Freddie Mercury, the legendary frontman of the iconic rock band Queen, continues to captivate the world even long after his passing. Recently, a historic auction of Mercury’s personal memorabilia and prized possessions, including the piano he used to compose “Bohemian Rhapsody,” took place, breaking records and capturing the hearts of fans worldwide.
The auction, organized by Sotheby’s, featured a stunning array of items from Mercury’s personal collection, offering fans a unique glimpse into the life of the music legend. Among the highlights of the auction was the sale of the piano on which Mercury composed the timeless classic “Bohemian Rhapsody.” This piece of music history fetched an astounding $2 million, emphasizing the enduring significance of this iconic song.
Several items associated with “Bohemian Rhapsody” exceeded expectations, reflecting the song’s cultural importance. Handwritten lyrics to the song were sold for approximately $1.7 million, while a gold Cartier brooch inscribed with “Queen number 1,” gifted to each band member following the song’s chart-topping success, sold for $208,000.
One of the standout moments of the auction came with the sale of a Victorian-style silver snake bangle that Mercury famously wore with an ivory satin catsuit in a music video for “Bohemian Rhapsody.” This piece set a remarkable record as the highest price ever paid at auction for jewelry owned by a rock star, fetching $881,000, surpassing the previous record set by John Lennon’s leather and bead talisman in 2008.
The eclectic collection showcased items acquired by Mercury during Queen’s glam-rock era, reflecting his aspiration to live a Victorian-inspired life “surrounded by exquisite clutter.” Mary Austin, a close friend of Mercury to whom he left his possessions upon his passing in 1991, decided to part with over 1,400 items from his collection.
The auction witnessed fervent bidding from enthusiasts in 61 countries, both in person and online, leading to unexpected prices for various items. One lucky buyer secured the rhinestone-studded crown and red fake fur cloak that Mercury wore on stage during Queen’s final tour in 1986 for $801,500.
Other notable items included a graffiti-tagged door from Mercury’s home, which fetched an astonishing $521,000, far surpassing its pre-sale estimate. The sale of a Cartier onyx and diamond ring gifted to Mercury by Elton John raised $344,000, with all proceeds dedicated to the “Rocket Man” singer’s AIDS charity.
The auction also featured artworks by renowned artists like Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dalí, and Marc Chagall, as well as antique furniture and numerous cat figurines.
The global fascination with Freddie Mercury’s legacy was evident in the month-long exhibition titled “Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own” at Sotheby’s galleries, which attracted more than 140,000 visitors from around the world.
This auction not only celebrated the enduring legacy of Freddie Mercury but also showcased the deep connection fans have with his music and persona. As fans and collectors enthusiastically acquired these cherished mementos, it was clear that Mercury’s music and charisma continue to resonate and inspire generations, proving that “Nothing really matters” quite like a piece of rock history.
In the end, the auction was a testament to the undying passion for Queen’s music and Freddie Mercury’s enduring influence on the world of entertainment.