• June 13, 2024

UK auction to sell Freddie Mercury’s unopened belongings 2023

On Wednesday, Sotheby’s auction house in London announced a world tour-cum-exhibition and six auctions of Freddie Mercury’s never-before-seen personal things from his London residence.

Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara, spent most of his adult life at Garden Lodge in Kensington, west London.

Mercury’s crown, a duplicate of the St. Edward’s Crown to be worn by King Charles III in the impending Coronation on May 6, will be shown in Sotheby’s New Bond Street windows in London starting Wednesday.

Since his death over 30 years ago, Queen’s flamboyant lead vocalist, who died at 45, was an ardent collector, and his London home was preserved almost as it was by his closest friend and ex-girlfriend Mary Austin.

Austin, who plans to donate a portion of the sale’s proceeds to the Mercury Phoenix Trust and Elton John AIDS Foundation, said, “For many years now, I have had the joy and privilege of living surrounded by all the wonderful things that Freddie sought out and so loved.”

“It was important to me to do this in a way that I felt Freddie would have loved, and there was nothing he loved more than an auction.”

She said, “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 this 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.”

Sotheby’s month-long show, debuting August 4, will feature over 1,500 artifacts from Garden Lodge in immersive halls dedicated to different aspects of Mercury’s life.

The show will finish on September 5, his 77th birthday. In June, highlights from the collection will tour New York, London, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong.

Six dedicated auctions will begin on September 6, followed by online auctions. The sale will include a limited-edition Collection Book.

Stage costumes, handwritten songs, fine and decorative arts, and valuables will be auctioned.

Mercury’s replica St. Edward’s Crown and cape will sell for between GBP 60,000 and 80,000, a handwritten manuscript for 200,000–300,000, the lyrics to “Killer Queen” for 50,000–70,000, and a tiny silver moustache comb for 400–600.

An acoustic guitar, a Picasso portrait, and other rare and valuable objects from Garden Lodge, the late singer’s Georgian-style brick residence, will also be auctioned.

David Macdonald, Sotheby’s Head of Single Owner Sales, 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.”

“Like a Russian doll, Garden Lodge has revealed its layers of treasures over recent months, with the rich tapestry of objects we have discovered there taking us all on a glorious adventure through his imagination. He said, “Opening the door to Freddie Mercury’s very special place gives us the ultimate backstage pass into his world.”

Oliver Barker, Chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, said, “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.”

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