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Mary Austin makes jaw-dropping sum of money selling Freddy Mercury’s personal items at auction

A massive collection belonging to the former Queen star has sold at auction for an eye-popping sum of money. The items were owned by Mary Austin, who explained her decision to sell Freddie Mercury’s items.

Freddie Mercury’s personal collection, including a silver Tiffany moustache comb, has been sold at auction, fetching an incredible $50m (£40m). Earlier this year, Mary Austin revealed she was selling Freddy Mercury’s collection, of which there were more than 1406 items belonging to the late Queen frontman.

mary austin freddie mercury auction
Photo by FG/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images

Mary Austin makes over $50m selling Freddy Mercury’s personal items at auction

After a month of allowing the public to view the contents of Garden Lodge and Freddie Mercury’s personal possessions at Sotheby’s in London, the 1406 lots went up for auction.

The collection received more than 41,800 bids, and sold for tens of millions, surpassing initial estimates to set a new record for any collection of its kind.

Items that went under the hammer included the music legend’s Yahama grand piano and a silver Tiffany & Co moustache comb, which sold for $189,000. Mercury’s piano, which he used to compose some of Queen’s iconic songs, sold for $2.2 million, a record for a composer’s piano.

The second highest sum fetched was $1.7m for Bohemian Rhapsody draft lyrics, featuring an alternative title (Mongolian Rhapsody) and alternative lines.

Other items included a silver snake bangle worn in the Bohemian Rhapsody video in 1975, which made $865,230, the signature crown and cloak worn for the final performance during the Magic tour in 1986, which went for $786,574 and the ceremonial military-style jacket created for Freddie’s 39th birthday party in Munich in 1985, which went for £566,085.

Queen In Concert In Brussels, Belgium - 1986
Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images

Who is Mary Austin?

Mary Austin made the unprecedented decision to sell the Queen singer’s most prized possessions. Austin is Mercury’s ex-fiancée and ‘soulmate’, who reportedly inherited half of Mercury’s estimated £75 million estate, and has lived in his beloved Garden Lodge mansion in West London since his passing.

She was extremely close to the iconic singer throughout his later life and remained by his side until his death in 1991.

Mary also happens to be one of the main characters in the movie Bohemian Rhapsody, in which she is played by actress Lucy Boynton.

Queen And Friends
Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Why is she selling his items now?

In April, Austin gave a rare interview with the BBC where she revealed her decision to sell off Freddy’s items.

Explaining her decision to sell the items, the 72-year-old said: “I need to put my affairs in order.”

“The time has come for me to take the difficult decision to close this very special chapter in my life,” she added.

“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.

Mary said that except for a few “personal gifts” and photographs of the pair, she was selling everything.

She also explained her decision in a Sotheby’s press release.

“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,” Austin said.

“It was important to me to do this in a way that I felt Freddie would have loved, and there was nothing he loved more than an auction. 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 this 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,” she added.

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