Freddie Mercury’s ‘priceless’ stamp collection will be celebrated | Freddie Mercury

All Queen fans know how much Freddie Mercury enjoyed riding his bike, but fewer know about the flamboyant singer’s other great childhood hobby: collecting stamps.

Today, for the first time, the Postal Museum is displaying one of Mercury’s “priceless” collector’s albums – its value is enhanced by the fact that it is one of Mercury’s few personal possessions. the late rock star belonging to the museum.

The stamps that young Mercury has grouped together are unusually shaped into designs on each page and will be on display to museum visitors in London from July 13. 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 youth in Zanzibar, where his father, Bomi, worked for the British Colonial Office. Mercury inherited his father’s passion for stamps and is said to have collected between the ages of nine and 12.

Many of his stamps come from British Commonwealth territories, including some from Eastern Europe, and they often reflect his early life. “The real value of this collection lies not in the stamps themselves, but in its rich historical value and its connection to one of the world’s greatest artists. As pop memorabilia and cultural reference, Freddie Mercury’s collection is invaluable,” said the museum’s senior archivist, Gavin McGuffie.

There are clear signs on its pages of artistry to come. Each stamp has been positioned to produce symmetry in both shape and color, leaving plenty of space on the black pages. They betray the idiosyncratic visual sense that Mercury was to pursue at Ealing College of Art, after the family moved to Feltham, Middlesex, in 1964, and later with Queen in elaborate stage performances and theatrical pop videos.

A page from Freddie Mercury’s childhood stamp album. Photography: © Postal Museum

Bomi Bulsara auctioned off his son’s stamps, along with his own, in 1993, with proceeds going to the Aids charity set up in memory of the singer, Mercury Phoenix Trust.

Georgina Tomlinson, curator at the Postal Museum, said she was delighted to present the album to the public until the end of October to mark the history of Pride. Previously it was only occasionally exhibited privately at stamp exhibitions in Britain and abroad. “The album is a startling glimpse into the youth of a man who is remembered around the world for his incredible musical prowess and theatrical presence,” said Tomlinson.

The 54 pages of the Mercure album will also be available online this summer on the museum’s website.

Eight years after Mercury’s death, his creative legacy has been marked with his own commemorative stamp, but the image has become controversial, with a Daily mail columnist criticizing the Royal Mail for honoring the star’s ‘degenerate lifestyle’. Other stamp enthusiasts were upset that Queen’s drummer Roger Taylor could be seen in the background. The guidelines for official stamps included a stipulation that the only living people who can be depicted on a stamp are members of the British Royal Family.

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

Queen, admired for her anthemic hits and the lyrical grandeur of her pop, had more than one band member with a childhood passion for historical artifacts. Guitarist Brian May has collected prototype 3D images dating back to the Victorian era. He is now one of the foremost experts in the art, known as stereoscopy.

Two years ago, a collection of 13 stamps featuring Queen was issued to mark the 50th anniversary of the band’s founding. The stamps featured album covers, including Queen II (1974), pure heart attack (1974) and A night at the opera (1975). Others showed scenes from live shows, including Mercury on stage at Wembley Stadium in 1986 and May in Budapest in 1986.

“Sometimes it is strange to wake up and realize the position we are in now – we have become a national institution. And nothing brings that home more than this amazing Royal Mail tribute,” May said at the time.

Queen were the third rock band to receive this honor, following The Beatles in 2007 and Pink Floyd in 2016.

The unusual collections of rock stars

Rod Stewart revealed his passion to the world three years ago: model railroading. A man who must have plenty of space to work in, he said he’s been working on a massive, intricate model of an American city for 23 years.

Phil Collins is also an avid collector, donating his large collection of Battle of the Alamo memorabilia to a Texas museum eight years ago.

Kelley offer used to sell hand-knit scarves online while touring with his band, the Breeders. Her passion extended to writing a book on the subject – Bags That Rock: Knitting On The Road with Kelley Deal.

About Bernice D. Brewer

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