1964 Marvin Gaye Passport
It came to me by pure accident, actually. For years, I worked for the Motown Museum here in Detroit, started when I was 18 years old. I was a Motown collector-- anything Motown, I loved-- and 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." She said, "No," and I said, "What about these albums and records?" And they had so many already that it just wasn't worth taking. So I went back to the estate sale and bought some albums and 45s. 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. (laughing)
So you know the musician actually had worked with Marvin Gaye, so we can only assume-- we don't know-- how it ended up in his house in an album that got stashed away, and luckily, you found it. The thing I'm in love with is how young he is here. This is dated 1964, which is great, and it is after he added the "E" to the end of his name, because when he was signed as a solo artist with Motown, he decided to add that "E," and there's a lot of different theories: people say it's because he wanted to separate himself from his father or because he actually liked Sam Cooke so much, who had an "E" at the end of his name, that he wanted to imitate his idol. He had such a journey with Motown. He started out as a session musician, drumming. He's on Stevie Wonder's "Fingertips, Part 2," the live version, doing drums. He played drums on "Please, Mr. Postman." He did all these great things, and then he slowly worked his way into the duets, and then in this era, you've got kind of a sweet spot, I think one of the happiest times in his life. 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. How much did you pay for these albums that you bought at this yard sale?
I think it was 50 cents an album and a quarter for a 45.
Wow. For insurance, I wouldn't put less than $20,000 on the passport if you were to insure it.
Are you kidding me?
I'm not kidding you. Nothing comes up for Marvin Gaye. It's not a really common thing to see Marvin Gaye memorabilia.
Wow. I never would have thought. I mean, I'm just shocked. I mean... wow. Oh gosh, thank you.
Executive producer Marsha Bemko shares her tips for getting the most out of ANTIQUES ROADSHOW.
Value can change: The value of an item is dependent upon many things, including the condition of the object itself, trends in the market for that kind of object, and the location where the item will be sold. These are just some of the reasons why the answer to the question "What's it worth?" is so often "It depends."
Note the date: Take note of the date the appraisal was recorded. This information appears in the upper left corner of the page, with the label "Appraised On." Values change over time according to market forces, so the current value of the item could be higher, lower, or the same as when our expert first appraised it.
Context is key: Listen carefully. Most of our experts will give appraisal values in context. For example, you'll often hear them say what an item is worth "at auction," or "retail," or "for insurance purposes" (replacement value). Retail prices are different from wholesale prices. Often an auctioneer will talk about what she knows best: the auction market. A shop owner will usually talk about what he knows best: the retail price he'd place on the object in his shop. And though there are no hard and fast rules, an object's auction price can often be half its retail value; yet for other objects, an auction price could be higher than retail. As a rule, however, retail and insurance/replacement values are about the same.
Verbal approximations: The values given by the experts on ANTIQUES ROADSHOW are considered "verbal approximations of value." Technically, an "appraisal" is a legal document, generally for insurance purposes, written by a qualified expert and paid for by the owner of the item. An appraisal usually involves an extensive amount of research to establish authenticity, provenance, composition, method of construction, and other important attributes of a particular object.
Opinion of value: As with all appraisals, the verbal approximations of value given at ROADSHOW events are our experts' opinions formed from their knowledge of antiques and collectibles, market trends, and other factors. Although our valuations are based on research and experience, opinions can, and sometimes do, vary among experts.
Appraiser affiliations: Finally, the affiliation of the appraiser may have changed since the appraisal was recorded. To see current contact information for an appraiser in the ROADSHOW Archive, click on the link below the appraiser's picture. Our Appraiser Index also contains a complete list of active ROADSHOW appraisers and their contact details and biographies.
Walt Disney | AMERICAN EXPERIENCE
Coming to American Experience September 14 & 15 is the unprecedented look at the complex life and enduring legacy of one of America’s best-known storytellers – Walt Disney
Arthur & George
Martin Clunes (Doc Martin) stars as Sir Arthur Conan Doyle in a three-part MASTERPIECE Mystery! adaptation of the novel by Julian Barnes. Airs Sundays, September 6-20