Collectors Meeting in London

Collectors Meeting London

Collectors Meeting London
Edward, Danny, and Tom

During my journey to London, I had the distinct pleasure of spending quality time with my esteemed fellow collectors, Ed and Brian. The cosmopolitan atmosphere of the city not only facilitated our interactions but also brought me into contact with other intriguing individuals such as the late William and Danny.

One particularly remarkable encounter was with an English lady who ventured from Brighton to share a treasure trove of 16 UK family passports spanning the decades from the 1930s to the 1980s. It was, undoubtedly, the most extensive family passport collection I had ever laid eyes upon. Collectors Meeting London

Recognizing the expertise of my friend Ed in the realm of UK passports, I recommended she establish contact with him. Despite this, a congenial conversation between us ensued, lasting a full two hours, as we looked into the intricacies of her collection.

In the days leading up to my departure for London, a fortuitous correspondence unfolded with yet another William, who had perused my articles and expressed an eagerness to contribute his father’s UK passport for scanning. Our arrangement dictated that he would entrust the documents to his associate Ark, stationed in the heart of London on Oxford Street. Collectors Meeting London

My commitment, however, was impeded by a flight cancellation, disrupting my schedule and compelling me to forgo a meeting with Mark. In a display of unwavering support, Mark admirably stepped in, capturing images of the documents and promptly forwarding them to me. To both William and Mark, I extend heartfelt gratitude for their gracious efforts.

Engaging in the company of Ed was nothing short of delightful, culminating in a convivial evening at a local pub, followed by a leisurely Sunday excursion to a nearby flea market. Ed’s involvement extends to his website,, which once showcased his impressive collection of approximately 500 passports.

His anticipated presence at our forthcoming Berlin event is a prospect to savor, as he holds the potential to regale us with insights about border stamps. (Please note that as of May 2020, his website is no longer active.) Collectors Meeting London

Collectors Meeting London
Brian & Tom

My encounter with Brian, a familiar collector with whom I had crossed paths previously, was equally pleasant. Over a leisurely lunch in London’s Financial District, we engaged in an animated dialogue. Brian acquired a few UK passports from my collection, solidifying our shared interest. Regrettably, he will be absent during our upcoming event due to prior commitments in the United States.

The experience of convening with fellow collectors transcends the realm of electronic correspondence, injecting vitality into discussions that would otherwise remain confined to email threads.

Thus, it is with immense satisfaction that I can affirm having participated in an international collector’s gathering within the heart of London. To all those who extended their time and hospitality, I express my profound gratitude. Collectors Meeting London

Looking forward with eagerness to our next rendezvous in BERLIN…

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FAQ Passport History
Passport collection, passport renewal, old passports for sale, vintage passport, emergency passport renewal, same day passport, passport application, 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?

A passport tells the story of its bearer and these stories can be everything - surprising, sad, vivid. Isabella Bird and her travels (1831-1904) or Mary Kingsley, a fearless Lady explorer.

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 😉

Other great sources are: Scottish Passports, The Nansen passport, The secret lives of diplomatic couriers

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.

Question? Contact me...