‘Hammer to Fall’: Freddie Mercury belongings headed for auction
LONDON, April 26 (Reuters) - From a moustache comb to dazzling stage costumes, personal items belonging to late Queen front man Freddie Mercury will go under the hammer in September allowing fans to purchase memorabilia once owned by one of the world's most famous rock stars.
Some 1,500 items, including handwritten lyrics, art and collectibles from Mercury’s London home, Garden Lodge, have been looked after by his close friend Mary Austin since his death from AIDS-related pneumonia in 1991.
They will go on public display for the first time in a month-long summer exhibition at Sotheby’s in London before they are sold in six separate auctions, each dedicated to a different aspect of the singer’s life.
“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 said in a statement.
“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.”
Among the items for sale are Mercury’s crown and regal cloak, worn for the “God Save The Queen” finale during the singer’s last tour with Queen in 1986, with an auction estimate of 60,000 – 80,000 pounds ($74,838–$99,784).
Handwritten manuscript working lyrics for “We Are The Champions” have an estimate of 200,000–300,000 pounds, while those for “Killer Queen” have a price tag of 50,000–70,000 pounds.
There is also a Tiffany & Co. silver moustache comb (400 – 600 pounds), pink star-shaped glasses (2,000–4,000 pounds), as well as notebooks of Mercury’s drawings, including one depicting objects at Garden Lodge (2,000- 3,000 pounds).
Sale highlights will go on tour in New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong before the main London exhibition begins on August 4.
By Marie-Louise Gumuchian
(Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Sharon Singleton)