Queen singer and frontman Freddie Mercury once said he enjoyed being surrounded by “splendid things” and “exquisite clutter.” Now, his fans will have the opportunity to own some of that exquisite clutter themselves, when about 1,500 of Mercury’s personal belongings go to auction later this year.

mary austin and freddie mercury stand next to each other at an event, both are holding drinks and mercury has a cigarette in one hand, she is wearing a chevron black and white jacket with a plaid scarf, he is wearing a black suit without a tie
Mary Austin and Freddie Mercury at an event in November 1985.
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Mary Austin, one of Mercury’s closest friends and ex-fiancée, inherited his Kensington house, the Garden Lodge, following the singer’s death from AIDS in 1991. She kept it almost exactly as Mercury left it for three decades, preserving the furniture, artwork, clothing, and wide variety of items he had collected throughout his life.

“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,” Austin said. “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.”

Now, Austin is selling the entire collection of items in an auction that is expected to bring in more than £6 million. Live auctions will take place at Sotheby’s in London on September 6–8, as well as online auctions starting on August 31, according to CNN.

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

What’s For Sale?

One of the highlights from the auction are Mercury’s handwritten working lyrics to “We Are The Champions,” written across nine pages, some of which were scribbled on British Midland Airways stationary paper. That item is expected to sell for between £200,000 and £300,000.

Those aren’t the only lyrics up for sale. A single sheet of paper with the working lyrics to “Killer Queen” will also be included in the auction, likely bringing it between £50,000 and £75,000. Austin said these notes illustrate “for me, the most beautiful side” of Mercury.

“You’re looking at the process of the artist, of work in progress,” she told the BBC. “The crossings out, the rethinking, the reformatting.”

The auction will include several of Mercury’s famous outfits, including pink star-shaped glasses like the ones he wore in the “We Will Rock You” music video and the waistcoat he wore in the “These Are the Days of Our Lives” music video, which featured hand-printed images of his cats, according to CNN.

Several works of art that adorned Mercury’s walls will be sold, including a painting by the 19th century French artist James Tissot of his Irish muse and lover, Kathleen Newton. It is expected to sell for up to £600,000, the most of any item in the auction. Other artworks include a linocut by Pablo Picasso entitled Jacqueline au chapeau noir, as well as prints by Henri Matisse and Marc Chagall, according to the BBC.

a black and white photo of freddie mercury, wearing a royal robe and white pants, holds up a crown
A crown Freddie Mercury wore during his concerts will be included in the auction.
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Several of Mercury’s personal items will also be sold, including a crown he wore during his rendition of “God Save the Queen” throughout his final tour with Queen in 1986. Modeled after the crown of King Charles III, it is expected to sell for up to £80,000.

Other items include Mercury’s 1975 Martin D-35 acoustic guitar, a silver mustache comb by Tiffany & Co., a Fabergé gem-set, a marble bar with matching barstools, a vintage bakelite rotary telephone, and the telephone he kept by his bedside.

A portion of the proceeds from the auction will go to HIV/AIDS charities the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the Elton John AIDS Foundation. Highlights of the exhibition will be shown on tour in New York City, London, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong prior to the auction.

Headshot of Colin McEvoy
Colin McEvoy
Senior News Editor, Biography.com

Colin McEvoy joined the Biography.com staff in 2023, and before that had spent 16 years as a journalist, writer, and communications professional. He is the author of two true crime books: Love Me or Else and Fatal Jealousy. He is also an avid film buff, reader, and lover of great stories.