Freddie Mercury's Personal Items Heading For Auction
A collection of items that once belonged to the late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, including stage costumes and handwritten lyrics, is going up for auction in September.
Some 1,500 items collected by Mercury over three decades and kept in his London home have been in the care of his friend Mary Austin since his death in 1991.
“For many years now, I have had the joy and privilege of living surrounded by all the wonderful things that Freddie sought out and so loved. But the years have passed, and the time has come for me to take the difficult decision to close this very special chapter in my life," Austin, 72, said, in a release.
"Freddie was an incredible and intelligent collector who showed us that there is beauty and fun and conversation to be found in everything. I hope this will be an opportunity to share all the many facets of Freddie, both public and private, and for the world to understand more about, and celebrate, his unique and beautiful spirit."
Nine pages of lyrics and chords for Queen's 1977 anthem “We Are The Champions” are expected to fetch at least $340,000 and a single sheet of working lyrics to “Killer Queen,” penned in 1974, could go for more than $85,000.
"You're looking at the process of the artist, of work in progress," Austin said. "The crossings out, the rethinking, the reformatting."
An acoustic guitar on which Mercury is believed to have written and recorded 1979’s “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” is valued at between $51,000 and $85,000.
Freddie Mercury's silver moustache comb is among the items going to auction. Sotheby's
Other items include the telephone that sat on Mercury’s bedside table, a custom-made marble bar, monogrammed cocktail napkins and a silver moustache comb from Tiffany & Co. A cloak and the iconic crown he wore for a performance of "God Save The Queen" on his last tour, are valued at up to $136,000. There is also a handpainted silk waistcoat featuring the rock star'ss cats Delilah, Goliath, Oscar, Lily, Romeo and Miko.
Mercury is quoted in the 2019 book Freddie Mercury: A Life, In His Own Words as having once said: “I like to be surrounded by splendid things ... exquisite clutter."
The singer’s impressive art collection, including pieces by Matisse, Chagall and Picasso will be coveted by collectors. A portrait by Tissot is estimated to get at least $680,000 at auction.
“Freddie Mercury’s sensational life has left us with a rich array of artistic moments that still move and astound us," said Oliver Barker of Sotheby's, in a release, "a legacy that, like his music, will live on forever."
The collection will go on display at Sotheby’s in London, New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong this summer ahead of the auction in early September. A portion of the proceeds will go to the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Listen to music from Queen