A month-long exhibition and auction showcasing more than 1,500 items from the private collection of Freddie Mercury is due to take place this summer.
Items from the Queen frontman’s beloved home – Garden Lodge in Kensington, west London – will go on display from August 4 until September 5, which would have marked his 77th birthday.
The collection includes a vast array of marvellous costumes, paintings, and objects from Mercury’s everyday life.
Among the most highly-valued items is a replica of St Edward’s Crown, the real version of which is to be worn by King Charles III in the forthcoming coronation.
Its accompanying cloak – in fake fur, red velvet and rhinestones – was made by the singer’s friend and costume designer Diana Moseley.
The items were worn by Mercury during concerts including the world-famous Live Aid concert in 1985, as well as the finale rendition of God Save The Queen during his last tour with Queen, in 1986 – The Magic Tour.
The items are expected to fetch up to £80,000 at auction.
Also up for sale are previously unseen handwritten working lyrics to Queen’s We Are The Champions, one of the band’s most well-known anthems.
The song was released as a single with Queen’s other great mass-participation song, We Will Rock You, in October 1977 and became an immediate chart success.
The lyrics, which stretch over nine pages, are priced between £200-300,000.
Lyrics to another of Mercury’s hit songs, Killer Queen – widely considered the turning point for the band, are also up for sale, valued at up to £70,000.
A lavish ceremonial military-style jacket created for the singer’s legendary 39th Birthday Party Drag Ball in Munich in 1985, is priced between £10-15,000.
The ornate jacket of black silk and velvet, with large extravagantly fringed silver-metal epaulettes and imitation medals, is in the style of The Beatles’ Sergeant Pepper album.
Mercury’s collection at Garden Lodge has remained largely untouched for some 30 years.
The exhibition and sale, organised by Sotheby’s, will take place at Sotheby’s London and will open on August 4 and close on September 5.
Prior to their exhibition in London, highlights from the collection will tour to New York, London, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong in June.
The six dedicated auctions which follow will be led by a live Evening Sale on September 6, in which a representative cross-section of the most significant items in the collection will be offered.
On September 7 and 8, two further live auctions will follow: the first dedicated to Mercury “On Stage”, the second dedicated to his life “At Home”, and to the objects he loved and lived with at Garden Lodge.
Olivia Barker, chairman of Sotheby’s Europe, 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.
“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.
“How else could we celebrate the legend that is Freddie Mercury?”
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