Bizarre stamp-covered objects in the 'stamp room', owned by comedian Tommy Cooper, Chiswick.
M/S of a room in Chiswick, London, with various pictures hanging on the walls, a chair, bookcases; a man walks into shot wearing a grey suit and red fez hat (although we only see him from the back it is obviously Tommy Cooper). He looks at the centre painting and adjusts it so that it hangs crooked, then moves it again to make it even more crooked, shrugs then walks out of shot. M/S of the painting as a lady comes into shot (probably his wife, Gwen Cooper); she shakes her head in TC's direction and straightens the painting.
C/U and extreme C/Us of the painting of a church and market scene as we can see it is made of stamps, as is everything else in the room; commentator says it's "the brainchild and life's work of one man, the great circus clown and pantomimist Albert Shafer who died in 1959 at the age of 83. The 'stamp room' as it's called, took him 60 years to construct".
M/S of another corner of the room; more paintings, models of a cockerel and ship and a bookcase full of books; TC comes into shot and looks at a large painting on the wall, examining it closely; tilts his head to the left and the right to try to make some sense of it then shrugs his shoulders and walks off. C/U of the painting (another church and street scene), tilt down to show the whole thing, including the frame, is entirely made of stamps. M/S of the painting, panning left to show the bookcase; C/U of the case; all the book spines and shelves are covered with stamps - it's mad!
M/S of a display cabinet; GC enters shot and places a model bull on top of it; C/U of the bull - yes, it's covered in stamps! M/S of numerous ornaments, plates, figures, fake fruit in the cabinet all covered in stamps; M/S of a stamp covered clock on the wall, panning right to show another painting; C/U of this painting - a field scene. M/S of a stamp covered stuffed fish mounted in a tank; C/Us to show that even the ferns, rocks and backing of the case are covered in stamps - very bizarre.
Commentator tells us "On Shafer's death, the stamp room (in pieces) was left to gather dust - his widow being unable to assemble it on her own....[TC] wanted to buy some of the maestro's musical instruments for one of his acts, and found not only those but the stamp room too....Today with the stamp room on exhibition at such places as Battersea's Festival Garden, he does what he can for the memory of Albert Shafer". M/S and C/U of a small table with a single leg against the wall - this too is intricately covered in stamps - the work involved in these things is mind-boggling!
M/S of an antique square piano, highly decorated and with the lid up; TC enters shot and looks at a guitar and two paintings hanging on the wall, then sits down at the piano. We see him flexing his fingers before playing, natural sound as we hear him plonking on the keys; C/U as he plays (not very tuneful), then we see his face at last, as he turns round to look at the camera and laughs madly!
C/U of a Chinese willow plate on the wall, decorated with stamps. Commentator says "Imagine having to lick all those stamps - you'd want a constant water supply on tap"; C/U of TC at the piano with his back to us; he turns round with a water tap attached to his forehead and smiles.
Note: bizarre film about the 'stamp room' with some nice, if brief, glimpses of Tommy Cooper. On file is a lovely hand-written letter from Gwen Cooper (on Tommy Cooper note paper!) about the collection and how they came to own it (it seems the film was actually shot at Tommy Cooper's house in Chiswick), and a leaflet about the stamp room and Albert Shafer.