A file picture taken on September 18, 1984 showing Rock star Freddie Mercury, lead singer of the rock group “Queen”, during a concert at the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy.InternationalIndiaAfricaAfter Freddie Mercury’s death in 1991, the London house of the legendary singer of the rock band Queen was bequeathed to his friend, Mary Austin. Having resided there for decades, Austin finally decided the time had come to “close this very special chapter in my life.”A house in west London whose walls have closely guarded the prized possessions of the late Queen frontman, the legendary Freddie Mercury, is gearing up to reveal its contents to the broad public.A dedicated month-long exhibition – from August 5, 2023, to September 5, 2023 – of the intimate collection of around 1,500 items belonging to the iconic singer, who died in 1991, will precede their sale at Sotheby’s.Mary Austin, one of Freddie Mercury’s oldest friends, had been residing in the house, called Garden Lodge, ever since she inherited it after the singer’s death from bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS. © Photo : TwitterTwitter screenshot featuring Freddie Mercury’s house in London.Twitter screenshot featuring Freddie Mercury’s house in London.© Photo : TwitterTwitter screenshot showing interior of Freddie Mercury’s house in London, Garden Lodge. The belongings will be auctioned off at Sotheby’s in September, 2023.Twitter screenshot showing interior of Freddie Mercury’s house in London, Garden Lodge. The belongings will be auctioned off at Sotheby’s in September, 2023.45-year-old Mercury had built up quite an impressive collection over the years, ranging from his memorable stage costumes to works of Victorian art, antique furniture, glassware, and fabrics.Mary Austin explained her decision to part with the treasure trove of items:“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,” Austin says in a statement. “But the years have passed, and the time has come for me to take the difficult decision to close this very special chapter in my life. 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.”© Photo : TwitterTwitter screenshot featuring Freddie Mercury with Mary Austin, Photo by Dave Hogan.Twitter screenshot featuring Freddie Mercury with Mary Austin, Photo by Dave Hogan.72-year-old Austin clarified that she would hold on to just some “personal gifts” and photographs of herself with Mercury. She added that part of the proceeds will go to the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.© AP Photo / GILL ALLENSinger Freddie Mercury of the rock group Queen, performs at a concert in Sydney, Australia, in 1985.Singer Freddie Mercury of the rock group Queen, performs at a concert in Sydney, Australia, in 1985.
“I like to be surrounded by splendid things… I want to lead the Victorian life, surrounded by exquisite clutter,” Freddie Mercury is quoted as saying in Freddie Mercury: A Life, In His Own Words. Indeed, the Georgian-style mansion in Kensington that he bought in 1980 epitomizes the singer’s flamboyant public image and reflects his varying tastes.Anticipated to become the most costly of all the lots, according to David Macdonald, head of single owner sales at Sotheby’s London, is some music memorabilia, specifically, handwritten lyrics to We are the Champions. The lyrics to one of Queen’s greatest anthems are expected to fetch up to £300,000 ($374,166.00). Mercury’s 1975 Martin D-35 acoustic guitar in its original case will also be up for auction.© Photo : TwitterTwitter screenshot featuring image of Freddie Mercury on stage.Twitter screenshot featuring image of Freddie Mercury on stage.Freddie Mercury’s costumes will undeniably be the focus of attention. About £60,000 to £80,000 is expected to be fetched for the red velvet cloak with fake fur and rhinestones, and his famous crown, modelled on St Edward’s crown. There is also a jacket (described in Sotheby’s catalogue lots as “military style”) which Mercury wore for his 39th birthday party in Munich, Germany, expected to be worth between £10,000 and £15,000.© Photo : TwitterTwitter screenshot of Freddie Mercury wearing a “military-style” jacket.Twitter screenshot of Freddie Mercury wearing a “military-style” jacket.A touching reflection of Freddie Mercury’s love for his cats is the famous waistcoat he wore for his final video, These Are the Days of Our Lives, in 1991. The waistcoat’s silk panels feature, according to Sotheby’s, hand-painted depictions of the iconic singer’s cats – Delilah, Goliath, Oscar, Lily, Romeo, and Miko. This lot is estimated at £5,000 to £7,000.© Photo : TwitterTwitter screenshot featuring Freddie Mercury’s waistcoat, worn in his final video, These are the Days of Our Lives, in 1991. The panels are each hand-painted with one of Mercury’s cats.Twitter screenshot featuring Freddie Mercury’s waistcoat, worn in his final video, These are the Days of Our Lives, in 1991. The panels are each hand-painted with one of Mercury’s cats.Freddie Mercury had a special love for Japan, a country that his band toured six times. Thus, the vocalist collected everything from art to antiques and textiles, including kimonos that he would even don on stage.There was a special Japanese room, “furnished with chinoiserie, antique furniture, wood block prints, etc. And no one was allowed in that room, it was very private,” according to David Macdonald. The singer’s library also contained books on all things Japanese, including art, textiles, lacquer, etc. One of the lots to be up for sale at the end of the year is a woodblock print by Utagawa Hiroshige, dated 1857 – Sudden Shower Over the Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake. It is estimated to bring in between £30,000 and £50,000.© Photo : TwitterTwitter screenshot of Utagawa Hiroshige’s 1857 woodblock print Sudden Shower Over the Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake.Twitter screenshot of Utagawa Hiroshige’s 1857 woodblock print Sudden Shower Over the Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake.Items in the collection to be sold at Sotheby’s also include a Marc Chagall owned by Mercury, 11 watercolours by the Russian art deco artist Erté, and an 1880 painting by James Jacques Tissot – Type of Beauty – estimated to fetch up to £600,000.Some other intriguing personal belongings that fans of the great artist may acquire include a small silver Tiffany moustache comb, and a Fabergé nephrite and enamel desk clock.Radio Meow Meow: Take a Look at Cat Whose Mustache Looks Just Like Freddie Mercury’s6 January 2022, 00:20 GMTBefore the possessions go up for auction, there will also be touring exhibitions in New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong in June. The six auctions, starting on September 6, are expected to bring in more than £6 million ($7.4 million).