Freddie Mercury: 1,500 items owned by the Queen singer including Tissot paintings set to go on auction
All 1,500 items will go on display at Sotheby’s in London in the summer before being sold in September, with the auction expected to fetch around £6 million
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A collection of 1,500 items owned by Freddie Mercury, including stage costumes and handwritten lyrics are to be sold at auction. Mercury built up the vast collection of items for over 30 years at his home in West London.
When the legendary Queen singer died in 1991, he left both the house and all of its contents to one of his oldest and closest friends, Mary Austin. The pair first met in 1970, when Austin was on a date with Queen’s guitarist Brian May.
One of the most expensive items to be auctioned is a portrait by the French painter Tissot. It was the last work of art purchased by Mercury, a month before he died. It is expected to fetch between £400,000 - £600,000.
A highlight of the sale will be Mercury’s handwritten lyrics to one of Queen’s biggest songs, We Are The Champions. Expected to sell for around £200,000 - £300,000 it includes harmonies and chords, and is written across nine pages.
Stage costumes worn by Mercury, including sequinned catsuits, glittered shoes alongside the fake fur, red velvet and rhinestones crown and matching cloak, which he wore during his last tour with Queen in the 1980s are also up for auction.
More intimate items will be sold too, such as a telephone he kept beside his bedside, a marble bar and matching bar stools, monogrammed cocktail napkins embroidered with a green F and a small silver moustache comb.
His favourite waistcoat, which features his six cats Delilah, Goliath, Oscar, Lily, Romeo and Miko on the front is up for sale. It was worn by Mercury in his final video These are the Days of Our Lives, in 1991.
Speaking exclusively to the BBC, Austin said: "You see the spectrum of his taste, "It’s a very intelligent, sophisticated collection and I don’t think one would really attribute that... to Freddie.
“The collection takes you deeper within the individual and the man I knew. You’re looking at the process of the artist, of work in progress," she added. "The crossings out, the rethinking, the reformatting."
Explaining her decision to auction the items, she said: “I need to put my affairs in order. The time has come for me to take the difficult decision to close this very special chapter in my life."