Freddie Mercury’s Private Collection to be Unveiled at Sotheby’s

Sotheby’s is set to unveil an extraordinary collection this summer, a unique insight into the life and passions of Freddie Mercury, one of the most remarkable and revered musicians of our time.

Mercury’s Garden Lodge in Kensington, West London was his sanctuary, a place where he could express his creative side and build a world of his own. And this summer, for the first time, the contents of his beloved home will be unveiled to the public in a dedicated month-long exhibition at Sotheby’s in London.

Freddie Mercury's Private Collection to be Unveiled at Sotheby's
A view from the hall at Garden Lodge looking towards the famous ‘Green Door’ A view of the Magnolia tree in the grounds of Garden Lodge

The collection, which has been treasured and cared for over the last three decades by Mary Austin, one of Mercury’s closest and most trusted friends, will feature stage costumes, handwritten lyrics, fine and decorative arts, Japanese art, precious objects, and a wealth of personal belongings that have remained largely unseen by the public eye. Visitors can expect to be immersed in a sequence of galleries, each one celebrating a different aspect of Mercury’s life and passions.

Mercury’s creativity was beyond measure, and he was one of the few stars who can be classified as a global cultural phenomenon.

His expansive imagination is reflected in his collection, which comprises Victorian paintings, works on paper by great artists of the 20th century, examples of the glass maker’s art, fabrics, and fine works from Japan, as well as personal items that were an integral part of his daily life.

And let’s not forget the defining objects from his public life, such as drafts of immortal song lyrics and the flamboyant costumes that were a hallmark of his signature style.

Freddie Mercury's Private Collection to be Unveiled at Sotheby's
Freddie Mercury’s crown (which is to be included in the sales, full details below) – a replica of St Edward’s Crown to be worn by King Charles III in the forthcoming Coronation and the centrepiece of the Crown Jewels – will be on view in Sotheby’s New Bond Street windows in the lead up to the Coronation, from today until May 5.

The month-long exhibition at Sotheby’s will open on 4 August, running until 5 September, which would have been Mercury’s 77th birthday. It will be followed by six dedicated sales in September, each one dedicated to a different aspect of his life, both public and private.

The auctions will be accompanied by the release of a limited-edition Collection Book, a commemorative volume that tells the story of Freddie Mercury and the objects that surrounded him.

The exhibition will begin with a tour of highlights from the collection in New York, London, Los Angeles, and Hong Kong in June. Then, all 1,500 items from Garden Lodge will be displayed in a series of immersive galleries, each one devoted to a different aspect of Mercury’s life. The live Evening Sale on 6 September will feature a representative cross-section of the most significant items in the collection.

Freddie Mercury's Private Collection to be Unveiled at Sotheby's
Freddie Mercury, Queen in Concert, Magic Tour, Wembley Stadium, London, 1986, Photograph by © Richard Young

The following two days will see two more live auctions, the first dedicated to Mercury “On Stage,” the second to his life “At Home” and the objects he loved and lived with at Garden Lodge.

Three online auctions will run alongside, one dedicated to his deep love of Japan, and the other two, “Crazy Little Things,” Parts One and Two, presenting a curious and eclectic array of everyday objects that made Mercury smile.

In conclusion, Freddie Mercury was not just a musician or performer; he was a global cultural phenomenon. The unveiling of his private collection this summer at Sotheby’s provides a unique insight into his life and passions.

Visitors will be transported into Mercury’s world, where he could create and entertain in his own unique way. This collection celebrates the life of a truly exceptional human being and reminds us of the beauty and fun that can be found in everything.

Images: Sotheby’s

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