Proceeds from the sale will go to HIV/AIDS charities the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the Elton John Aids Foundation.
The baby grand piano Freddie Mercury played on to complete one of Queen’s biggest hits, Bohemian Rhapsody, has sold for a whopping £1.74 million ($3.4 million) at a recent Sotheby’s auction. The sale occurred on Wednesday (6 September).
Blabbermouth reports that the baby grand piano was purchased by Mercury in 1975. The instrument was imported to England from Japan, and the singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist used the Yamaha G2 baby grand piano for other Queen songs, including Don’t Stop Me Now and Somebody To Love.
“Freddie treated the Yamaha with absolute respect,” Mercury’s longtime friend Mary Austin said in a Sotheby’s press release. “He considered it to be more than an instrument; it was an extension of himself, his vehicle of creativity. He would never smoke at the piano or rest a glass on top of it and would ensure nobody else did either. The piano was always pristine.”
All up, the 1,500 items sold at the Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own auction at the London Sotheby’s house sold for £12.2 million ($23.9 million), smashing an estimated $11.3 million. Proceeds from the sale will go to HIV/AIDS charities the Mercury Phoenix Trust and the Elton John Aids Foundation.
Meanwhile, Mercury’s early handwritten lyric sheet for Bohemian Rhapsody (which was then called Mongolian Rhapsody) sold for £1.38 million ($2.69 million).
In April, it was announced that Mary Austin would close a “very special” chapter of her life by putting Mercury’s personal items in her possession up for auction.
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"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,” Austin commented upon the auction’s announcement. “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.”
As well as Mercury’s crown and robe designed by Diana Mosley, embroidered napkins, a comb and a telephone, some of the other exciting items related to Queen up for auction include Mercury’s handwritten lyric sheets (some of them unfinished) for hits such as We Are The Champions and Killer Queen.
His waistcoats, guitars, and moustache combs used in music videos for Crazy Little Thing Called Love and These Are The Days Of Our Lives were also for sale.