The U.S. passport of Hollywood legend Doris Day was at an auction in America. All her items went for high prices, surprising, especially in nowadays situation. On the other hand, Doris Day was a Hollywood Icon. Her real name was Anne Kappelhof. Day died in May 2019 at the age of 97.
Her passport, a standard type, dated “September 11, 1973,” depicting a black and white photograph of the star with her black ballpoint ink signature on it, her blue ballpoint ink signature appears on the page above, interestingly, her birthday is noted as “April 3, 1924” [though the year was 1922], further annotations by the star appear in blue felt-tip ink on the address page; passport seemingly only used for one trip to the U.K. in September 1973.
Doris Day, the freckle-faced movie actress whose irrepressible personality and golden voice made her America’s top box-office star in the early 1960’s, died at her home in Carmel Valley, Calif. She was 97. The Doris Day Animal Foundation announced her death.
Ms. Day began her career as a big-band vocalist, and she was successful almost from the start: One of her first records, “Sentimental Journey,” released in 1945, sold more than a million copies, and she went on to have numerous other hits. The bandleader Les Brown, with whom she sang for several years, once said, “As a singer Doris belongs in the company of Bing Crosby and Frank Sinatra.” But it was the movies that made her a star.
Between “Romance on the High Seas” in 1948 and “With Six You Get Eggroll” in 1968, she starred in nearly 40 movies. On the screen, she turned from the perky girl next door in the 1950’s to the woman next door in a series of 1960’s sex comedies that brought her four first-place rankings in the yearly popularity poll of theater owners, and accomplishment equaled by no other actress except Shirley Temple.
In the 1950’s she starred, and most often sang, in comedies (“Teacher’s Pet,” “The Tunnel of Love”), musicals (“Calamity Jane,” “April in Paris,” “The Pajama Game”) and melodramas (“Young Man With a Horn,” the Alfred Hitchcock thriller “The Man Who Knew Too Much,” “Love Me or Leave Me”).
Her travel document was sold for $6400. Other high-flyers were her Golden Globe Award from 1962 ($25.600), Golden Record Award (‘WHATEVER WILL BE, WILL BE’ AKA ‘QUE SERA, SERA’ FROM 1956) at $15.625, and even her Driver’s License went for $4480.
The following article shows auction results of dozens of celebrity passports (accessible only for newsletter subscribers).
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...