Freddie Mercury’s ‘exquisite clutter’ to go to auction

Freddie Mercury's crown is among the items going up for auction.

Freddie Mercury's crown is among the items going up for auction. Photo: Sotheby’s

In thrilling news for fans, Freddie Mercury’s personal collection of “exquisite clutter” is going to be displayed around the world, before going to auction.

The late lead singer of Queen left behind quite a legacy, and several of his prized possessions and his home in West London to his friend, Mary Austin.

People will be able to see Mercury’s possessions on display in New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong and London later this year, before they go under the hammer at Sotheby’s.

Alongside his legendary public persona, Freddie Mercury was a deeply educated collector with a connoisseur’s eye, honed over years of careful research and exploration of the artists and movements that sparked his intellectual and aesthetic curiosity,” Sotheby’s said.

“This collection has remained at Freddie’s beloved Garden Lodge for over three decades and displays a quality and diversity of works that are a testament not only to his passion, but his brilliant mind.”

More than 1500 items will be presented at the auction, including Mercury’s written working lyrics to We Are The Champions, which is expected to fetch upwards of $300,000.

His replica of St Edward’s Crown, which he wore for his rendition of God Save the Queen on his final tour with Queen, will also be up for grabs.

Other items that will be available to bidders include his guitar and the waistcoat he wore in his final music video, These Are the Days of Our Lives.

His art collection includes Pablo Picasso’s Jacqueline au chapeau noir and a portrait by James Tissot.

“I like to be surrounded by splendid things. I want to lead the Victorian life, surrounded by exquisite clutter,” Mercury once said.

Reason for the auction

A day after Mercury confirmed he had AIDS in November 1991, he died due to complications at age 45.

He left his home, the Garden Lodge, and all his possessions to Mary Austin, a close friend who helped care for him towards the end of his life.

Since his death, the home has remained how Mercury left it, the BBC reported.

Austin, now 72, told the BBC she was selling her friend’s possessions as it was time for her to put her own affairs in order.

She said closing this “special chapter” of her life was a difficult decision to come to, but she will be keeping a few personal gifts and photographs of her and Mercury.

British singer, songwriter and record producer Freddie Mercury (1946 - 1991) of British rock band Queen with his friend Mary Austin, during Mercury's 38th birthday party at the Xenon nightclub, London, UK, September 1984. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)

Mary Austin is auctioning many of the possessions Freddie Mercury left for her. Photo: Getty

“I decided that it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to keep things back. If I was going to sell, I had to be brave and sell the lot,” she said.

In a press release, Austin described Mercury as an “incredible and intelligent collector”, who showed there is “beauty and fun and conversation to be found in everything”.

“I hope this will be an opportunity to share all the many facets of Freddie, both public and private, and for the world to understand more about, and celebrate, his unique and beautiful spirit,” she said according to CNN.

Proceeds from the auction will go to charity, CBS News reported.

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