The private collections of stage costumes, personal items and handwritten lyrics belonging to legendary Queen frontman Freddie Mercury are being exhibited and later auctioned by Sotheby’s this summer.
Fans of the late Queen singer Freddie Mercury will now have a chance to own a piece of the star thanks to an exhibition and auction being presented by Sotheby’s between June and September.
LIVE AND ONLINE AUCTIONS
In total, there will be six different auctions. The first is on 6th September with a live sale featuring a cross-section of some of the collection’s most significant pieces. Two more live events follow on 7th and 8th September: the first will be dedicated to the singer’s on-stage persona and the second to his home life.
Three online sales will run alongside these events. One will focus on his deep love of all things Japanese, and the other two are entitled “Crazy Little Things”, using the title of one of his band’s most popular hit songs and featuring everyday objects that the singer purchased to adorn his home.
“Freddie Mercury’s sensational life has left us with a rich array of artistic moments that still move and astound us, a legacy that, like his music, will live on forever,” said Oliver Barker, the chairman of Sotheby’s Europe. “As Sotheby’s is transformed into the stage for this remarkable collection, the focus will be as much on Freddie Mercury the showman, celebrating everything we already know about him, as on discovering his less well-known private artistic passions.”
Some standout pieces will include the elaborate military-style jacket he wore to his 39th birthday party in 1985, with an estimated sale price of £10,000 to £15,000 (€11,000 to €17,000), and the handwritten lyrics worked on by the singer for the Queen hit “We are the Champions”, which is expected to fetch £200,000 to £300,000 (€225,000 to €339,000).
There will also be a replica of the St. George Crown he wore along with a red velvet faux-fur lined cloak at the last live show Queen played together in 1986. Sale prices for this are anticipated to range from £60,000 to £80,000 (€68,000 to €90,000).
The real crown, incidentally, will be worn by King Charles III at his coronation in May.
Before the sales event, Mercury’s items will be taken on the road with exhibition stops in New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong in June, followed by a “full takeover” of Sotheby’s London 16,000 square foot gallery in August.
There, the space will be divided into specially created immersive sections to house the 1,500 items that will be displayed. The London exhibit will open on 4th August and close on 5th September on what would have been his 77th birthday.
The pieces will all come from collections that resided in his Georgian-style home, Garden Lodge, which the singer bought in 1980 and lived in until his untimely death at the age of 45 in 1991 from an AIDS-related illness.
After he died, Garden Lodge was left largely as it was for some 30 years.
The tribute is fitting for a man who adored auctions, notably those put on by Sotheby’s. He once quipped, “I love going to auctions and buying antiques… The only thing I would really miss if I actually left Britain would be Sotheby’s.”
Photo courtesy of Sotheby’s