Girl with dog passport photo, Germany 1916

This passport from the Duchy Saxe Coburg-Gotha is one of the very rare types within the German Empire and look at the passport picture which shows the bearer – a girl – with her dog! That´s just awesome and a most unusual passport picture. At these days there were no rules about passport pictures and you could take any photograph as long it was fitting on a passport page. Passport pictures were introduced in Germany on 1. January 1915. In 1914 Saxe Coburg-Gotha had a population of only 257.000 citizens but how many had a passport? Just a fraction.

Girl with dog passport photo, Germany 1916

Girl with dog passport photo, Germany 1916

Girl with dog passport photo, Germany 1916

 

Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (German: Sachsen-Coburg und Gotha), or Saxe-Coburg-Gotha, was an Ernestine duchy ruled by a branch of the House of Wettin, consisting of territories in the present-day states of Bavaria and Thuringia in Germany. It lasted from 1826 to 1918.

The name Saxe-Coburg-Gotha also refers to the family of the ruling House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, which played many varied roles in the dynastic and political history of Europe in the 19th and 20th centuries. In the early part of the 20th century, before the First World War, it was the family of the sovereigns of the United Kingdom, Belgium, Portugal, Bulgaria, and Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. In 1910, the Portuguese king was deposed, and the same thing occurred in Saxe-Coburg-Gotha in 1918 and in Bulgaria in 1946. As of 2016, branches of the family still reign in Belgium, the United Kingdom, and the other Commonwealth realms. The former Tsar of Bulgaria, Simeon II (reigned 1943–46), kept his surname while serving as the Prime Minister of Bulgaria from 2001 to 2005.

This passport photo became quite iconic and was displayed by several media outlets around the globe. Even at that time in 1916, it was pretty unusual. But as passport photos were just introduced a year before in 1915, no rules were set for the photo and everything was allowed as long the photo fit on the passport page. I am happy to have such a nice document in my collection.

Girl with dog passport photo, Germany 1916