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  • Writer's pictureIna

Unveiling the Treasures of Freddie Mercury before they go on auction at Sotheby's

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore the public and private sphere of a worldwide star, is presented by Sotheby's until the 5th of September. The famous auction house's 15 galleries display a splendid collection of oddities and cherished items from Freddie's house - all the tiny things that he found so meaningful.

In the realm of rock and music history, few names shine as brightly as Freddie Mercury. The charismatic frontman of Queen left an indelible mark on the world, not only through his extraordinary vocals but also with his unique style, larger-than-life persona, and unparalleled stage presence. Now, imagine getting up close and personal with the possessions that once belonged to this iconic artist. Join me as I take you on a visual journey through an extraordinary exhibition that celebrates the life, talent, and legacy of Freddie Mercury.

Freddie Mercury was not just a well-known rock performer. He was also a knowledgeable collector. Over the course of six auctions, Sotheby's captures the kaleidoscopic world of style that Freddie cultivated over fifty years, including art, fashion, musical instruments, personal documents, belongings, pictures, furniture, and jewels. (brief video tour of the exhibition here).

A month-long public display precedes the series of auctions, aiming to immerse visitors in Freddie's world and provide them access to some of the most exciting and uncommon examples of relics from a real legend of the 20th century.

A collection of handwritten lyrics/working drafts and iconic stage outfits including the crown and royal cape used for the "God Save The Queen" during the singer's final tour with Queen in 1986, are among the objects up for auction.

"We've conceived our gallery spaces to give it a sense of what it was like living with Freddie at home," said David MacDonald, head of single-owner sales at Sotheby's London for Reuters.

Handwritten lyrics from the band's most well-known songs will also be displayed. Working lyrics for "We Are The Champions" are estimated to be worth between 200,000 and 300,000 pounds, while those for "Killer Queen" are worth between 50,000 and 70,000 pounds.

A distinct part of Mercury's life is featured in each gallery. There are countless things to be awed by, including his personal record collection, exquisite paintings, furniture, and decor, as well as cutlery and even school-era poetry experiments, costumes from live performances, and unseen photographs.

This collection, which has spent more than three decades being scrupulously kept at his beloved Garden Lodge home, showcases the calibre and variety of pieces that reflect not only his many loves but also his natural flair, superb creativity, and sharp intellect.

The prized black Yamaha piano that Mercury used to write the 1975 Queen anthem "Bohemian Rhapsody" is the centrepiece of the auction and is worth an estimated 2-3 million pounds ($2.5-$3.8 million).

Mary Austin, Mercury’s long-time friend and once fiancé, recalls that “Freddie treated the Yamaha with absolute respect. He considered it to be more than an instrument, it was an extension of himself, his vehicle of creativity”.

📅 Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own London Exhibition | 4 August–5 September

📍 Sotheby’s London, 34-35 New Bond St, London W1S 2RP

🎫 The exhibition is free & open to the public, no booking is required.

🚇 The closest London Underground Stations to Sotheby’s London are Bond Street (9 min walk), Oxford Circus (10 min walk) and Green Park (12 min walk).

*All photos were taken by Ina/WithinLondon unless stated otherwise.

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