Ein piano by the legendary British rock singer Freddie Mercury was auctioned in London on Wednesday for the equivalent of around two million euros (1.74 million pounds). The Queen frontman, who died in 1991, once composed the rock classic “Bohemian Rhapsody” and many other songs on the baby grand, a Yamaha G2 Baby Grand. However, the highest bid remained below the original estimate, which was between 2.3 and 3.5 million euros.
The wing is one of around 1,400 items from Mercury’s estate that will go under the hammer at several auctions by the traditional London auction house Sotheby’s until next Wednesday. In addition to handwritten song lyrics and stage costumes, many works of art, paintings, unusual and classic pieces of furniture and fine tableware that the Queen frontman collected during his lifetime will also be auctioned.
Draft lyrics to Bohemian Rhapsody up for auction
A note with Mercury’s handwritten text draft for “Bohemian Rhapsody” was also auctioned off on the very first evening of the auction. On paper from a now-defunct airline, Queen’s biggest hit was originally supposed to be called “Mongolian Rhapsody.” However, the word “Mongolian” was crossed out. The highest bidder paid the equivalent of around 1.6 million euros (1.38 million pounds) for the design. Auctioneer Oliver Barker called the 15-page pencil and pen notes a “modern cultural icon”.
In the run-up to the auction, all auction items, which come from Mercury’s private home “Garden Lodge” in the London district of Kensington, were on display at Sotheby’s. According to Sotheby’s, the exhibition “Freddie Mercury – A World Of His Own” attracted around 140,000 visitors.
Mercury bequeathed the “Garden Lodge” to his former partner and close friend Mary Austin, who is now separating from it. A front door to the property, scrawled by fans, fetched around 480,000 euros (£413,000) on Wednesday, around twenty times what was expected.
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