Musee Olympique Philatelic Collection

LAUSANNE — For my fellow stamp collecting fetishists, here are a few stealth shots of the Olympic Museum’s Philatelic collection rooms, to give an idea of how they’re displayed.

The museum owns copies of every Olympic stamp ever issued –donated by former IOC boss Juan Antonio Samaranch– and the vast majority are displayed in mint blocks of four. There isn’t much for sale in the Musee’s giftshop but it’s just as well, since what’s there is tragically overpriced.

And speaking of tragically overpriced, stamps have been been part of the Olympics’ bottom line since the inaugural modern Games in Athens in 1896. Organizers wouldn’t have been able to balance the books without income from the sale of the first Olympic commemoratives. Most of the 12 stamps issued for the Games in 1895 and 1896 had print runs ranging from 2 and 3 million.

Here’s a searchable database of all Olympic theme stamps.

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