When he was young, as many of us do, Freddie Mercury collected postage stamps, and now his 54-page stamp album is going on public display at the Postal Museum.
Freddie Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara, spent his early life in Zanzibar where his father worked for the British Colonial Office. His father’s passion for stamp collecting was passed on to his son who is believed to have collected from the ages of nine to twelve. After the family moved to the UK in the 1960s Freddie studied graphic design at the Ealing College of Art. His artistic talent can be seen in the creation of the pages. The designs often use the stamps’ shape and colour to produce symmetry on the page.
The 54-page album consists predominately of stamps from the British Commonwealth and reveals not only Freddie’s early life in Zanzibar, but also his artistic talent.
Unlike many stamp albums where stamps are stored in regimented rows, Freddie Mercury’s are laid out in patterns, often symmetrical, but also on one page in the letter F.
The album was purchased at auction in 1993 with the proceeds going to the AIDS charity, Mercury Phoenix Trust. Since then, the album has been displayed at stamp shows in the UK, Prague, and Australia as well as touring exhibitions.
As well as seeing the album in the museum, visitors will be able to explore the entire album page-by page on The Postal Museum’s website.
The album will be on display at the Postal Museum from 13th July until 30th October
Freddie Mercury not only collected stamps though, he also appeared in them — with a set of Royal Mail stamps released in 1999 and also again in 2020.