“Freddie was a hoarder, he didn’t throw anything away,” said Thomas Williams, a Sotheby’s director who is running an auction of Queen icon Freddie Mercury’s lifetime accumulations. “His possessions give us an extraordinary 360-degree view of the man, from his childhood until his death.”
“Freddie Mercury, A World of His Own” is the name of the auction at Sotheby’s, New Bond St, London until September 5.
Among the items on the block: a black lacquered baby grand piano at which Freddie Mercury composed and developed some of Queen’s biggest hits, including “Bohemian Rhapsody.” It is the centerpiece of a sale expected to raise millions.
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Almost 30,000 objects, artworks, items of clothing and furniture, photographs, handwritten lyrics and other items are up for auction. The items include his gold and platinum records to personal Polaroid photographs.
Mercury died in 1991 at the age of 45, just 24 hours after he revealed that he had AIDS.
He left his Kensington home, Garden Lodge, and its contents to trusted friend Mary Austin. She has kept them for 32 years before deciding to sell.
The exhibition of what’s available is arranged thematically over Sotheby’s 15 galleries. They range fro a room of Japanese art and objects to a recreation of a room known as the Garden Lodge dining room, where Mercury threw lavish dinner parties. Guests names menus and dress codes are contained in a leather-bound volume.
“Freddie was a great entertainer, not just on stage, but at his fabulous dinner parties and gatherings,” said Williams.
Mercury’s collection of cat art, ornaments, T-shirts and other items that honored his six cats, all originally strays, are grouped together.
Austin will donate some of the proceeds of the sale to the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the Elton John Aids Foundation.
A catalog of auction items is available here.
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