The Beatles on Stamps

yellow submarine stamp Stamp issued by USA as one of the "Celebrate the Century" series in which each decade was represented by a sheet of fifteen stamps showing the subjects thought best to represent that period.

"The Fab Four" (John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and George Harrison) could be an interesting theme to build up a small stamp collection on. Either a small selection of the various genuine stamps issued by various countries around the world showing the band or the musicians, or something that could go into more depth.

Of course, it is now well known that John Lennon had a stamp collection. His stamp album was bought by the Smithsonian National Postal Museum in Washington DC, USA. It had previously been offered by Stanley Gibbons of London for 29,950 - not bad for a collection which, at best, contains only a few pounds' worth of stamps. There's an excellent facility of the Smithsonian's website where you can see the whole album page by page. (Click here to do so - needs to be broadband !)

paul mccartney stamp designs
Paul McCartney was commissioned by the Isle of Man Post Office to design a series of stamps. Isle of Man stamps by Paul

[My own advice would be to avoid the various "illegals" produced by various folk around the world. These are produced simply to take money off innocent people who believe them to be proper postage stamps. They are normally manufactured without the authority of the country ar area named on the labels (if a proper country, probably one without the international or financial clout to be able to to take effective legal action) and normally without any thought of honouring copyright or intellectual property rights. Some examples of these are shown further down, but remember - don't think of buying these as postage stamps; you might as well cut colour photos out of a magazine.]

The Collection in more depth would probably be a pursuit for someone who is both a Beatles fan/historian, and who is already into philately. What I would suggest here would be that all manner of things could be included which are one or two levels deeper than just a basic Beatles Stamp Collection. For example, other pop and rock bands that were on the go at the same time, and who crossed paths or show influence either way. Musical instruments, towns and cities where the band has played, and even stamps which illustrate incidents in the lives and careers of The Beatles. A thematic (topical) collection of this kind can be fulfilling to put together, and fascinating to see.

Lennon and Yoko Ono in gibraltar Miniature sheet issued by Gibraltar ("near Spain" !) commemorating the John Lennon and Yoko Ono's marriage there.

Useful links;
Robert Murray Stamp Shop in Edinburgh, Scotland. Reasonably-priced retail source of the Beatles stamp issue by United Kingdom's Royal Mail, 2007.
A useful list of an individual's collection of Beatles stamps. This includes many "illegals" and dubious issues, and the presentation is quite basic, but a handy piece of work that might save you some time searching around.
The USA's National Postal Museum's web page about the John Lennon stamp album.
See pictures from BBC website (opens new window) of the British 2007 set.

Antigua & Barbuda Lennon stamps
Guyana Lennon sheet
Nicaragua John Lennon sheetlet

Page last updated Tuesday 14 January 2013. Copyright Robert Murray 2006-2013.

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