Very rare Principality of Anhalt-Bernburg passport

The House of Ascania ruled Anhalt-Bernburg, a principality of the Holy Roman Empire and a duchy of the German Confederation, with its seat in Bernburg, today’s Saxony-Anhalt. From 1252 to 1468, it was a subdivision of the Principality of Anhalt until the Ascanian principality of Anhalt-Dessau annexed it. Following the extinction of the line in 1863, Anhalt-Bernburg was re-created in 1603 and eventually absorbed into the re-unified Duchy of Anhalt. Principality Anhalt-Bernburg passport

When this passport was issued, Alexius Frederick Christian of Anhalt-Bernburg (12 June 1767 – 24 March 1834) was the ruler. A German prince of the House of Ascania. From 1796 until 1807, he was Reigning prince of the principality of Anhalt-Bernburg, and from 1807 until 1834, the first Duke of the Duchy of Anhalt-Bernburg. In matters of religion, he was tolerant and enlightened; in 1820, he finally declared the Reformist and Lutheran faiths to be the official co-religions of his state. In 1826 he joined the German Zollverein and, in 1829, created a civil fund for orphans, widows, and servants. Principality Anhalt-Bernburg passport

Principality Anhalt-Bernburg passport
Principality of Anhalt-Bernburg passport 1813, well over 200 years old, and very rare to find.

In 1807, Emperor Francis II appointed him to the rank of Duke. Following the fall of the Holy Roman Empire, Alexius Frederick Christian joined the Rhine Confederation with his relatives, the Dukes of Anhalt-Dessau and Anhalt-Köthen. In Tyrol, Spain, Russia, Gdansk, and Kulm, some of his troops fought for Napoleon. He resigned from the Rhine Confederation on December 13, 1813, and sent his forces to Belgium and France with his allies in 1814 and 1815. He joined the German Confederation on June 8, 1815. On March 24, 1834, Duke Alexius Frederick Christian died in Ballenstedt. Principality Anhalt-Bernburg passport

His son Alexander Karl ruled the Duchy until 1863. He was the last duke of the Duchy of Anhalt-Bernburg.


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?

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...