Brian May has reflected on his ‘great memories’ of his dear friend Freddie Mercury on what would have been the Queen frontman’s 77th birthday.
Taking to social media yesterday alongside a photo of Freddie strumming on a guitar, Brian wrote:
‘At the time this photo was taken I’m sure it didn’t seem very important to see Freddie’s fingers dancing on my own home-made guitar.
‘Now it summons up waves of affection and great memories. He is so missed.’
Brian posted the photo on the eve of an auction at Sotheby’s of 34,000 of Freddie Mercury’s personal possessions, which go on sale today.
Going under the hammer will be the late legendary frontman’s most treasured musical items, including his baby grand piano, on which he composed hits including Bohemian Rhapsody, Killer Queen and Don’t Stop Me Now.
Metro.co.uk are covering the sale live from Sotheby’s.
The piano will go on sale without reserve, meaning anyone can buy it – if they have enough money.
This comes after the month-long exhibition, Freddie Mercury ‘A World of his Own’, put the private collection of 34,000 possessions on show for the world to see in a record-breaking exhibition at Sotheby’s.
Over 140,000 people came through the doors to appreciate the incredible collection of art, ornaments, furniture, clothing, records, books and more – including Ivor Novello statues and original lyrics.
The exhibition took over six months to put together, with meticulous curation and documentation, including hours spent tracking down of images of Freddie wearing every item in the collection, to be able to prove its history.
Brian May has voiced his sadness over the one-off sale, saying for him it is ‘too sad’ to see.
‘Tomorrow while I’m speaking passionately to Welsh farmers about cows and badgers and bovine TB, Freddie’s most intimate personal effects, and writings that were part of what we shared for so many years, will go under the hammer, to be knocked down to the highest bidder and dispersed forever.
‘I can’t look. To us, his closest friends and family, it’s too sad. Thanks @magnolia_stereos for finding the pic. I don’t know the credit. Bri.’
The collection – also featuring handwritten lyrics and personal Polaroids – has remained pretty much untouched since the Queen frontman’s death in 1991.
It also includes iconic stage outfits worn by Mercury and even that Bohemian Rhapsody catsuit, personal trinkets such as a large collection of ceramic cats, his art, a brooch gifted to him by Sir Elton John, his iconic red silk kimono, his personal vinyls, and even a travel Scrabble game.
According to Sotheby’s, the exhibition has ‘sparked heartwarming moments’, including one last week when the queue broke spontaneously into a chorus of We Will Rock You.
Speaking about the exhibit, Charles F. Stewart, Sotheby’s Chief Executive Officer, said: ‘We are thrilled to have reimagined our London galleries in order to share such an intimate insight into the world of Freddie Mercury with so many of his fans.
‘The overwhelming popularity of this exhibition – the most visitors in our history – demonstrates the continued desire to discover fascinating objects with exceptional and unique provenance.’
Mercury left his London home – Garden Lodge in Kensington – and its contents to his close friend Mary Austin, who has now decided to share them. A portion of proceeds are said to be going to AIDs charities.
She is said to hope that Mercury’s famous Yamaha Baby Grand Piano, which is expected to reach between £2-3 million, will ‘go a home where it will be loved, cherished and enjoyed to the full’.
More than 130,056 guests have visited the collection’s London exhibition, which closed yesterday on what would have been Mercury’s 77th birthday.
In an interview earlier this year, Mary, now 72 – who inspired Mercury’s song Love Of My Life, and was often cited as his ‘soulmate’ even after he came out as gay to her – explained how she ‘needed to put [her] affairs in order’ to the BBC.
‘The time has come for me to take the difficult decision to close this very special chapter in my life,’ she said.
‘I decided that it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to keep things back. If I was going to sell, I had to be brave and sell the lot.’
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