French passport 1789 for a Belgian Diplomat

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This is one of many items coming from a huge archive previously belonging to Sir Somerville Arthur Gurney [1835-1917] including a large amount of ancestry regarding the Norfolk GURNEY family history, 12 journals [1790-1820], 100 letters, 250 loose photographs, 25 photographs [travelers diary] albums [1860-1910] plus a large number of ephemera. French Passport Belgian Diplomat

French Passport Belgian Diplomat

An original 18th-century passport dated c1789 issued by Louis Marie Gabriel Cesar, Baron, Choiseul, Marquis d’Esguilly [1734-1831] to the holder Francois de Coninck [1763-1846] a Belgian Diplomat, lawyer, Judge, member of the Belgian Congress [1830-1831] & member of the Senate [1831-1837]. Held both the Order of Leopold [11th July 1832] & Order de la Croix-de-Fer. French Passport Belgian Diplomat

French Passport Belgian Diplomat

Jean François de Coninck (20th February 1763 Wijtschate – 18th February 1846 Ypres) was a member of the National Congress. French Passport Belgian Diplomat
He obtained a law degree from the University of Leuven in 1786. In 1790 he became Grand Pensionary in Ypres for the eight parishes of the ‘Generality’ in Western Flanders, in 1792 he became pensionary and registrar of the city of Ostend. During the French period, he became a judge at the court of the Leie. department (1797). From 1800 to 1811 he was a lawyer and deputy judge and from [1811 to 1823] he was a judge in Ypres. Attorney General Beyts assessed him as follows: Excellent lawyer possesses a large fortune and enjoys the general esteem. In 1820 he also became an alderman of Wijtschate. The voters of the district of Ypres sent him to the National Congress. He never spoke but voiced his opinion on important matters. He voted for the Declaration of Independence and for the perpetual exclusion of Nassau. In the first rounds of voting for a candidate for king, he first voted for Duke Charles of Austria-Teschen and then for the Duke of Leuchtenberg. He preferred Félix de Mérode. In June he voted for Leopold of Saxe Coburg and for the acceptance of the Treaty of the XVIII Articles. He was elected senator in 1831 and remained so until 1837. De Coninck was a son of Jean-François de Coninck, general recipient of the castellany Ypres, and of Marie Leuridan. He married Marie-Françoise Peellaert. Their son, Charles de Coninck (1805-1866), who remained unmarried, became a lawyer in Brussels and then a judge in Ypres. In June he voted for Leopold of Saxe Coburg and for the acceptance of the Treaty of the XVIII Articles. He was elected senator in 1831 and remained so until 1837. De Coninck was a son of Jean-François de Coninck, General recipient of the castellany Ypres, and of Marie Leuridan. He married Marie-Françoise Peellaert. Their son, Charles de Coninck (1805-1866), who remained unmarried, became a lawyer in Brussels and then a judge in Ypres. French Passport Belgian Diplomat

Order of Leopold 11th July 1832 & Order de la Croix-de-​Fer.
Member Congress National de Belgique [1830-1831]
Member of the Senate [1831-1837]
French Passport Belgian Diplomat

French Passport Belgian Diplomat

Passport issued by Louis Marie Gabriel César de Choiseul, Baron d’Esguilly, born in 1734 at Autun, France. His father was César Gabriel de Choiseul, duc de Praslin (1712-1785), French diplomat and statesman. Louis Choiseul joined the armed service as a musketeer in the second company, 1747, and served successively in the King’s Regiment (sous-lieutenant, 1750; lieutenant, 1755) and the Gendarmes-Dauphin (Capitaine-lieutenant, 1761). From 1757 to 1762 he served in the Seven Years’ War, but thereafter his political ambitions took him away from his military career. French Passport Belgian Diplomat

SIZE: 16.5″ X 8.5″

CONDITION: The passport has been conserved in an unfolded condition within a large semi-hard plastic sleeve thus the areas of the vertical & horizontal folds show the most wear. Where the folds show to the front to the rear they have very old areas of sellotape. It also appears that the sides have been trimmed. French Passport Belgian Diplomat


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...