Grand Duchy Of Saxony 1919 – German Empire

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Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach was created as a duchy in 1809 by the merger of the Ernestine duchies of Saxe-Weimar and Saxe-Eisenach. It was raised to a Grand duchy in 1815 by the resolution of the Vienna Congress. In 1903, it officially changed its name to the Grand Duchy of Saxony, but this name was rarely used.

The Grand Duchy met its conclusion during the German Revolution of 1918–19, alongside the other monarchies within the German Empire. In its stead emerged the Free State of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, which, after two years, integrated into the newly formed state of Thuringia.

The complete grand ducal title included Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, Landgrave in Thuringia, Margrave of Meissen, and Princely Count of Henneberg. Additionally, it conferred the titles of Lord of Blankenhayn, Neustadt, and Tautenburg.

The Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach branch is the most genealogically senior extant branch of the House of Wettin. So far to history…

Missing Pieces in the Puzzle

For more than 20 years, I’m trying to complete my German Empire passport collection. There are thirty different types, and I am still missing two, The two types missing are, of course, the rarest ones, which are…

Principality Of Reuss-Gera (Younger Line)
Principality Of Waldeck-Pyrmont

If you find one of the above types, I would be happy to hear from you and would make sure to acquire these documents for a decent price!

The Grand Duchy of Saxony ended officially in 1918 during the German Revolution, but the document was issued on Sep 8, 1919 – more than a year later after the Grand Duchy was defunct. Probably the police station just used up the old forms?

The Passport

Her passport was valid until Sep 8, 1920. And another unusual characteristic is the wording “REISE-PASZ” and not the usual REISE-PASS! The passport number is 1079/19 which indicates that 1079 passports were issued in 1919.

The Grand Duchy had in 1905 around 388,000 citizens. Gerhard, you have indeed something here which I envy you for. Congrats.

Grand Duchy Of Saxony 1919 - Rare Passport Of The German Empire Grand Duchy Of Saxony 1919 - Rare Passport Of The German Empire

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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...