Brian May Deeply Saddened About Freddie Mercury’s Auction
Brian May expressed his sadness about the ongoing auction of the personal belongings that belonged to his late friend and bandmate Freddie Mercury.
The Queen guitarist shared a photo of the late singer strumming one of his guitars. May wrote on Instagram:
“Inescapably thinking so much about Freddie in these strange days. At the time this photo was taken I’m sure it didn’t seem very important to see Freddie’s fingers dancing on my own home-made guitar. Now it summons up waves of affection and great memories. He is so missed.”
May then noted that he’d be speaking “to Welsh farmers about cows and badgers and bovine TB” and added:
“Freddie’s most intimate personal effects, and writings that were part of what we shared for so many years, will go under the hammer, to be knocked down to the highest bidder and dispersed forever. I can’t look. To us, his closest friends and family, it’s too sad.”
The entire gallery space of 16,000 square feet on New Bond Street was dedicated to showcasing Mercury’s possessions including his cherished baby grand piano. These items range from his costumes and hand-written lyrics to drawings, furniture, and various pieces of decorative and fine art.
The exhibition started on August 4th and closed on September 5th, which is significant as it marks what would have been Mercury’s birthday. The treasure trove of 1,500 pieces was exhibited in London, New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong. Following the public exhibition, the items are now being auctioned off in six separate auctions scheduled for early September.
Who’s in charge of the auction?
Before Freddie Mercury’s passing in 1991, the icon left his London home, Garden Lodge, and all his belongings to Mary Austin. She kept the place and all the things inside it almost exactly as the icon left it for more than three decades.
Now, Austin is putting them up for bidding including Mercury’s handwritten lyrics, his replica crown, stage costumes, and paintings. Austin said in a statement when the auction was announced:
“For many years now, I have had the joy and privilege of living surrounded by all the wonderful things that Freddie sought out and so loved.
“But the years have passed, and the time has come for me to take the difficult decision to close this very special chapter in my life.”
The auction that started on Sept. 6 has already broken a record. A silver snake bracelet worn by Mercury in the video for the classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” was sold for 698,500 pounds ($881,000) — roughly 100 times its estimated price. According to Sotheby’s, it is the highest price ever paid at auction for a piece of jewelry formerly owned by a rock star, beating the necklace that had belonged to John Lennon.
The sale is expected to get up to a $7.4 million bid. Some of the profits will be donated to the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the Elton John Aids Foundation.