Sotheby’s, the rock singer’s favorite auction house, will present a unique chance for fans to acquire, or at least witness, his precious collectibles for the first time.
May 2, 2023: A Queen fan would know how Freddie Mercury, lead vocalist of Queen, shook the entire music industry with his powerful voice and charismatic stage persona. His four octave voice, combined with his intense lyrics to create remarkable live songs, will be recognised as among the best of that era. However, this British singer and songwriter not only had a passion for music, but also loved collecting valuable objects. In his own book, he said, “I love going to auctions and buying antiques. The one thing I would really miss if I actually left Britain would be Sotheby’s.”
Freddie Mercury's Garden Lodge.
Mr. Mercury’s beloved home, Garden Lodge in Kensington, West London is where he amassed a huge collection that reflected and enhanced his expansive imagination. Since his death in 1991, the house has been looked after by Mary Austin, Mr. Mercury’s close friend. The light hued sublime Georgian-style brick villa - replete with his theatrical taste, from Victorian paintings to exceptional fabrics and fine works from Japan - was his source of inspiration. It was a place entirely of his own creation, a place flanked with the copious art and objects he had meticulously sought out over the course of years.
Freddie Mercury's vintage telephone that he used to keep on his bedside.
Now, almost after three decades, his precious collection will be revealed to the public for the first time in a month-long exhibition at Sotheby’s in London.
An assortment of 1,500 Garden Lodge objects will be offered in a series of six auctions, each dedicated to a particular facet of Mr. Mercury’s rich and varied existence. Highlights from the collection include vintage bakelite cream rotary telephone and an art nouveau glass vase-lamp, all estimated to achieve £2,000–4,000. The assortment will also feature Mr. Mercury’s favorite waistcoat and a Pablo Picasso that used to hang in his kitchen.
Freddie Mercury's iconic crown and cloak.
Mr. Mercury’s crown, which is similar to the coronation crown and was worn by him during his final performance with Queen in 1986, alongside the cloak, is expected to achieve between £60,000 and 80,000. Fans can get a closer look at the crown which will be on view in Sotheby’s New Bond Street windows until May 5.
Freddie Mercury's Martin D-35 Acoustic Guitar.
His handwritten manuscript working lyrics to ‘We Are The Champions’ is something every fan would be fascinated with and this nine pages manuscript is estimated to achieve £200,000–300,000.
Pablo Picaso's portrait of his wife, 'Jaqueline au chapeau noir', which used to hang in Freddie Mercury's kitchen.
Some other intriguing objects on offer include a tiny Tiffany & Co. silver moustache comb (£400–£600); pink star-shaped glasses (£2,000–4,000); Mr. Mercury’s 1975 Martin D-35 Acoustic Guitar (£30,000–50,000); Henri Matisse’s Masque blanc sur fond noir (£3,000–5,000); and an embroidered furisode (long-sleeved kimono), Showa period, 20th century, decorated in gold brocade with origami cranes and tassels (£5,000–8,000).
The Tiffany & Co. silver moustache comb that Freddie Mercury might have kept in his wallet.
Proceeds of the sale will benefit both the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the foundation of one of Mr. Mercury’s greatest friends, the Elton John Aids Foundation. For more information on exhibition and auction dates, visit the Sotheby's website.
- By Pritha Debroy