The draft lyrics of Queen’s iconic number one “Bohemian Rhapsody,” scrawled by Freddie Mercury on a sheet of paper could fetch more than a million pounds ($1.2 million) at auction.
Also up for sale at Sotheby’s in September is his famous baby Grand Piano that he used to compose some of the band’s greatest hits which could fetch up to £3 million ($3.7 million).
They are just two of the lots in a massive sale of Freddie Mercury memorabilia which will go on show to the public for a month prior to the sale beginning on September 5, his birthday.
As well as the “Bohemian Rhapsody” draft lyrics, estimated between £800,000 and £1.2 million ($1 million- $1.5 million), there are also early drafts of hits “Don’t Stop Me Now”, £120,000–180,000 ( $151,000- $227,000), “Somebody to Love” £150,000–200,000($189,000- $253,000), and “We Are the Champions” £200,000–300,000 ($253,000- $379,000).
Early drafts such as these are easily lost or discarded, so their rare survival provides a fascinating insight into how his songs were developed and put together.
The centerpiece of the sale is his Yamaha G2 Baby Grand Piano, estimated at £2-3 million ($2.5- $3.7 million) which he got in 1975 after deciding his current piano was no longer up to the task of recreating his vision.
All the items come from his beautiful London home, Garden Lodge and he 1,400 lots will be sold in six different auctions on consecutive days.
Other previously unseen items include poetry written age 18 when he had arrived in London from Zanzibar and signed Fred Bulsara, his real name.
Also on sale are paintings, furniture, Japanese decorative arts, glass, graphic, arts, ceramics and objets d’art that Mercury collected over the years.
On buying the piano there was an intensive search lasting many weeks before he finally found what he was looking for, a rare baby grand with an easy keyboard action.
It had an elegant look and a particularly clean and clear sound, made by the Japanese manufacturer Yamaha, who had only recently started importing their instruments to England.
“His sense of joie de vivre and generous spirit is a thread that runs through the entire collection, which takes us on a journey through his life – from his school days, to college, the fledgling years of his career and of course his greatest stage moments.
“So much has already been written and discussed about Freddie Mercury in the past 30 years, but perhaps never before have we had the privilege of coming so close to illuminating his personal world, something only known until now by his nearest and dearest – a true joy to discover.”
The exhibition is free on a first come first served basis and runs until Sept. 5 at Sotheby’s in New Bond Street, London.
Produced in association with SWNS Talker