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Freddie Mercury's Legacy Goes to Auction: A World of His Own

Freddie Mercury, the iconic lead singer of the rock band Queen, wearing a majestic crown and exuding his signature stage charisma.

Sotheby's to Host an Exhibition and Auction of Queen Frontman's Cherished Possessions - London

Fans of Freddie Mercury and Queen have an unprecedented opportunity to explore the private and public worlds of the iconic singer as his cherished possessions go up for auction this September. Sotheby's will be hosting "Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own," a sale that reflects the myriad facets of Mercury's artistic genius, personal interests, and cultural influences.

From the Stage to the Drawing Room

Freddie Mercury, the iconic lead singer of the rock band Queen, wearing a majestic crown and exuding his signature stage charisma.

The sale includes almost 30,000 objects, artworks, clothing, furniture, photographs, and handwritten lyrics that belonged to Freddie Mercury. These items have been meticulously preserved at his Kensington home, Garden Lodge, where he lived during the latter part of the '80s until his death in 1991.

The centerpiece of the auction is a black lacquered Yamaha baby grand piano, estimated to go for £2 - £3 million. This is the very instrument where Mercury composed and developed some of Queen's biggest hits, including the epic "Bohemian Rhapsody." Mary Austin, Mercury's long-time friend and one-time fiancée, who is orchestrating the sale, says the piano was "an extension of himself, his vehicle of creativity."

Capturing the Essence of a Legend

Sotheby's auction house in central London will be the exhibition ground for these possessions, providing fans an extraordinary 360-degree view of the man's life. Visitors will be able to immerse themselves in Mercury's world through thematic galleries, recreations of his drawing and dining rooms, and a collection of personal photographs documenting intimate moments.

Mercury's infatuation with Japan will also be highlighted in a special gallery, displaying an array of artefacts, furniture, prints, and 70 kimonos, reflecting his passion for Japanese art and culture.

Among other intriguing items up for bidding are Mercury's collection of cat-themed art, a multicoloured 1941 Wurlitzer jukebox, and a captivating Jacques Joseph Tissot portrait estimated at £400,000 - £600,000.

Charity and Memories

Some of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the Elton John AIDS Foundation, ensuring that Mercury's legacy continues to impact the fight against AIDS.

The auction, while celebrating Mercury's sense of fun, glamour, and "exquisite clutter," also marks a poignant farewell to his belongings, 32 years after his passing. But as Dr. Gabriel Heaton, Sotheby’s manuscripts specialist, explains, "Freddie loved auctions, he wasn't interested in museums. He loved Sotheby's, and was a regular client here. So Mary Austin thought this would be the route he would have wanted. That he would have found all this a blast."

Details and Dates

The public exhibition will be held at Sotheby's, New Bond St, London, from August 3 until September 5. The auction will run from September 6-13, 2023, with six live auctions focusing on different themes such as "On Stage," "At Home," and "In Love with Japan." For more information and to sign up for notifications, please visit Sotheby's Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own.

Freddie Mercury's extraordinary existence and influence extend far beyond his musical achievements. This auction serves as a unique tribute to a complex and multifaceted personality. The contents of Garden Lodge offer a magnificent and, at times, voyeuristic glance at one of the 20th century's greatest musicians. Whether a Queen fan or an admirer of cultural history, this exhibition and auction stand as a must-visit event, celebrating a life filled with creativity, style, and a relentless pursuit of the splendid.


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