Freddie Mercury's former-girlfriend and lifelong friend Mary Austin is auctioning off around 1,500 items from the late-Queen singer's London home. Mercury, who died in 1991, had left his house and its contents to Austin in his will. Blabbermouth reported the items in the auction, which will take place in September, are expected to sell for an appropriated $7.4 million. The auction items will be displayed around the world in the coming months.
Mary Austin was quoted in the press release for the auction, saying:
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. 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.
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 (the upcoming events) 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.
Sotheby's Freddie Mercury showings will take place between June and September:
New York: June 1st to 8th
Los Angeles: June 14th to 18th
Hong Kong: June 26th to 30th
London: August 4th to September 5th
Close friend Elton John shared Freddie Mercury's penchant for high-end shopping and gift-giving. He was among the few allowed to visit Mercury during his final days and recalled how even until the end the legendary singer showed how much he cared for his friends and family: “He was sick and he was dying. I used to go around and see him — I was one of the few people to be there and I couldn't stay there for very long; I'd stay there for about an hour at a time, because I found it was so painful and traumatizing. And he was so brave. He was still spending money and buying things at auction right up to the point that he died — which I thought was hilarious, and the kind of thing I probably would do. But at that Christmas, the Christmas shortly after he had died, I got a present delivered to me in a sheet and I collect Henry Scott Tuke paintings and it was a painting by Henry Scott Tuke from Freddie, saying 'Dear Sharon (laughs) — hope you love this, love Molina.' It was. . . I just completely broke down. And to think of me as he was so ill, he wanted to give that to me for Christmas and he died about a month beforehand. And it was quite a choker. That was the kind of person he was.”