The stamp collections of John Lennon and Freddie Mercury were shown together for the first time at Stampex (September 14–17) in London, England. Shown here are a few photos of the display at the show and also a close-up look at both of the albums.
[Smithsonian’s NPM press release]
John Lennon and Freddie Mercury Stamp Collections
On Display Together at UK’s STAMPEX
The UK’s largest stamp exhibition Stampex (September 14 – 17, 2016) is bringing together the boyhood stamp collections of music legends John Lennon and Freddie Mercury together for the first time to celebrate their 60th Anniversary.
John Lennon, along with Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr achieved superstardom as the rock and roll band, The Beatles. But before Lennon travelled the globe playing music with The Beatles, this boy from Liverpool, England saw the world in a whole different way – through stamps.
Lennon’s older cousin, Stanley Parkes, inspired the future Beatle’s interest in stamp collecting and gave him this album (left). Lennon replaced Parkes’ name and address on the album’s flyleaf with his own. He added his address at Mendips, the home he shared with his aunt Mary (“Mimi”) and her husband George Smith. Already a budding artist, Lennon sketched beards and mustaches of the likenesses of Queen Victoria and King George VI on the album’s title page. Lennon continued to collect and trade stamps for several years after receiving this album.
Alongside John Lennon’s collection will sit Freddie’s Mercury’s (left: album page) – displayed in the Court of Honour on the year that would have marked his 70th Birthday. In line with his religious beliefs all of his belongings were burnt when he passed away, however his father kept his stamp collection. The collection was then bought in 1993 by The National Postal Museum, predecessor of The Postal Museum, with all proceeds generously donated to the Freddie Mercury Trust, an AIDS charity set up to remember Freddie.
Freddie collected stamps between the ages of 9 and 12, his collection focuses on stamps from Zanzibar (where he was born) and the British Empire. It is the unique way that he displayed the stamps which is in itself interesting, Freddie had ordered the stamps by color, size or type.
Stampex, sponsored by Stanley Gibbons, is the UK’s largest philatelic show, exhibiting a masterful presentation of collected stamps from philatelic dealers and specialists. The September show will continue to celebrate the event’s 60th Anniversary; organized by The Philatelic Traders’ Society Limited, the event will take place at The Business Design Centre (BDC) in Islington from 14th -17th September 2016.
Unlike most other London-based shows, entry is free and all who visit may purchase a limited edition show-specific Smilers Sheet and receive a free show guide and postcard, which make lovely keepsakes and souvenirs and are highly collectable pieces.