Fancy owning one of Freddie Mercury's guitars? Here's your chance. All you need is a spare €100k.
Imagine yourself standing in front of a screaming British crowd, red cape draped behind you and a crown above your head. It’s a feeling that’s been reserved for a few monarchs, and one other legend: Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen in his final tour for the legendary band. Now, you too could feel like a Queen when his private collection goes on auction.
Sotheby’s has announced 1,500 items from Mercury’s private collection will go on auction in London this September. The collection includes costumes and lyrics from Mercury’s days in Queen, as well as artworks from Matisse and Picasso.
All the objects come from Mercury’s Garden Lodge home in the prestigious London neighbourhood of Kensington where he lived until his death in 1991. Sealed for over 30 years, the auction will give the public insight into the enigmatic singer’s life through the things he surrounded himself with.
“I like to be surrounded by splendid things. I want to lead a Victorian life, surrounded by exquisite clutter,” Mercury once said.
Before the auction, Sotheby’s is touring a display of its highlights across New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong in June, before coming to London in August for a month.
Mary Austin, Mercury’s companion and dear friend is behind the sale.
“For many years I had the joy and privilege of living surrounded by all the wonderful things Freddie sought out and loved so much," said Austin. "But the years have passed and the time has come for me to make the difficult decision to close this very special chapter of my life."
“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 continued.
Included in the sale is the royal costume that Mercury wore during renditions of ‘God Save the Queen’ on The Magic Tour in 1986, his final tour with the band. The crown, cape and faux-fur coat are expected to sell for between €67,000 and €90,000.
Another important piece of the sale is the nine pages of handwritten lyrics by the singer for the song ‘We Are The Champions’, one of the band's most famous tunes. The price is estimated between €225,000 and €339,000.
There is also an acoustic guitar that belonged to Mercury alongside his art collection.
Sotheby's estimates that the sale will fetch more than €6.7 million. Part of the proceeds will go to the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the Elton John Aids Foundation, two organisations involved in the fight against AIDS.