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Pieces of history

Lennon’s stamp collection a museum exhibit

Album pages displaying old stamps featuring Queen Elizabeth II and others
John Lennon obtained these New Zealand stamps through correspondence with relatives. Image: National Postal Museum

John Lennon had a connection with the mail long before the Postal Service honored him this month with a Forever stamp in its Music Icons series.

Lennon collected stamps during his childhood, amassing an assortment of more than 550 offerings from around the world.

His stamp album is now owned by the National Postal Museum in Washington, DC, which acquired it in 2005.

“Many stamps are from places where extended members of the Lennon family lived,” said Daniel Piazza, the museum’s chief curator of philately. “There are lots of New Zealand stamps that he took off the mail his family received.”

The stamp album bears Lennon’s childhood signature and address. He decorated some of the stamps by drawing beards and mustaches on the likenesses of Queen Victoria and King George VI.

The book is a true “boyhood stamp collection — the kinds of stamps kids traded on the playground,” Piazza said.

To commemorate the release of Lennon’s stamp, the museum is displaying his collection for the first time since the 2016 World Stamp Show in New York City. Visitors can see the exhibit, “John Lennon: The Green Album,” through Feb. 3.

The collection is also available for viewing in “John Lennon: The Lost Album,” an online exhibit.

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