According to a Rolling Stone report, 1,500 items from Mercury’s London home – which had gone untouched for 30 years – are now set to be put up for auction by Sothesby this September following a June tour across Sotheby’s houses in New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong. A portion of the sale’s income will go to charity.
Among the items being put up for auction later this year are handwritten lyrics to ‘We Are The Champions’ and ‘Killer Queen’, which are expected to fetch between £200,000 to £300,000, per the Associated Press.
Also going up on auction is Mercury’s custom crown, which was modelled on St Edward’s crown and its accompanying rhinestone-embedded, fake fur and red velvet cloak. Mercury famously wore the crown and cloak for ‘God Save the Queen’ during the band’s last live performance at Knebworth in 1986.
Other items in the collection include Mercury’s personal collection of art, glasswork, and Japanese art and fabrics such as 11 watercolours by Russian art deco artist Erté, an 1880 painting by James Jacques Tissot and Mercury’s 1975 Martin D-35 acoustic guitar in its original case.
The exhibition, titled Freddie Mercury: A World Of His Own, will be showcased at Sotheby’s London, from August 4 until September 5. Find out more here.
Mary Austin, who has been handling Mercury’s estate and home since his passing in 1991, said in a statement per The Guardian: “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 [the exhibitions and auctions] 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”.
Meanwhile, the head of single owner sales at Sotheby’s London, David MacDonald said: “Freddie Mercury’s collection is a manifestation of one extraordinary man’s creativity, taste and unerring eye for beauty, presenting so much more than just an exquisite selection of the very best examples by artists across centuries and countries.”
Austin will reportedly donate a portion of the proceeds from the auctions to the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the Elton John Aids Foundation.
In October last year, Queen shared ‘Face It Alone‘, a rediscovered track featuring Freddie Mercury from the ‘Miracle’ 1989 sessions. Since Mercury’s death in 1991, Queen have released a number of previously unheard tracks featuring the frontman. In 2014, they shared the compilation album ‘Queen Forever’, which was comprised of songs recorded in the ‘80s that had been “forgotten about”.
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