Who would have guessed that a legendary musician such as John Lennon collected stamps in his boyhood. Before his rise to stardom, the boy from Liverpool saw the exciting world from the perspective of magnifying glass and colourful worldwide stamps.
From May 28th through June 4th 2016, Beatles fans and stamp collectors will be able to view John Lennon’s childhood stamp collection being exhibited in the World Stamp Show in New York City.
According to the Smithsonian National Postal Museum, Lennon’s older cousin, Stanley Parkes gave him a partially filled Mercury stamp album and sparked his interest in philately.
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.
When the National Postal Museum first purchased Lennon’s “lost album,” late curator Wilson Hulme did note to Smithsonian Magazine that the collection did not boast any notable stamps.
“Typically, young boys aren’t interested in rarity,” he said. “They tend to concentrate on geography and colors. If they come back to collecting when they have more time and money, that’s when collections become exceptional.”
Further reading: The Smithsonian National Postal Museum.