July 18, 2024


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Freddie Mercury’s prized piano and a ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ draft are champions at auction

Freddie Mercury’s prized piano and a ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ draft are champions at auction

LONDON — Freddie Mercury ’s prized piano that he utilised to compose “Bohemian Rhapsody” and other hits by Queen sold for additional than $2 million Wednesday as some of the late singer’s enormous collection of flamboyant phase costumes, fantastic art and primary lyrics had been auctioned in a sale that broke records.

Items related to the operatic “Rhapsody,” the band’s most enduring strike, brought a premium with hand-published lyrics to the tune promoting for about $1.7 million and a gold Cartier brooch expressing “Queen quantity 1” supplied to just about every band member by their manager following the tune topped the charts, providing for $208,000.

Britain Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury’s signature crown worn during the ‘Magic’ Tour, on display screen at Sotheby’s auction rooms in London on Aug. 3.  Kirsty Wigglesworth/Connected Push

A Victorian-design and style silver snake bangle Mercury wore with an ivory satin catsuit in a video for the tune – extensive ahead of the times of MTV – established a document for the maximum rate ever paid at auction for a piece of jewellery owned by a rock star, Sotheby’s claimed.

The bracelet went for $881,000 – 100 situations its believed low price. The merchandise broke a file established when John Lennon’s leather and bead talisman bought for $368,000 in 2008, Sotheby’s claimed.

The eclectic collection of objects had been amassed by Mercury following Queen’s glam-rock generated an avalanche of hits that permitted the singer to reach his dream of residing a Victorian lifestyle “surrounded by exquisite clutter.”

Mercury’s close good friend, Mary Austin, to whom he still left his residence and his belongings when he died of AIDS-relevant pneumonia in 1991 at 45, is providing it all – additional than 1,400 goods.

A mere 59 items of that “clutter” sold for $15.4 million, such as a buyer’s top quality, that blew away estimates in the four-and-a-half-hour auction. Bidders from 61 countries took component in person, on line and by cellphone.

Mercury wrote, “Easy appear, effortless go, will you allow me go?” in “Rhapsody,” and the answer to the issue from properly-heeled admirers appeared to be “No,” as they bid fortunes – huge and larger – to seize a piece of the late singer’s clothing, awards and first hand-composed drafts to classics these as “Killer Queen” and “We Are the Champions.”

Relying how you appeared at it, the champions of the evening may perhaps have been Sotheby’s or Austin or a several charities she’s promised to donate an undisclosed part of the proceeds to.

Or it could have been the customers of just one-of-a-sort memorabilia who gained. A person man elevated his fingers in excess of his head in victory and hugged the female seated up coming to him soon after bidding $801,500 for the rhinestone-studded crown and purple pretend fur cloak Mercury wore on phase at the conclude of each display during Queen’s very last tour in 1986.

The auction opened with the sale of the graffiti-tagged door to the backyard garden of Mercury’s residence which immediately blew past the high estimate of $31,250 projected prior to the sale and led to a bidding war that lasted approximately 20 minutes.

The green door included in hand-painted appreciate notes from enthusiasts who manufactured a pilgrimage to the dwelling in the tony Kensington area of London offered for an eye-popping $521,000.

All of the proceeds of the sale of a Cartier onyx and diamond ring offered to Mercury by his buddy, Elton John, that marketed for $344,000 were being to go to the “Rocket Man” singer’s AIDS charity.

Artwork sold at the auction integrated prints by Pablo Picasso ($240,000), Salvador Dalí ($60,900) and Marc Chagall ($80,000), antique furniture and many cat figurines.

For the earlier thirty day period, supporters of Mercury who could not find the money for those people sorts of costs – or just needed to see his higher-leading Adidas, diamond brooches, or a sequined jacket – could see them for no cost in Sotheby’s galleries. A lot more than 140,000 guests from about the planet queued up outdoors the tasteful auction household to consider a tour.

Publicity from “Freddie Mercury: A Globe of his Own” drove up bidding for on the net auctions that commenced final thirty day period and closes up coming week.

Even products currently being offered on the web that experienced seemed like they could be in get to for some average customers eclipsed pre-sale estimates.

A collection of chopsticks the moment approximated to fetch $50-75 had a present-day bid of $1,500 Wednesday.

1 of the quirkier items, a silver moustache comb from Tiffany & Co, that had been anticipated to set a consumer back again $500–750 had a bid at $43,750.

The Yamaha newborn grand piano that Mercury wrote some of Queen’s greatest hits on was a single of the several things that sold for much less than its estimated price tag, though it even now offered for the most quantity of cash.

It had been anticipated to promote for as much as $3.75 million but marketed for $2.2 million. Sotheby’s reported it was the best price ever paid for a composer’s piano, but they did not supply facts on the prior record.

Other products that have been treasured by enthusiasts had been Mercury’s draft lyrics to “Somebody to Love” ($304,000), and “Don’t Cease Me Now” and “We Are the Champions,” which the two fetched the identical remaining prices: $400,700.

The drafts showed tracks at their inception, with “Bohemian Rhapsody” scratched on stationery from the defunct British Midland Airways. The tune was initially named “Mongolian Rhapsody” just before that was crossed out.

The music ends with the terms: “Nothing actually matters to me,” a line that certainly did not apply to Mercury’s myriad possessions.

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