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how sweet

Collector finds Marvin Gaye’s passport inside album bought for 50c

The lucky collector looks set to make a hefty profit.

HE LEFT IT somewhere safe, anyway. A bit too safe, some might say.

A motown collector from Detroit discovered soul legend Marvin Gaye’s 1964-issued passport in a record he bought for 50c at a house clearance sale.

The find was detailed on the US version of the Antiques Roadshow, when the travel document literally fell into the motown fanatic’s hands.

MarvinGayepassport040214 pbs pbs

According to the PBS transcript, the lucky collector said it came to him by “pure accident” while working for the Motown Museum in Detriot.

After a Motown musician had passed, we had gone to their house to pick up some items that the family wanted to donate to the museum, and they had said, ‘Is there anything else you wanted? Because otherwise, it’s going to be in the estate sale this weekend.’

He didn’t get much for the museum, but headed back to pick up a bargain for himself.

When I got home, I was going through them and out of an album fell this passport. And so it literally fell into my hands.

Now appraiser Laura Wooley says it could be worth $20,000. The guy reacted as one would imagine.


Wooley explained that Marvin Gaye memorabilia is extremely rare as well as the fact that passports are a limited document in general. The worth also comes from the evidence of Gaye’s travel and the addition of the ‘e’ to his name.

It’s not known how the passport ended up in the album sleeve, but the musician whose house was being cleared had worked with Marvin Gaye in the past.

Bob Collins

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