Queen singer Freddie Mercury pictured in 1986.
London – A collection of 1,500 Freddie Mercury items, including handwritten song lyrics and stage costumes, will be auctioned in September, the BBC reported . The Queen singer spent 30 years building it and kept everything at his home in West London. When he died in 1991, he willed everything to one of his oldest friends, Mary Austin.
The highlight of the auction will be Mercury's nine-page handwritten lyrics to one of Queen's biggest hits, We Are The Champions, including harmonies and chords. It is expected to sell for between £200,000 and £300,000 (CZK 5.3 to 7.9 million).
The previously unpublished working lyrics of Killer Queen, written in 1974 on a single sheet of paper in black pen, would then it could be auctioned for 50,000 to 70,000 pounds (1.3 to 1.8 million CZK).
Nineteen-year-old Austin was on a date with Queen guitarist Brian May when she first met Mercury in 1970. They moved in together and remained close even after he told her he was gay. She cared for the singer even as he became frail after an AIDS-related illness.
The Kensington home remained almost entirely as Mercury had left it for three decades, including the antique furniture, artwork he collected, and the luxurious fabrics he loved. Matisse and Chagall prints hung on the buttery yellow walls of the dining room, and a Picasso portrait was displayed above the kitchen breakfast table.
Now, however, Austin has decided to sell the collection “because she needs to get her things in order”. “The time has come for me to make the difficult decision to close this very special chapter in my life,” the 72-year-old added. Aside from a few “personal gifts” and photos of the pair together, the pair are selling everything.
The auction will feature Mercury's stage costumes, including sequined jumpsuits, sparkly shoes and faux fur. Queen fans will also be able to purchase the crown and cape worn by the singer during his last tour in the 1980s.
But Mercury's personal items are also on sale, such as a telephone from the bedside table, a marble bar , monogrammed cocktail napkins or a small silver mustache comb.
All 1,500 items will be displayed at London's Sotheby's auction house this summer in a series of specially designed galleries dedicated to different aspects of Mercury's life, before being sold in September. The auction is expected to raise more than six million pounds (over 159 million CZK) and part of the proceeds will be donated to charity.