Grand Duchy Oldenburg Passport
The Grand Duchy of Oldenburg was a German Confederation region re-established by the Congress of Vienna in 1815. During the Danish-German War of 1864, Oldenburg was neutral – neutrality was, however, violated by the Prussian troops (“Storming of the Schwartauer Schlagbaum”). It sided with Prussia in the German War of 1866, joining the North German Confederation. It became a constituent state of the Empire after that. The Grand Duke abdicated on November 11, 1918, and the Free State of Oldenburg was created.
Passports of Oldenburg are pretty rare to find. Over time, I have seen only a few old large folio types but only 2-3 passport booklets of the German Empire. I am lucky to hold, in fact, three types: Folio, German Empire, and the Free State of Oldenburg.
The following passport of the Grand Duchy of Oldenburg was issued during the German-Danish War, making the travel document even more particular. The document is 157 years old and in excellent condition.
Even the dry-paper seal on the back is fully intact and crisp.
The German-Danish War, which lasted from February 1, 1864, to October 30, 1864, was a military conflict centered on the duchies of Schleswig and Holstein, especially the duchy of Schleswig’s national affiliation. Prussia and the Austrian Empire on the one side, and the Danish state as a whole on the other, were the war’s adversaries. The war is known as the “Second Schleswig War” or “Second Schleswig-Holstein War” in contrast to the Schleswig-Holstein Uprising, and it is the first of the three German Wars of Unification (1848-1851). Grand Duchy Oldenburg Passport
Following Schleswig, Prussia and Austria annexed the whole of the Danish peninsula of Jutland, bringing the war to an end. The Danish king gave the duchies of Schleswig, Holstein, and Lauenburg to the two main German forces in the Vienna Peace. Until 1866, they administered the duchies as a condominium. The German War between Austria and Prussia broke out in the summer of 1866 as a result of disagreements about the future of the Elbe duchies. Following the Prussian victory, Schleswig-Holstein became a province of Prussia. Grand Duchy Oldenburg Passport
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?
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 😉
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...