Netherlands’ oldest printed passport?

Netherlands’ oldest printed passport?
Note: As assumed the document wasn’t sold! Many of the lots have been unsold which implies that all estimates and minimum biddings were far overestimated!

Netherlands 1645

The following passport is offered by a German auction house. Estimated result: €4.800 – €10.000. I am not so sure it will be sold and will keep track and report after April 26.

Description by the auction house Netherlands’ oldest printed passport?

The Hauge, Antwerp, 6 June 1645, passport for free convoy, help and support by all public powers and offices within and outside the Antwerp area, 31 x 31.5 cm, black, beige, printed on handmade paper, folds partially repaired with handmade paper, at the left edge stuck in with tape into a (damaged) paper folder, sealed and signed “Eyckbergh” in The Hauge, issued and signed “Wijnbergen” in Antwerp, seal with the Dutch Lion. The oldest printed passport of the Netherlands we know off! Museum quality!


Before the formation of the Dutch Republic, the seventeen provinces of the Netherlands had urban and not national citizenship. No inclusive citizenship status existed for the population of the Low Countries. Citizenship was a legal status available to all inhabitants of a particular city. There were certain obligation and privileges applied to all those that were burghers (citizens). These rights were never formally written down in legal documents, instead existed as a set of practices or city rights varying in every territory.

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  1. I just found a Dutch passport from 1859 ( i suppose a military one). Issued from the department of war. I wonder if this is interesting for an collector.

    1. Hi Tom
      1st: NL early 1800’s military passport – in the French meaning of certificate of good conduct after, after serving the army or navy. Usually found with marriage certificate (required proof of serving before you were allowed to marry) or/and in combination with an actual military passport (zakboekje). Value : old ones like this I would go up to 40-50 euro, late ones are more common an sell for 15-30. With Zakboekje 50-80 euro.

      2nd. Belgian city pass to leave after the city gates are closed, unissued. That’s why the Mayor issued this one. No clue about it’s value. Hope that helps. This info was given to me by a good fellow collector who knows much more about these type of documents than I do. Cheers, Tom

  2. Thanks Tom for pointing this one out.
    And yes: unsold. As expected – this passport in this state is 20-30 times overpriced. It’s an early Netherlands passport, but certainly not the earliest known. Several collectors have older Netherlands passports (not counting letters of trade issued as passport, ships passports, burgher passports, military passports, etc)
    Earliest actual Netherlands passports are issued just after 1588. Issued by one of the Seven individual states, but also like this one in name of the Republiek der Zeven Verenigde Nederlanden (Republic of the Seven United Netherlands).

    Before this period there are passports issued by the individual Netherlands dutchy, county, provinces or regions as early as the 11th-13th century.

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