Freddie Mercury's Heir Decides to Sell His Treasures

Sotheby's to auction original lyrics to 'We Are the Champions,' stage costumes, and more
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 26, 2023 1:20 PM CDT
Freddie Mercury's Treasures to Be Sold
Queen lead singer Freddie Mercury performs, in Cologne, Germany, on Sunday, July 20, 1986 file photo.   (AP Photo/Marco Arndt, File)

Freddie Mercury's heir is giving up his treasures. Mary Austin, a close friend of Mercury's who inherited his London home and much of his wealth upon his 1991 death, is selling some 1,500 items tied to the late Queen frontman as part of a Sotheby's auction set to begin in late August. Among the items hitting the auction block are handwritten lyrics, stage costumes, guitars, the telephone he kept beside his bed, and a Tiffany & Co. mustache comb, per the Wall Street Journal. But there are also items Mercury personally collected, including "Fabergé clocks, Victorian paintings, and Japanese woodblock prints," according to the outlet.

"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. 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," Austin, 72, says in a statement, per CNN. "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," she adds, per the Journal. Mercury's original lyrics to "We Are the Champions" are expected to sell for up to $375,000, per the BBC. The red velvet crown and cloak Mercury wore during his last 1986 tour performances of "God Save the Queen" are expected to sell for up to $100,000, per CNN.

All of the 1,500 items combined are expected to sell for at least $7.4 million, per the Journal. Many of these will be visible to the public before the sale. As the Journal reports, Sotheby's plans to turn its London auction house into an immersive exhibit, with rooms mimicking those of Mercury's home, known as Garden Lodge. Sotheby's Europe chairman Oliver Barker says it will be "the longest, most spectacular public exhibition in our company history," per CNN. The exhibit will open Aug. 4, though if you can't make it to London, "smaller touring exhibitions will also be sent to New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong," per the Journal. Online auctions begin Aug. 31, followed by live auctions from Sept. 6-8. (More Freddie Mercury stories.)

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