In a remarkable announcement made in April, Sotheby’s unveiled its ambitious plan to orchestrate a six-part auction featuring a captivating array of personal artifacts belonging to Queen’s iconic frontman, Freddie Mercury. These rare treasures, encompassing stage attire, home embellishments, and an eclectic collection of curiosities, have been available for public viewing in New York City since June. As the inaugural sale approaches, set to commence this September in London, the esteemed auction house’s British branch is introducing an ultimate exhibition with an exclusive star highlight.
The curtain lifts on the revelation of Mercury’s cherished Yamaha G2 Baby Grand Piano, which will take center stage at Sotheby’s newly established 16,000-square-foot Bond Street gallery in London. This exquisite and distinctive instrument is said to have found its perfect place in the compact apartment he shared with Mary Austin, his close friend. It was at this piano that Mercury composed an impressive repertoire of hits spanning over a decade, including iconic songs like “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Barcelona.” Its journey continued as it graced Mercury’s residence, known as Garden Lodge, in 1986, securing a spot within the singer’s drawing room away from the sun. The immaculately preserved piano is projected to achieve an impressive auction price between $2.5 million and $3.8 million.
The forthcoming exhibition not only unveils the baby grand’s splendor but introduces a host of other remarkable novelties. Within the House’s 15 galleries, visitors will be treated to a captivating array of previously unseen photographs, attention-grabbing costumes such as a silver sequined catsuit, and a diverse assortment of keepsakes ranging from a neon telephone to Mercury’s favored games and puzzles. The collection encompasses kimonos, bespoke Japanese attire, decorative artworks, and original handwritten drafts, offering a glimpse into Queen’s iconic music catalog.
David MacDonald, the head of single owner sales at Sotheby’s London, remarked, “This summer, Sotheby’s is throwing open the doors to Freddie Mercury’s London home, in what will be a true celebration of his wonderful life… a true joy to discover.” The inaugural auction, titled “Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own,” will grace Sotheby’s London on September 6. To commemorate this momentous event, a limited-edition catalog featuring images of Mercury’s creations, costumes, and lyrics, alongside contributions from friends and collaborators, will be available for purchase. Visitors can also partake in a unique culinary experience at the house’s restaurant, indulging in dishes approved by Mercury himself, such as the renowned “Fat Bottomed Prawn Cocktail,” a delicacy often served at his dinner gatherings.