Freddie Mercury liked to ride his bicycle, as Queen fans know. But the legendary singer had another childhood hobby fans are less aware of: stamp collecting.
The Postal Museum in London will display Mercury’s stamp album July 13 until Oct. 30 to mark the 50th anniversary of the U.K. Pride movement. Visitors will also be able to view the stamp collection at the museum’s website.
The 54-page album has black pages with stamps arranged to create patterns of color and shape that hint at Mercury’s artistic talents — which were later evident in his musical innovations, flamboyant costumes and vibrant performances.
“The Postal Museum is delighted to be able to show this rare item from Freddie Mercury’s childhood,” said curator Georgina Tomlinson. “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.”
Mercury collected stamps from the British Empire and Commonwealth, Eastern Europe and his country of birth, Zanzibar.
It is believed he built the collection from around age 9 to 12.
Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara, died of complications related to AIDS in 1991, at the age of 45. Most of his possessions were burned after his death, in accordance with the Zoroastrian religious beliefs of his family, but the album was spared.
It was auctioned in 1993 to fund Mercury Phoenix Trust, an AIDS charity.
Mercury himself has graced British stamps: In 2020, Royal Mail released a 13-stamp collection to mark the 50th anniversary of Queen’s founding.