Freddie Mercury's never-before-seen treasures get big reveal and epic auction

London, UK - The world lost one of rock music's greatest voices with the passing of Freddie Mercury. Now, almost 32 years after the Queen singer's death, 1,500 of his "splendid things" are set to be revealed for the first time.

Freddie Mercury's never-before-seen personal items will be newly shown and sold at auction. A wax figure (inset) shows a replica of one of the singer's most famous costumes and the last he performed in live, which is among the pieces.
Freddie Mercury's never-before-seen personal items will be newly shown and sold at auction. A wax figure (inset) shows a replica of one of the singer's most famous costumes and the last he performed in live, which is among the pieces.  © Collage: REUTERS & IMAGO/PA Images

Since Freddie Mercury died of AIDS in 1991, his house has remained largely untouched in the Kensington district of London. It serves as a memorial for his fans, and a place where the late legend can be remembered.

But now, many of the star's personal items will be displayed to the public and auctioned off to a lucky few.

His eclectic possessions will be shown as a collection called Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own which will travel to London, New York, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong ahead of being sold at auction by Sotheby's.

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They include rare gems like handwritten lyrics to Queen's stadium anthem We are the Champions and Mercury's lavish stage costumes.

The singer left his Garden Lodge estate and its contents to his closest friend Mary Austin, who has only now chosen to part ways with the items.

"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," she 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."

"Freddie was an incredible and intelligent collector who showed us that there is beauty and fun and conversation to be found in everything," she added.

Where will Freddie Mercury's private items be shown and auctioned?

Fans still visit and pay tribute to Freddie Mercury of the rock band Queen outside his former home Garden Lodge in London.
Fans still visit and pay tribute to Freddie Mercury of the rock band Queen outside his former home Garden Lodge in London.  © DANIEL LEAL / AFP

"I like to be surrounded by splendid things … by exquisite clutter," Mercury wrote in his autobiography. Those included the possessions in his London home, like one-of-a-kind artwork and fabrics he picked up on his worldwide travels.

Among the coveted items is a crown modeled after St. Edward's with a matching red velvet cape of faux fur and rhinestones. Mercury donned the costume during his last live performance with Queen in 1986.

Other knickknacks from the collection include a tiny silver mustache comb from Tiffany & Co and Mercury's 1975 Martin D-35 acoustic guitar in its original case.

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"I hope [the exhibitions and auctions] 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," Austin said.

She confirmed she will donate some of the items' proceeds to charities like the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

Before the items' sale, fans will get a chance to see them on tour. The exhibition will stop in New York (June 1 to 8), Los Angeles (June 14 to 18), and then Hong Kong (June 26 to 30).

A main exhibition will then take place at Sotheby's Gallery in London from August 4 to September 5, closing on what would have been Mercury’s 77th birthday.

It will be followed by six auctions in September.

Cover photo: Collage: REUTERS & IMAGO/PA Images

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