Passport Collectors Meeting in Vietnam

Hanoi, Vietnam 2012 Passport Collectors Meeting Vietnam

Passport Collectors Meeting Vietnam

After being acquainted with Viet through email for a while, I finally had the opportunity to meet him in person at his residence in Hanoi.

Surprisingly, his primary focus isn’t just on collecting passports; rather, he has an extensive collection of Vietnam Army memorabilia, including Medals, Orders, Badges, Uniforms, Hat caps, as well as Vietnam postage stamps and banknotes. Passport Collectors Meeting Vietnam

He curates his own private museum in Hanoi and has been prominently featured in Vietnamese media, particularly in magazines, newspapers, and occasionally on television, showcasing his impressive collection and museum.

Viet’s collection is truly one-of-a-kind, and his expertise in this area is exceptional. During my visit, I had the privilege of examining various types of Vietnam passports, and I gained a wealth of knowledge about the distinct variations. Some of these types, such as the Diplomatic model or the early official version (depicted in the image below), were entirely new to me until now.

The time spent with Viet flew by, as he is a busy individual. After a fulfilling two-hour interaction, I bid farewell to his home, but not before presenting him with a fine bottle of Whisky as a gesture of appreciation. In return, I received several Vietnam passports from him. Personally meeting fellow collectors is an experience I thoroughly enjoy, and every encounter leaves me with cherished memories. Passport Collectors Meeting Vietnam

Passport Collectors Meeting Vietnam

The shown Vietnam passports, especially the early types as well as the diplomatic ones, are nowadays very hard to find. And if you find them, then they are mostly in terrible condition.

A true treasure is the STATE OF VIETNAM type (left). A governmental entity in Southeast Asia that existed from 1949 until 1955, first as a member of the French Union and later as a country (from 23 July 1954 to 26 October 1955). Passport Collectors Meeting Vietnam

FAQ Passport History
Passport collection, passport renewal, old passports for sale, vintage passport, emergency passport renewal, same day passport, passport application, pasaporte passeport паспорт 护照 パスポート جواز سفر पासपोर्ट

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...