Freddie Mercury’s Personal Possessions Going Up for Auction – The Hollywood Reporter

Apr 28, 2023

Freddie Mercury’s personal possessions are going up for auction.

Sotheby’s said Wednesday that a monthlong exhibition running from Aug. 4 to Sept. 5 will display more than 1,500 items from Mercury’s Garden Lodge home in Kensington, West London. The items will be displayed in a sequence of immersive galleries, each one devoted to a different aspect of the legendary rocker’s life.

The auction will take place Sept. 6-8 and be accompanied by the release of a limited-edition Collection Book.

Items in the sale will include Mercury’s crown and accompanying cloak expected to sell for up to £80,000 ($100,000); Mercury’s handwritten lyrics to “We Are the Champions” and “Killer Queen”; a military-style jacket created for Mercury’s 39th birthday party; Mercury’s mustache comb; pink, star-shaped glasses similar to those worn by Mercury in the video for “We Will Rock You”; notebooks of his drawings; the waistcoat worn in his final video “These Are the Days of Our Lives”; his acoustic guitar believed to be what he used to write and record “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” ;and Mercury’s works of art.

The highest-priced item to be auctioned is the last work of art Mercury bought, French painter James Tissot’s Type of Beauty. This is expected to bring in £400,000-£600,000 ($500,000-$700,000).

Sotheby’s Europe chairman Oliver Banks said in a statement: “As Sotheby’s is transformed into the stage for this remarkable collection, the focus will be as much on Freddie Mercury the showman — celebrating everything we already know about him — as on discovering his less well-known private artistic passions. Fittingly lavish in scale, the auction will bring together the expertise of specialists from 30 different collecting categories and see exhibitions held in four locations across three continents — all culminating in the longest, most spectacular, public exhibition in our company history. How else could we celebrate the legend that is Freddie Mercury?”

Mercury’s close friend Mary Austin, who cared for his home and the contents in it for the last 30 years following Mercury’s death in 1991, said in a statement, “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.”

The statement continued, “It was important to me to do this in a way that I felt Freddie would have loved, and there was nothing he loved more than an auction. 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.”

Austin will be donating a portion of the proceeds of the sale to both the Mercury Phoenix Trust and to the foundation of one of Freddie’s greatest friends, the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Highlights from the collection will tour to New York, London, Los Angeles and Hong Kong in June.

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