A Motown memorabilia collector lucked up on a rare find as he rummaged through some records at the Detroit garage sale held by the family of a former Motown musician. The unnamed man happened upon the 1964 passport of the late-soulful crooner Marvin Gaye (pictured), which fell out of an album he purchased at the tag sale and is now the worth $20,000.
The man, who used to work for the famed Motown Museum in the Motor City, had gone to the sale in hopes of finding more mementos to donate to the musical repository. At first the collector had second thoughts about buying more old albums but soon changed his mind — and lucky for him that he did!
After stumbling upon the passport, the man decided to take his find to PBS’ wildly popular “Antiques Roadshow” TV program to see if he could have an expert appraiser gauge its worth.
Pop culture memorabilia expert Laura Woolley encouraged the man on Monday’s show to sell the passport for no less than $20,000, to which he responded: “Are you kidding me?” “The thing I’m in love with is how young he is here,” Woolley said on the show. “This is dated 1964, which is great, and it is after he was signed as a solo artist with Motown and added the ‘e’ to the end of his name. It’s not a really common thing to see Marvin Gaye memorabilia and passport collecting is a really vibrant world because there’s usually only a few of them throughout your life.”
Watch the Marvin Gaye “Antiques Roadshow” segment here:
The passport was issued to Gaye the same year that he recorded one of his most-memorable hits, “How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You). On the passport. Gaye’s legible signature is seen along with the color of his eyes and hair, brown, and his date of birth, April 2, 1939.
Gaye, who was loved by millions all around the globe was tragically shot to death just one day shy of his 45th birthday in 1984 by his father during an altercation.