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Freddie Mercury’s vast collection of ‘splendid things’ to go up for auction

The music icon's vast collection has been put up for sale by his close friend and confidante Mary Austin

By Nick Reilly

(Picture: Denis O’Regan/Sotheby's)

The private collection of “splendid things” belonging to Freddie Mercury at the late rock icon’s London home will go up for auction this summer, it’s been confirmed.

Items such as the Queen frontman’s iconic stage costumes and handwritten lyrics have been put up for sale by his close friend Mary Austin, who inherited his Kensington home, Garden Lodge, and its contents after he died in 1991.

Austin, who has left the house virtually untouched since Mercury’s passing, said it was the right time “to take the difficult decision to close this very special chapter in my life”.

“Freddie was an incredible and intelligent collector who showed us that there is beauty and fun and conversation to be found in everything,” the 72-year-old said.

A view of the Magnolia tree in the grounds of Mercury’s home, Garden Lodge, (Picture: Sothebys)

Among the items going on sale are a distinctive crown and an accompanying cloak, which he wore at the band’s last live performance at Knebworth in 1986.

Other items include handwritten lyrics to ‘We Are The Champions’, which are expected to sell for in excess of £300,000, Mercury’s favourite waistcoat, hand-painted with images of his cats, and a £400 solid silver Tiffany comb.

In addition, Mercury’s extensive collection of pieces by 20th-century artists, including a portrait by the French painter Tissot will go under the hammer.

The vast collection of art and artefacts is currently valued at £6 million, with a portion of proceeds going to the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the Elton John Aids Foundation.

David MacDonald, head of single sales for Sotheby’s in London, said: “Freddie Mercury’s collection is a manifestation of one extraordinary man’s creativity, taste and unerring eye for beauty, presenting so much more than just an exquisite selection of the very best examples by artists across centuries and countries.

“Like a Russian doll, Garden Lodge has revealed its layers of treasures over recent months, with the rich tapestry of objects we have discovered there taking us all on a glorious adventure through his imagination.”

The items will be on display at Freddie Mercury: A World of his Own at Sotheby’s London, 34-35 New Bond Street, 4 August-5 September.