An intimate collection of 1,500 items belonging to the late Freddie Mercury, including handwritten lyrics and works by artists Picasso and Tissolt are set to go up for auction at Sotheby’s in London this June and sold by September.
The collection, which Mercury built up over the course of 30 years, was left to one of his oldest friends, Mary Austin. Mercury’s belongings were left in his Kensington home, still untouched decades after his death in 1991.
The collection provides a glimpse into the Queen singer’s life, with highlights including handwritten lyrics to the band’s greatest anthems, such as We Are The Champions and Killer Queen. The working lyrics to We Are The Champions, spanning nine pages of harmonies and chords are expected to sell for up to a staggering £300, 000 (R6 848 796,00).
Meanwhile, Freddie’s handwritten lyrics to Killer Queen penned in 1974 on a single sheet of paper, are estimated to fetch up to £70,000 (R1 598 161,20).
Mary Austin, the friend entrusted with Mercury’s personal belongings, finds it difficult to part ways with her late friend’s lyrics.
“You’re looking at the process of the artist, of work in progress,”
“The crossings out, the rethinking, the reformatting.”
She said, as quoted by the BBC.
The auction on display at Sotheby’s from June through until December will also feature Mercury’s fabulous stage costumes, and there’s no shortage of sequinned catsuits and glittery shoes.
The pièce de résistance is a fake fur, red velvet and rhinestone crown and matching cloak he wore during his last tour with Queen in the 1980s. Both of these items will be going on display in honour of King Charles III’s Coronation before they are moved to Sotheby’s for auction.
Other personal belongings of Mercury’s including the telephone that sat beside his bed, a small moustache comb and a specially commissioned marble bar with matching bar stools will be up for display and auction.
Sotheby’s will be displaying all 1,500 items in a series devoted to sharing aspects of Mercury’s life, before being auctioned off in September. The entire collection is expected to fetch around £6m (R137m) with a portion of the proceeds going to charity.
Mary Austin, Mercury’s closest friend who cared who him up until his last moments, says:
“The time has come for me to take the difficult decision to close this very special chapter in my life.”
Feature Image: Getty