Lilian Gish – Silent Movie Star Passport

Lilian Gish Passport
eBay can still be a place to find outstanding collectibles. Recently, the US passport of silent movie superstar Lillian Gish from 1935 was auctioned and fetched a surprisingly moderate result of only $760. I had this travel document on my watchlist, like 21 other interested parties. I already discussed with a fellow collector that it might go up to $2000 – but nope. Surprise, surprise…

The passport collectors market has been, for years, on the decline. Due to Covid and the current economic instability? I am not sure. Young people don’t collect old stuff anymore. But I am sure this passport would end up much higher some years ago. I never saw a passport of hers offered before. Who knows? We might see this document again at some big auction house. Anyway, congrats to the buyer. I can imagine the seller might be less happy with this result. Lilian Gish Passport

Hailed as the first Lady of American cinema, Lillian Gish became a pioneering figure in the silent film era thanks to an enduring partnership with director D.W. Griffith which spawned “The Birth of a Nation” (1915), “Intolerance” (1916) and “Way Down East” (1920). Born in Springfield, OH, in 1893, Lillian Gish began performing on stage alongside her mother, Mary, and sister Dorothy in her pre-teens. Also, she appeared alongside the latter in her screen debut, the short film “An Unseen Enemy” (1912). Gish went on to work with its director. D.W. Griffith, in countless silent movies throughout the rest of the decade, including his first full-length feature “Judith of Bethulia” (1914), the seminal but hugely controversial Civil War epic “The Birth of a Nation” (1915), and popular melodrama “Way Down East” (1920).

Gish passed away from heart failure in 1993 at the age of 99.

The Passport Lilian Gish Passport

Her US passport was issued in 1935 in the name of Lillian Diana Gish, born in Springfield, Ohio, on Oct 14, 1899. She traveled extensively with this passport. Hungary, Greece, Austria, France, United Kingdom, Turkey, Malta, Egypt, Switzerland, Italy, and even Nazi Germany. Her travel document was renewed in 1937 and was then valid until 1939.

A fantastic passport and personal item of the first superstar in the film industry.

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