By Britt Bickel

An avid Motown collector from Detroit walked away with a major find on his hands during Monday night’s episode of  PBS’ Antiques Roadshow. The collector appeared on the show with the 1964 passport of soul icon Marvin Gaye, which came into his possession after buying some records at a garage sale, reports Spin.

The guest told Roadshow appraiser Laura Woolley that the passport came to him “by pure accident.” He had worked at the Motown Museum for years and began collecting anything Motown since he was 18 years old. He explained that after a Motown musician had died, he and coworkers went to the musician’s house to pick up items the family wanted to donate to the museum. He later went back to the musician’s estate sale and purchased some of the LPs and 45s.

He told the appraiser that after he bought the records at the estate sale for 50 cents for the albums and a quarter for the 45s, “I was going through them and out of an album fell this passport. And so it literally fell into my hands.”

Talk about the find of a lifetime. Woolley then gave the man even better news that if he were to insure the collectible, to insure it for no less than $20,000.

His reaction: “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,” Woolley replied.

Woolley noted that the passport was such a great find because it tells you so much about the singer in that period of time.

“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,” Woolley said.

She continued, “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.”

CLICK HERE to see the photo of Marvin Gaye’s passport.


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