel documents of historical figures like Winston Churchill, Brothers Grimm, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Read more...
3. How did passport designs and security features change throughout different periods in history, and what impact did these changes have on forgery prevention?
"Passports" before the 18th Century had a pure functional character. Security features were, in the best case, a watermark and a wax seal. Forgery, back then, was not an issue like it is nowadays. Only from the 1980s on, security features became a thing. A state-of-the-art passport nowadays has dozens of security features - visible and invisible. Some are known only by the security document printer itself. Read more...
4. What are some of the rarest and most valuable historical passports that have ever been sold or auctioned?
Lou Gehrig, Victor Tsoi, Marilyn Monroe, James Joyce, and Albert Einstein when it comes to the most expensive ones. Read more...
5. How do diplomatic passports differ from regular passports, and what makes them significant to collectors?
Such documents were often held by officials in high ranks, like ambassadors, consuls or special envoys. Furthermore, these travel documents are often frequently traveled. Hence, they hold a tapestry of stamps or visas. Partly from unusual places.
6. Can you provide insights into the stories behind specific historical passports that offer unique insights into past travel and migration trends?
7. What role did passports play during significant historical events, such as wartime travel restrictions or international treaties?
During war, a passport could have been a matter of life or death. Especially, when we are looking into WWII and the Holocaust. And yes, during that time, passports and similar documents were often forged to escape and save lives. Example...
8. How has the emergence of digital passports and biometric identification impacted the world of passport collecting?
Current modern passports having now often a sparkling, flashy design. This has mainly two reasons. 1. Improved security and 2. Displaying a countries' heritage, icons, and important figures or achievements. I can fully understand that those modern documents are wanted, especially by younger collectors.
9. Are there any specialized collections of passports, such as those from a specific country, era, or distinguished individuals?
Yes, the University of Western Sidney Library has e.g. a passport collection of the former prime minister Hon Edward Gough Whitlam and his wife Margaret. They are all diplomatic passports and I had the pleasure to apprise them. I hold e.g. a collection of almost all types of the German Empire passports (only 2 types are still missing). Also, my East German passport collection is quite extensive with pretty rare passport types.
10. Where can passport collectors find reliable resources and reputable sellers to expand their collection and learn more about passport history?
A good start is eBay, Delcampe, flea markets, garage or estate sales. The more significant travel documents you probably find at the classic auction houses. Sometimes I also offer documents from my archive/collection. See offers... As you are already here, you surely found a great source on the topic 😉
11. Is vintage passport collecting legal? What are the regulations and considerations collectors should know when acquiring historical passports?
First, it's important to stress that each country has its own laws when it comes to passports. Collecting old vintage passports for historical or educational reasons is safe and legal, or at least tolerated. More details on the legal aspects are here...
Does this article spark your curiosity about passport collecting and the history of passports? With this valuable information, you have a good basis to start your own passport collection.
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