AceShowbiz - Freddie Mercury's entire personal possessions have sold for a whopping £40 million ($50.4 million) at auction - setting a record for the highest sale of a collection of its kind. The most expensive item in the "Freddie Mercury, A World of His Own" sale was the Yamaha Baby Grand Piano, the late music legend recorded hits such as "Bohemian Rhapsody" on, which sold for £1.7 million.
Meanwhile, the Queen legend's Tiffany Moustache Comb, which had an estimate of £400, went for an eye-watering £152,000. Handwritten working lyrics for 'Bohemian Rhapsody' had a final bid of £1.4 million. And a silver snake bangle from the hit's 1975 music video sold for £698,500. Among the costumes, a rainbow satin jacket sold for £203,200, and a silver catsuit worn by the "Killer Queen" singer in 1977 and 1979 made £139,700.
Auction house Sotheby's in London had only estimated total earnings of £7.6 million to £11.3 million.
More than 30,000 items from his London home Garden Lodge were sold over six days. A portion of the money from the sales will go to the charities Mercury Phoenix Trust and the Elton John Aids Foundation. Oliver Barker, Sotheby's Chairman, Europe, commented, "The word icon can sometimes be overused but here it could not be more appropriate."
"Behind every public persona there is a private all over the world. Freddie left us more than 30 years ago but people's love for the man and for Queen's music has not dimmed. What we have witnessed at Sotheby's over the last month has been nothing short of phenomenal."
"A whole new generation of fans have joined the throngs who were around in the 1970s and '80s to celebrate the supernova that was Freddie Mercury individual, guarding a side of themselves that is rarely seen, and it is this side of Freddie that has captured the hearts and minds of the public."
Freddie's bandmate Sir Brian May, 76, admitted last week that the sale was too painful to witness. He wrote on Instagram, "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."
Freddie left all of his possessions to his close friend Mary Austin following his death from complications related to AIDS in 1991. Explaining why she had finally decided to sell off the items more than 30 years after Freddie's death, she said in a statement released through Sotheby's, "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. 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."