Freddie Mercury’s rare possession that survived destruction after death to go on display

Freddie Mercury: Sister recalls last two weeks of his life

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Freddie Mercury died on November 24, 1991, after losing his battle with AIDS at just 45-years-old. In accordance with Zoroastrianism, the religious beliefs of the Queen singer’s family, most of his belonging were burnt following his death.

However, Freddie’s childhood stamp collection survived from his early life in Zanzibar, where he was born in 1946.  The star’s father Bomi worked as a British Colonial Officer and passed on his passion for the hobby to his son, which was taken up from around ages nine to 12. 

The album is curated by The Postal Museum in London, which is putting it out on display to the public for the first time there. The 54-page book is made up predominately of British Commonwealth stamps and showcases the future singer’s artistic talents

Speaking previously with, curator Joanna Espin said: “What makes the stamp album really special is that it’s something Freddie put together himself and shows a lot of creativity from early years. The way he put the album together is quite different from a classic, traditional stamp album because it was more about the colours and the patterns and the shapes.  His perspective on things is different from an early age, so he isn’t just following the usual, ‘I’ll put that in a stamp album’. In his, the pages are black, which is unusual because normally they’re an off-white.”

As a boy, he would make letters and shapes out of the stamps as seen in the pictures in the album.

The fact the collection is one of Freddie’s only surviving possessions is what makes it so special rather than the value of the stamps themselves.

The Postal Museum curator added: “When Freddie Mercury passed away, a lot of his belongings were burnt in accordance with his family’s religious beliefs. One of the reasons we think this [album] wasn’t destroyed upon Freddie’s death was because the stamps had originally come from his father.”

The album was bought at auction in 1993 with the proceeds going to the AIDS charity, Mercury Phoenix Trust. Since then, it’s been displayed at stamp shows in the UK, Prague, and Australia as well as touring exhibitions around the world.

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Curator Georgina Tomlinson said: “The Postal Museum is delighted to be able to show this rare item from Freddie Mercury’s childhood which we are exhibiting to celebrate 50 years of Pride in the UK. The album is a surprising insight into the early life of a man who is remembered across the world for his incredible musical prowess and theatrical stage presence.”

Freddie Mercury’s childhood stamp collection will be on display in the museum from July 13 until October 30, 2022, as part of the UK Pride movement’s 50th anniversary.

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