Stamp collecting isn’t something you would normally associate with rock ‘n’ roll, but The Postal Museum and Smithsonian’s National Postal Museum are bringing boyhood collections by John Lennon and Freddie Mercury together for the first time at the UK’s Largest Stamp Exhibition Stampex on 14th – 17th September.
This year, Stampex celebrates its 60th Anniversary and is hosting a Court of Honour to celebrate the stamp collections of two music legends, Freddie Mercury and John Lennon.
Lennon was 10 years old when he started collecting. This collection of his shows him in a different light to his public persona seen on stage and screen.
His collection contains stamps of letters sent from distant shores like New Zealand and America; one can assume the future star was dreaming of travel and adventure.
Lennon started collecting when his older cousin Stanley Parkes passed his collection on to him. It’s clear to see in the stamp book that Lennon erased his cousin’s name and that he also playfully added moustaches to the book’s cover, which has pictures of Queen Victoria and King George VI.
The other rock star collection on show is Freddie Mercury’s. On a side note, this year would have marked his 70th birthday in September.
Mercury’s stamp collection was purchased in 1993 by The National Postal Museum, now known as The Postal Museum, and all money was donated to The Mercury Phoenix Trust, an AIDS charity set up to remember the legendary singer.
Mercury was a collector of stamps between the ages of 9 and 12, and his focus whilst a collector was on stamps from his birthplace Zanzibar and the British Empire.