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The E-Sylum: Volume 25, Number 24, June 12, 2022, Article 33

FREDDIE MERCURY'S STAMP COLLECTION

We've often discussed celebrity coin collectors, and once before we also mentioned this celebrity philatelist whose collection is being highlighted by Britain's Postal Museum. -Editor

Freddie Mercury's stamp album All Queen fans know how much Freddie Mercury liked to ride his bicycle but fewer are aware of the flamboyant frontman's other great childhood hobby: collecting stamps.

Now, for the first time, the Postal Museum is to put one of Mercury's priceless collector's albums on show – its value enhanced by the fact that it is one of the late rock star's rare personal possessions in museum ownership.

The stamps that the young Mercury grouped together are unusually shaped into patterns on each page, and will be on view to the museum's visitors in London from 13 July. The display is part of the city's celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Pride movement in Britain.

Mercury, who died of Aids in 1991, was born Farrokh Bulsara in Tanzania in 1946. He spent his early life in Zanzibar, where his father, Bomi, worked for the British Colonial Office. Mercury inherited his father's passion for stamps and is thought to have collected between the ages of nine and 12.

Many of his stamps are from British Commonwealth territories, with some from eastern Europe, and they often reflect his early life. The real value of this collection is not in the stamps themselves but in its rich historical value and connection to one of the world's greatest ever entertainers. As pop memorabilia and for cultural reference, Freddie Mercury's collection is priceless, the museum's senior archivist, Gavin McGuffie, has said.

All 54 pages of Mercury's album will also be available online this summer on the museum's website.

Eight years after Mercury's death, his creative legacy was marked with his own commemorative stamp, but the image became controversial, with one Daily Mail columnist criticising the Royal Mail for honouring the star's degenerate lifestyle. Other stamp aficionados were upset that Roger Taylor, Queen's drummer, could be seen in the background. Guidelines for official stamps included a stipulation that the only living persons who can be depicted on a stamp are members of Britain's royal family.

The offending stamp was part of a millennium series in 1999 to recognise famous Britons of the last 1,000 years.

To read the complete article, see:
Freddie Mercury's ‘priceless' stamp collection to be celebrated (https://www.theguardian.com/music/2022/jun/11/freddie-mercurys-priceless-stamp-collection-to-be-celebrated)

To read the earlier E-Sylum article, see:
FREDDIE MERCURY, PHILATELIST (https://www.coinbooks.org/v21/esylum_v21n48a29.html)



Wayne Homren, Editor

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The Numismatic Bibliomania Society is a non-profit organization promoting numismatic literature. See our web site at coinbooks.org.

To submit items for publication in The E-Sylum, write to the Editor at this address: whomren@gmail.com

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