London is currently hosting an auction of thousands of items that belonged to the iconic rock legend Freddie Mercury, the frontman of the legendary band Queen. These items encompass song manuscripts of Queen’s greatest hits, furniture, paintings, and various memorabilia. Sotheby’s Evening Sale, which began on Wednesday (September 6th) local time, is where these legendary items are up for auction.
Among the many legendary items being auctioned, one of the most expensive items is expected to be Freddie Mercury’s piano. This Yamaha quarter-tail baby grand piano, which Freddie Mercury purchased in 1975, played a crucial role in the creation of almost all of his best songs. The estimated value of the piano is £2 million to £3 million, roughly equivalent to IDR 38.2 billion to IDR 57.3 billion.
Freddie Mercury’s Legendary Piano
This property was bequeathed by Mercury to his flatmate and close friend, Mary Austin, who is now involved in selling and auctioning Mercury’s collection. Austin, who was also Mercury’s former girlfriend, has emphasized that the piano has always been treated with the utmost respect. Mercury never smoked or placed glasses on the piano’s surface.
“He considered it more than just an instrument; it was an extension of himself, a vessel of creativity,” she added.
The legendary piano is expected to sell for £2 million to £3 million or around IDR 38.2 billion to IDR 57.3 billion (£1 = IDR 38,253.98).
The piano bench, on the other hand, is being auctioned separately on Friday (September 8th) with a minimum bid of at least £8,500 or approximately IDR 162.5 million.
Manuscript of Bohemian Rhapsody
The original manuscript of the epic hit “Bohemian Rhapsody” is also going under the hammer. The manuscript, consisting of 15 handwritten pages, reveals Mercury’s initial idea to title the song “Mongolian Rhapsody.” The interesting fact is evident in the manuscript where the word “Mongolia” was replaced with “Bohemian.”
This manuscript features lyrics and melodies written in black and blue ink and pencil from the British Midland Airways, which is no longer in operation. The manuscript is estimated to be sold for up to £1.2 million or around IDR 22.9 billion.
Crown and Robe
The crown and robe worn by Mercury during Queen’s 1986 “Magic” tour, for which tickets were sold out across Europe, are also up for auction. The replica of the British royal crown and the robe made of faux fur, red velvet, and imitation diamonds were created by his friend, designer Diana Moseley.
The crown is an imitation of the crown worn by King Charles III during his coronation last September. The 327 cm robe, tied at the neck with a gold-colored metal chain, was inspired by the attire worn during Napoleon’s coronation.
The sale of these costumes and the crown is expected to reach £60,000 to £80,000, approximately IDR 1.1 billion to IDR 1.53 billion.
Compilation of Poetry
Freddie Mercury, born into a Parsi-Indian family and raised in Zanzibar, decided to move to London, England, during a revolution. As a teenager, Mercury wrote notes of struggle under the title “Poems of Spirit and Action.” This compilation contained poetic commentary, word definitions, and many “peculiar comments.”
The notes also featured Mercury’s own poems, including “Bird (Feather flutter in the sky…).” Initially estimated to sell for up to £1,200, it has now attracted bids of £7,500 or approximately IDR 143.2 million.
Freddie Mercury also owned a 1941 Wurlitzer jukebox, coin-operated and vibrant in colors, stored in a laminated walnut box with yellow and red plastic panels protected by a peacock glass front.
The jukebox, shaped like a bubbling cylinder with chrome metal engravings, is now being sold as a decorative item since it is no longer functional. Sotheby’s estimated its value at £15,000 to £25,000, roughly equivalent to IDR 286.5 million to IDR 477.6 million.
The auction of Freddie Mercury’s personal treasures is a rare opportunity for fans and collectors to acquire a piece of music history. With items ranging from his beloved piano to manuscripts, costumes, and more, this auction offers a glimpse into the life and creativity of one of rock music’s greatest icons.