Freddie Mercury Property Sale to Public sale Unique Lyrics to “We Are the Champions”

After the rock legend died in 1991, his former fiancé and lifelong good friend Mary Austin saved all the pieces he owned enshrined and largely unseen in his London house. On Wednesday, Ms. Austin stated she was lastly able to dump his belongings at Sotheby’s this fall.

The London public sale home stated it’s going to promote his property throughout a weeklong sequence of gross sales beginning Sept. 6.

“It was vital to me to do that in a means that I felt Freddie would have liked,” stated Ms. Austin, who stewards his property, in an announcement, “and there was nothing he liked greater than an public sale.”

The singer began turning up at auctions quickly after Queen discovered fame as a progressive rock band within the early Seventies. Sotheby’s stated its specialists typically stayed late so he might come by and preview choices on his personal, and he both returned to bid on items or despatched Ms. Austin to bid on his behalf.

“He was a cultural magpie,” stated Oliver Barker, chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, “and he was an ideal shopper, going to jewellery and glassware retailers wherever he traveled.”

The ensuing property of roughly 1,500 items encapsulates Mr. Mercury’s style for finely drawn works on paper and delicate objects spanning 30 amassing classes, nevertheless it lacks the edgy, wall-power work most well-liked by billionaire trophy hunters at present, Mr. Barker stated.

Total, the Mercury property is predicted to promote for not less than $7.4 million, with costs sweeping from an estimated $500 for his tiny Tiffany mustache comb to an estimated $500,000 for James Jacques Tissot’s portrait of his mistress, “Sort of Magnificence,” the final piece of artwork the singer ever purchased, the home stated.

These estimates pale compared with current gross sales of different iconic musicians’ collections, from David Bowie’s $41.1 million property sale in 2016 to Elton John’s $8.2 million sale of cast-off costumes and memorabilia in 1988.

It stays to be seen if memorabilia collectors will go gaga for Mr. Mercury’s hord of hardly ever seen guitars, glam-rock costumes and sheafs of handwritten lyrics within the sale. Choices will embody his authentic lyrics to Seventies hit songs “Killer Queen” and “We Are the Champions.” Sotheby’s expects to promote Mr. Mercury’s one-page draft of the lyrics to “Killer Queen,” which comes accompanied by 4 pages of music notes and chords written on Elektra Information stationery, for not less than $62,000.

The home stated it’s going to ask almost $250,000 for his handwritten manuscript working lyrics to “We Are the Champions,” which was launched in late 1977 and shortly grew to become a sports activities stadium anthem.

Presently, the report for any well-liked music manuscript is held by Bob Dylan’s $2 million authentic lyrics for 1965’s “Like a Rolling Stone.”

Mr. Mercury’s public sale enchantment stays largely untested, however collectors obtained a touch final fall when RM Sotheby’s in London bought a 1974 Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow that had as soon as belonged to the singer for roughly $355,000, almost 10 instances its excessive estimate. (The singer needed to be pushed as a result of he by no means obtained a driver’s license.)

Mr. Barker stated the home plans to show its whole London constructing into an immersive exhibit in regards to the singer’s profession and assortment. The exhibit will re-create a number of rooms of Mr. Mercury’s house in West London, often known as Backyard Lodge. It is going to open Aug. 4 in Sotheby’s London location and run till Sept. 5, which might have been the singer’s 77th birthday. Smaller touring exhibitions may also be despatched to New York, Los Angeles and Hong Kong.

Trend will play an outsize function within the exhibit and subsequent sale, together with the singer’s velvety crimson crown and cloak worn throughout his finale rendition of “God Save the Queen” throughout his final tour with the band in 1986. The set will carry an estimate of roughly $74,000.

The sale may also embody a military-style black silk jacket that Mr. Mercury wore to his thirty ninth party in 1985; it’s estimated to promote for $12,400 or extra. One other piece to look at: The cat-covered waistcoat he wore in his final music video in 1991, “These Are the Days of Our Lives.” It’s estimated to promote for not less than $6,200.

Mr. Mercury significantly admired Japan; the property sale will embody his assortment of kimonos in addition to classic woodblock prints corresponding to Utagawa Hiroshige’s “Sudden Bathe over the Shin-Ohashi Bridge and Atake.” After Ms. Austin tried to purchase a model of the 1857 print at Sotheby’s however obtained outbid, the singer discovered and acquired one other model throughout a visit to Japan. His model of “Sudden Bathe” is estimated to promote for not less than $37,000.

Tim Rice, the “Aladdin” lyricist who helped write two songs on Mr. Mercury’s 1988 “Barcelona” album, visited the rock star at Backyard Lodge just a few instances through the years. Though it was located on a bustling block, Mr. Rice stated the house sat ensconced behind brick partitions and a backyard. “As quickly as you stepped in, you felt such as you have been in a rustic house,” Mr. Rice stated.

To Mr. Rice, the juxtaposition prolonged to the gathering inside, including, “Freddie was a pleasant chap and he preferred individuals, however he additionally wanted to get away from all of it.”