You can probably sing along to hits such as ‘I Want to Break Free’ and ‘We Will Rock You’ by the world famous rock band Queen, but did you also know that the front man Freddie Mercury was a stamp collector?
To celebrate the 65th anniversary of Freddie Mercury’s birth we are delighted to offer an exclusive insight into his childhood, by putting his stamp album on display to the public. The stamp album is one of only a few of Mercury’s personal items that still exist in the public domain, and it will be on show at the Dominion theatre (home to the musical We Will Rock You) from 5th September to 3rd October 2011. The display is part of the world-wide event Freddie for a Day.
Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara on 5th September 1946 in Zanzibar. Bomi, Freddie’s father, originally inspired his stamp collecting and it is believed that Freddie built up his own collection between the ages of nine and twelve.
Following Freddie Mercury’s death on 24th November 1991, the majority of his belongings were burnt in line with his family’s Zoroastrian religious beliefs but his father chose to keep the stamp album. Bomi eventually decided to auction his and Mercury’s stamp collections. and the BPMA, then the National Postal Museum, purchased the album on 17th December 1993. The amount paid was donated to the Mercury Phoenix Trust.
Freddie Mercury’s collection includes stamps from a wide range of countries across the world. Many are from the British Empire and those of particular philatelic interest are from Zanzibar, Mercury’s birthplace. The album also incorporates a wide selection of stamps from Eastern Europe and Commonwealth countries. As pop memorabilia and for cultural reference, Freddie Mercury’s collection is priceless.