Most prized Freddie Mercury items to be auctioned at Sotheby's
Sotheby's estimates that Freddie Mercury's piano will be sold for between £2 million and £3 million.
Five items from the Sotheby's auction of Freddie Mercury's possessions will go under the hammer in London on Wednesday, with the piano he used to write Bohemian Rhapsody among the most anticipated lots.
Freddie Mercury composed many of Queen's songs, including the global hit "Bohemian Rhapsody", on his beloved Yamaha G2 baby grand piano.
After weeks of searching for a piano that could match his ambitions but was small enough to fit into the living room of the flat he shared with his close friend Mary Austin, Freddie Mercury bought a Yamaha G2 baby grand piano in 1975 for about £1,000. Accounting for inflation, the piano would be worth about £11,000 ($13,800) today.
Freddie Mercury’s Yamaha G2 Baby Grand Piano was not only a beloved instrument on which Mercury composed tracks spanning from Bohemian Rhapsody to his final masterpiece Barcelona, but also one that he considered as an extension of himself.— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) August 3, 2023
Read more: https://t.co/UrjqGdID0A pic.twitter.com/8wcdahPVao
Mary Austin, who inherited Freddie Mercury's estate and is now selling the collection, said that he treated the piano with "absolute respect" and never smoked at it or rested a glass on its pristine surface.
"He considered it to be more than an instrument, it was an extension of himself, his vehicle of creativity," she added.
Sotheby's estimates that the piano will be sold for between £2 million and £3 million.
It was often paired with Mercury's favorite piano stool, a silk-upholstered satinwood two-seater from the 1920s to 1930s that he bought from Harrods department store in 1977.
The stool is being auctioned separately on Friday, and bids have already been placed for at least £8,500.
"Bohemian Rhapsody" notes
Freddie Mercury originally planned to call the song that would become one of Queen's most beloved and streamed songs, and the third best-selling UK single ever, "Mongolian Rhapsody."
This is revealed in 15 pages of lyrics and melodies written in black and blue ink and pencil on stationery from the now-defunct British Midland Airways. At some point, Mercury crossed out the word "Mongolian" and replaced it with "Bohemian."
The pages, eight of which are devoted to lyrics and seven to musical harmonies, are expected to fetch up to £1.2 million.
Crown & cloak for Mercury's 1986 "Magic" tour
Freddie Mercury wore the crown and cloak ensemble throughout Queen's 1986 "Magic" tour when the band sold out venues across Europe. The ensemble was designed by his friend, costume designer Diana Moseley.
The crown is a replica of the British royal crown, made of imitation gold and encrusted with jewels. It has four dipped arches and a red velvet cap trimmed with imitation ermine. The real version of the crown is used for the coronation of British monarchs and was most recently worn by King Charles III at his coronation last September.
The cloak is made of fake fur, red velvet, and rhinestones. It is 327 centimeters long and fastens at the neck with a gold-tone metal chain. It is inspired by the cloaks worn at Napoleon's coronation.
Mercury wore the ensemble at the end of the tour's final concert at Knebworth, England, on August 9, 1986, his last on-stage Queen appearance. It is expected to sell for between £60,000 and £80,000.
One of #FreddieMercury's most iconic looks, the crown and cloak ensemble, was also the last one he wore onstage with Queen in 1986.— Sotheby's (@Sothebys) August 25, 2023
Mercury's close friend and designer Diana Moseley sits down with Sotheby's and shares the story behind the design: https://t.co/MZQTQhDquE pic.twitter.com/rF50JRYAkG
The notebook, which dates back to 1964, the year Mercury's Parsi Indian family fled Zanzibar for London due to revolution, is titled "Poems of Spirit and Action."
It contains Mercury's pencil notes on dozens of pages, including commentary and judgments on poems, word definitions, and whimsical comments.
It also features an original poem he composed titled "Bird ('Feather flutter in the sky...')".
The notebook is expected to fetch up to £1,200 but has already attracted a bid of £7,500.
Freddie Mercury kept a multi-colored, illuminated 1941 coin-operated Wurlitzer jukebox in his kitchen.
It is housed in a walnut laminate-veneered case with yellow and red plastic panels and a glazed peacock panel front, featuring bubbling tubes and chrome metal fretwork. It is no longer in working order and is being sold as a decorative object.
However, Sotheby's estimates that it will sell for between £15,000 and £25,000.