- 26 Apr 23
The items to feature in the collection include the unseen handwritten working lyrics to 'We Are the Champions' as well as a replica of St Edward's Crown, and matching cloak worn by Mercury during 1985's Live Aid.
An exhibition due to take place this summer, showcasing the private collection of the late Freddie Mercury will run for a month in August before going to auction.
Taken from the Queen frontman’s Garden Lodge in Kensington, west London, the collection will go on display from August 4th until September 5th, marking what would have been the singing icon's 77th birthday.
Among the collection are an array of costumes, paintings and objects from Mercury's everyday life, including one of the most highly-valued items- a replica of St Edward's Crown.
The headpiece’s accompanying cloak, made from fake fur, red velvet, and rhinestones, was designed by the late singer’s friend and costume designer, Diana Moseley.
The items have become iconic in the canon of music history, with Freddie donning the garments at the world-famous Live Aid concert in 1985, and at the finale rendition of ‘God Save the Queen’ during his last tour with Queen in 1986 - The Magic Tour.
The items are estimated to fetch up to £80,000 at auction.
Also going on sale are the previously unseen handwritten lyrics of Queen's ‘We Are the Champions’ when it was still a work in progress. The song was originally released as a single alongside ‘We Will Rock You’ in October of 1977, immediately topping the charts.
The lyrics, which run over nine pages, are estimated to fetch anywhere between £200-300,000.
‘Killer Queen’s lyrics, also on sale, are priced at £70,000, with the single widely-recognised as being the turning point for the band.
A lavish ceremonial-style jacket worn by Mercury at his legendary 39th Birthday Party Drag Ball in Munich in 1985 is valued at £10-15,000. The black silk and velvet jacket is in the style of The Beatles' Sgt Pepper album, complete with fringed silver-metal epaulettes and imitation medals.
The exhibition and proceeding sale is being organised by Sotheby's London. Before the London showcase, highlights from the collection are to tour New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong during June.
Speaking on the collection, chair of Sotheby's Europe, Olivia Barker, said, “Freddie Mercury's sensational life has left us with a rich array of artistic moments that still move and astound us, a legacy that, like his music, will live on forever.”
Continuing, Barker explained, "As Sotheby's is transformed into the stage for this remarkable collection, the focus will be as much on Freddie Mercury the showman, celebrating everything we already know about him, as on discovering his less well-known private artistic passions.”
"Fittingly lavish in scale, the auction will bring together the expertise of specialists from 30 different collecting categories, and see exhibitions held in four locations across three continents - all culminating in the longest, most spectacular, public exhibition in our company history,” she added.
"How else could we celebrate the legend that is Freddie Mercury?"
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