On one of the latest segments of PBS’ “Antiques Roadshow,” a Motown memorabilia collector shares the story behind discovering Marvin Gaye’s 1964 passport in one of the records he purchased from an estate sale.
The man, who has worked for Detroit’s Motown Museum since age 18, said he went to retrieve items from the house of a musician who had died. Apparently, the deceased man had worked with Gaye in the past.
Later that weekend, the remaining items were sold in an estate sale.
He decided to attend the sale and ended up purchasing a few albums for only 50 cents each, not knowing that one of them was concealing Gaye’s passport.
“It came to me by pure accident, actually…When I got home, I was going through them and out of an album fell this passport,” the man said on the show.
According to PBS.com, the appraiser Laura Woolley described in detail how valuable Marvin Gaye’s passport could be:
“1964, he’s still in the prime of his life and having the best time. His career’s really starting to take off. But this is such an innocent time, and people love passports because they also show where he was all over the world, what he’s doing during these years– he’s obviously traveling, he’s touring. People also like them because we know that they’re real signatures, because you have to sign your own passport. Passport collecting is a really vibrant collecting world because there’s usually only a few of them throughout your life; you only replace them every so often.”
Woolley suggested that the passport’s insurance price run for no less than $20,000, since Marvin Gaye collectables are rarely viewed at antique exhibitions, as they are hard to come by.
Although the museum collector was in disbelief by the recommendations given, he apparently left very happy.
In recent news about the late singer, his ex-wife Anna Gordy Gaye passed away at age 92 on January 31.
She was said to be the inspiration and co-writer of some of his earliest hits in the 1960s like “Pride and Joy.”
The two are survived by their only son, Marvin Gaye III.