I found this article and thought some of you might not have seen it yet and would be interested...
Freddie Mercury's first album
The late, much-missed, flamboyant Queen rock star Freddie Mercury was once a diligent schoolboy, called Farrokh Bulsara, who quietly updated his treasured stamp album on his parents' kitchen table in India. Young Farrokh's passion for stamps was sparked by his father Bomi - a civil servant who had his own British Commonwealth collection including a variety of Zanzibar (where Farrokh was born on September 5, 1946) fiscals.
It's believed Farrokh primarily built up the collection between the ages of nine and 12. He saved to buy packets of stamps and when he was satisfied with the colour and design of particular stamps he added them to his symmetrical designs. Unusually for a boy Farrokh chose black album pages, with a quadrille background, and, in fact, today some of the pages are incomplete as clearly the right stamps to finish the page design hadn't yet been found!
The Bulsara family - Bomi, his wife, Jer, Farrokh and his younger sister Kashmira - moved to England in 1963 and purchased a small, terraced house in Feltham, Middlesex. By now Farrokh was displaying a keen interest in art and in 1966 he attended Ealing College of Art to study graphic illustration. At this point Bomi, decided to keep the stamp album as he was sure that Farrokh would either sell it or lose it once he went to college.
Up for auction
Following Freddie Mercury's death on November 24, 1991 the majority of his belongings were burnt in line with the Bulsara family's strict Zoroastrian religious beliefs. However, the stamp album was kept as Bomi felt that it was partly his and just over two years later he decided to auction his, and Freddie's, stamp collections at Sotheby's in London.
Bomi had carefully kept Freddie's blue covered, childhood stamp album. The expert on the Freddie Mercury stamp collection - and former Philatelic Officer of Britain's National Postal Museum - Derrick Page explained: 'The stamp album survived thanks to his parents. They derived much happiness and enjoyment watching their son sitting down at the table with his stamp album, sticking in stamps and copying his father's hobby'.
The Sotheby's auction was held on December 17, 1993 with four lots - 54, 105, 143, and 157 - being 'the property of Mr. Bomi Bulsara'. Lot 143 contained Freddie's childhood album and the catalogue noted: 'Included in this lot is an album which we understand from his father, Mr. Bulsara, was the personal collection of Freddie Mercury'. The album was 54 pages of beautifully-arranged stamps, but, in truth, few were of any real value apart from some Zanzibar fiscals collected by Bomi. The material includes items from Monaco, Hungary, Zanzibar, Australia, Aden, New Zealand and Great Britain amongst others.
Freddie Mercury's album was purchased by Royal Mail for the collections of the National Postal Museum (NPM) for £3,220 plus VAT, against a pre-auction estimate of £1,000-£1,500. Including Bomi Bulsara's three other lots the Bulsara family philatelic collection raised £8,090 - the monies were donated to the Mercury Phoenix Trust (the AIDS charity set up by Freddie's former band members John Deacon, Brian May, and Roger Taylor with Freddie's friend Mary Austin).
The National Postal Museum allowed visitors to view Freddie Mercury's collection from 1994 on and even produced special certificates, on acid-free stamp album paper (used by the museum for its own stamp displays), stating: 'This is to certify that ................ Viewed and touched the Freddie Mercury Stamp Album on.................................. which is housed at the National Postal Museum'. During 1994 825 people viewed and touched the album, and former Museum Manager Stan Goron recalled: 'For many the album is part of the singer and fans made a pilgrimage to the museum. Many left red roses
"The others don't like my interviews. And frankly, I don't care much for theirs." ~ Freddie Mercury