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Freddie Mercury’s Personal Collection to be Auctioned: A Glimpse into the Life of a Legend

KEY TAKEAWAYS
Over 1,500 items from Freddie Mercury's Garden Lodge home in Kensington, West London, will be auctioned off in September 2023.
The items include Mercury's personal belongings, such as handwritten lyrics, his crown and cloak, a military-style jacket, and his works of art.
Mercury was not only known for his contributions to the music industry but also for his philanthropic work, supporting various charities throughout his life, including the Mercury Phoenix Trust, founded after his death to fight HIV/AIDS.
The auction is expected to fetch over £6 million ($7.9 million) in total, and a portion of the proceeds will be donated to the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.
Before the auction, highlights from the collection will tour to New York, London, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong in June.

 

Sotheby’s has announced a monthlong exhibition from August 4 to September 5, which will showcase over 1,500 items from the late Freddie Mercury’s Garden Lodge home in Kensington, West London.

The items will be displayed in immersive galleries, each dedicated to a different aspect of the legendary Queen frontman’s life.

The auction is set to take place from September 6-8, accompanied by the release of a limited-edition Collection Book.

Highlights of the Collection

Among the items up for auction are:

  • Mercury’s crown and cloak, estimated to sell for up to £80,000 ($100,000);
  • handwritten lyrics to “We Are the Champions” and “Killer Queen”;
  • a military-style jacket created for Mercury’s 39th birthday party; pink, star-shaped glasses similar to those worn by Mercury in the “We Will Rock You” video;
  • 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 is James Tissot’s “Type of Beauty,” the last work of art Mercury bought, expected to bring in £400,000-£600,000 ($500,000-$700,000).

Freddie Mercury: A Charismatic Performer and Philanthropist

Freddie Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara, was known for his flamboyant stage presence and incredible vocal range as the lead singer of the rock band Queen.

Throughout his career, Mercury and Queen created timeless hits, such as “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Somebody to Love,” and “Don’t Stop Me Now.” However, his contributions extended beyond the world of music.

Mercury was a strong supporter of various charities throughout his life. He participated in charity concerts, such as the 1985 Live Aid event, which raised funds for famine relief in Ethiopia.

The band’s performance at Live Aid has been hailed as one of the greatest live performances in rock history.

Mercury’s legacy of philanthropy continues with the Mercury Phoenix Trust, an organization founded by Queen members and their manager after Mercury’s death to support the fight against HIV/AIDS.

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

A Fond Farewell to a Cherished Collection

The collection was amassed by Freddie Mercury over 30 years and left to his close friend Mary Austin upon his death in 1991.

Mercury’s belongings have remained in his Garden Lodge home, untouched for the last three decades.

Austin has now decided to sell the collection, stating, “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 expressed that she wanted the auction to be a way for the world to understand and celebrate Mercury’s unique and beautiful spirit.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale will be donated to the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

International Tour of Collection Highlights

Before the auction, highlights from the collection will tour to New York, London, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong in June. The auction is expected to fetch over £6 million ($7.9 million) in total. 

Through this exhibition and auction, fans of Freddie Mercury and Queen will have a rare opportunity to glimpse into the private life of a legendary musician and appreciate the depth of his artistic passions and philanthropic spirit.

Craig Miller

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