Freddie Mercury items sell for millions at auction – a testament to queer star’s enduring legacy

On the left, Freddie Mercury is topless and wearing red shorts, a towel round his neck, and signing into a microphone. On the right, an art dealer with Mercury's baby grand Yamaha piano.

Items owned by the late great Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, including the piano he used to compose some of his best work, have sold for millions of pounds at a London auction.

The baby grand Yamaha piano which Freddie Mercury had kept in his living room and used to write some of the band’s most beloved hits, including “Don’t Stop Me Now”, fetched a record-breaking £1.7 million.

Approximately 1,500 items that belonged to the iconic queer musician, who died from AIDS-related complications in 1991 at the age of 45, are being sold off as part of six auctions led by his long-time friend and former fiancée, Mary Austin. 

Some of the handwritten draft lyrics for his most renowned songs – including “We Are The Champions”, “Killer Queen” and “Somebody To Love” – sold for a combined total of more than £800,000. 

An art dealer with Freddie Mercury's baby grand Yamaha piano.
Freddie Mercury’s baby grand Yamaha piano sold for £1.7million. (Getty)

The original 15 pages of lyrics for “Bohemian Rhapsody”, with its original title of “Mongolian Rhapsody”, sold for over £1.3 million.

Other items up for grabs in the first auction sold for far more than was expected, too. The door to Garden Lodge, one of Mercury’s homes in West London, which had been covered in fan graffiti, was anticipated to sell for up to £25,000 but instead raked in a staggering £412,000.

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Similarly, a snake bangle worn by Freddie Mercury in the “Bohemian Rhapsody” music video was expected to sell for approximately £7,000, according to the BBC, but managed to sell for nearly £700,000.

A crown and cloak made for Queen’s 1986 Magic Tour.
Acrown and cloak made for Queen’s 1986 Magic Tour sold for more than £600,000. (Getty)

Also sold at the first of the auctions was a crown and cloak made for Queen’s 1986 Magic Tour, a jukebox from his Garden Lodge home, and a Cartier ring gifted by his close friend and fellow legendary queer singer, Elton John.

The £273,000 raised from the sale of the ring will benefit John’s charity, the Elton John Aids Foundation.

Freddie Mercury's moustache comb will go on sale.
Freddie Mercury’s moustache comb will go on sale. (Getty)

Other items still set to go under the hammer this week include artwork Mercury owned by world-famous artists including Salvador Dalí and Pablo Picasso, a miniature comb he used on his moustache, and some of his campest stage outfits.

Earlier this week, fans across the world marked what would have been the star’s 77th birthday.

Hundreds of Freddie Mercury’s belongings are being auctioned off. (Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images)

Throughout his dazzling yet unjustly short career, Mercury became known as much for his unashamed queerness as he did for his glam-rock hits.

From the leather mini-skirt in the “I Want To Break Free” music video to his frank declarations of sexuality, Mercury became known as one of music’s greatest LGBTQ+ icons.