All life is presented on a stamp…
Jimi Hendrix, Abbott and Costello, The Beatles, Mother Teresa, Otis Redding – when it comes to the famous and stamps it might be easier to compile a list of those celebrities who haven’t featured.
No form of public art has so routinely celebrated the great and good of society as the postage stamp. In the UK, in recent years, we have seen everyone from Freddie Mercury to Freddie Flintoff accompanying our post through the letterbox. Charlotte Bronte and Tommy Cooper have all taken a licking at some point down the years. As have Stan Laurel, John Lennon, and Andy Murray.
Sadly, the mere fact a stamp features a famous face does not make it instantly collectible. Celebrity stamps are prone to market forces of quality and rarity just like any other. But many collectors will seek them out as measurements of social culture down the years. Few things reflect the times we live in better than stamps.
You’re having a laugh!
Take the resurgence in live comedy over the last decade. In 2015, it prompted the Royal Mail to release a Comedy Greats collection featuring Spike Milligan, The Two Ronnies, Billy Connolly, Morecambe and Wise, Norman Wisdom, Lenny Henry, Peter Cook and Dudley Moore, Monty Python, French and Saunders and Victoria Wood.
Three years earlier the Royal Mail promised to release a stamp featuring the face of Great Britain gold medal winners at the London Olympics. Mo Farah was among them. As soon as he won his 5,000m gold, an eight-strong Royal Mail design team located the most fitting and atmospheric image, cropped and refined it, and added his name. Mo’s stamp is too common to be troubling those seeking to make a quick buck, although a large version of the stamp, featuring and signed by Mo, sold for £860 at an auction of items from the London Games.
Engage with your collection
Put simply, collecting celebrity stamps is a simple and fascinating way of engaging with a collection. Take a look at the famous British faces already out there today – let us know what your collections look like.