Eartha Kitt Original Passport 1950s

The United States passport of Eartha Kitt is up for sale on an online platform. The seller asks $5600 but delivers a fragile document description and even more blurry photos. It seems he doesn’t care much about selling his item. Otherwise, he would do a much better job of promoting his sale. Eartha Kitt Original Passport

However, some collectors are into celebrity passports, which is a chance to grab such an excellent travel document. At the same time, someone can sharpen their negotiation skills as the price is ridiculously high. Her passport was issued at the US consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Eartha Kitt Original Passport

Born in 1928 on a cotton plantation in the deep south of the United States and abandoned by her mother, Kitt grew up with an aunt. She graduated from the New York School of Performing Arts and made her New York debut as a dancer in Blue Holiday (1945). After being called the “most exciting woman in the world” by Orson Welles, he cast her as Helen of Troy in Dr. Faustus.

She later starred in Batman (1967), owning the role of ‘Catwoman’ and becoming the first black woman to achieve mainstream TV success in America. Known for being blunt and short-tempered at times, Kitt found herself in a media firestorm in 1968. She attended a luncheon on juvenile delinquency and crime hosted by Lady Bird Johnson at the White House.

At the event, Kitt shared her thoughts on the matter, telling the First Lady, “You send the best of this country off to be shot and maimed,” according to the Washington Post. “No wonder the kids rebel and take the pot.” Her remarks against the Vietnam War offended Johnson and made headlines.

Her popularity took a significant hit after that, and she spent several years mostly performing abroad. Her distinctive singing style gave her many hits, including the Christmas song “Santa Baby.” Despite her ‘sex kitten’ status, she was an outspoken feminist and activist for civil rights. Kitt died from colon cancer on Christmas Day 2008 at her home in Weston, Connecticut. Eartha Kitt Original Passport

A standard passport issued at United States Consulate General in Istanbul, Turkey in 1951 is surely not often to find, as travel documents from African Americans at that time are scarce in general. Her occupation is given as dancer and singer. We can see also a visa of Germany issued at their consulate general in Paris in June 1951.

This was the Istanbul Eartha encountered in 1951: a shaky but vibrant, regenerative place; a place that had gone about the business of reinventing itself as art capital of a post–Ottoman Empire, a new Turkish republic. Read more about her Turkey encounter in “The Surprising Story of Eartha Kitt in Istanbul.”

FAQ Passport History
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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...