The highly anticipated Freddie Mercury auction at Sotheby’s is now over, and to say it was a rousing success is an understatement.
In total, Freddie Mercury: A World of his Own brought in $50.4 million, which was a record for such a collection. All 1,406 lots sold, with over 41,800 bids placed during the sale. Each lot had an average of 13 bidders, with bids coming in from 76 different countries and buyers coming from 50.
Bidding was so fierce, almost 99% of the lots that were up for auction exceeded their high estimates, even on the odder offerings. For example, the late Queen frontman’s Tiffany moustache comb had a high estimate of about $500 but sold for a whopping $193,853.
Other quirky sales included: 29 feline ornaments, which sold for $38,743; a neon telephone, which sold for $50,828; a Puss n Boots cookie jar, which went for $12,107; a Japanese wallet that included Mercury’s membership cards, which sold for $45,232, and a rare school book signed Frederick Bulsara, which sold for $88,786.
The item that brought in the highest bid was Mercury’s Yamaha Grand Piano, at $2.2 million, which was a record. Other big ticket items included handwritten lyrics to “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which revealed an alternate title, selling for $1.7 million and the signature crown and cloak Mercury wore during Queen’s last live show in 1968, which sold for over $800,000, 10 times more than the lowest estimate.
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