Freddie Mercury's intimate collection to be auctioned by his long-time friend Mary Austin
26 April 2023, 11:16
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"The time has come for me to take the difficult decision to close this very special chapter in my life."
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Mary Austin – who had a romantic relationship with Mercury in the early 1970s and remained life-long friends – inherited the Garden Lodge property in Kensington and its contents after Freddie's tragic passing in 1991.
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After holding on to the intimate collection for over three decades, she's now decided to part with it.
"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," Mary 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."
Items in the collection range from the handwritten working lyrics of 'Killer Queen' and 'We Are The Champions', Mercury’s 1975 Martin D-35 acoustic guitar and his Tiffany & Co silver moustache comb to artworks by the likes of Erté and James Jacques Tissot.
If getting into a bidding war is out of the question, you'll still be able to have a good look at the collection before it goes up for auction.
An exhibition of all the items takes place Sotheby's London gallery this August, closing on September 5, 2023 – what would have been Freddie's 77th birthday.
Mary said of the exhibitions and auctions: "Freddie was an incredible and intelligent collector who showed us that there is beauty and fun and conversation to be found in everything.
"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."
She added to the BBC: "You're looking at the process of the artist, of work in progress. The crossings out, the rethinking, the reformatting."