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Lots on show - a chance to see Freddie Mercury's prized possessions before they go under the hammer

Freddie Mercury's signature crown worn throughout the 'Magic' Tour, on display at Sotheby's auction rooms in London, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023.
Freddie Mercury's signature crown worn throughout the 'Magic' Tour, on display at Sotheby's auction rooms in London, Thursday, Aug. 3, 2023. Copyright Kirsty Wigglesworth/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Kirsty Wigglesworth/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AFP
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Fans will have a chance to see items that could sell for a combined total of €7m with some of the proceeds going to charity.

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From fanciful costumes and working drafts of "Bohemian Rhapsody" to ashtrays and art, hundreds of items Freddie Mercury owned go on show in Britain on Friday before being sold next month.

Sotheby's has transformed its central London gallery to resemble the Queen frontman's former home in the UK capital for the month-long exhibition, ahead of its six-stage sale of the more than 1,400 lots.

The singer-songwriter, who died in 1991, had assembled an array of "treasures" which had been left largely untouched at his one-time west London house in the three decades since, according to the auctioneers.

His Yamaha baby grand alone is expected to fetch up to 3.5 million euros.

The replica of Britain's St Edward's Crown and an accompanying cloak - in fake fur, red velvet and rhinestones - worn by the star on stage in the 1980s is also on display.

Freddie Mercury performed both at the world-famous Live Aid concert in 1985 and the finale renditions of "God Save The Queen" during his last tour with the band in 1986.

The 16,000 square feet (1,500 sq m) multi-room showcase, which runs until 5 September - the late singer's birthday --also features numerous elements from his so-called Japanese collection.

Mercury had collected Japanese decorative arts, glass, graphic arts, ceramics and other objects originating from the country during his life.

"It constitutes an ensemble which is completely unique," Sotheby's Cecile Bernard told AFP during an exhibition preview.

The vast array of items - being auctioned by Mary Austin, one of the icon's closest friends who cared for him at his former home - are expected to fetch at least€7m. 

Austin will be donating a portion of the proceeds to the Mercury Phoenix Trust - founded by fellow Queen members Brian May, Roger Taylor and their manager Jim Beach to support HIV/Aids initiatives - and to the Elton John Aids Foundation.

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