By Sarah Mills
(Reuters) – Fans of Freddie Mercury might wonder if this is the real life, or just fantasy, when they walk into a near-replica of his London home, where thousands of items belonging to the late Queen frontman will be on exhibition starting Friday.
Rare items including handwritten lyrics, art and collectibles from Mercury’s London home, Garden Lodge, have been looked after by his close friend Mary Austin since his death from AIDS-related pneumonia in 1991.
“We’ve conceived our gallery spaces to give it a sense of what it was like living with Freddie at home,” said David MacDonald, head of single-owner sales at Sotheby’s London said.
“If he was to walk in, he’d instantly recognize some of the spaces we’ve created,” MacDonald said.
“It was an extension of himself, his vehicle of creativity,” Austin said of the baby grand piano. “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.”
Handwritten manuscript working lyrics for “We Are The Champions” have an estimate of 200,000–300,000 pounds, while those for “Killer Queen” have a price tag of 50,000–70,000 pounds.
($1 = 0.7903 pounds)