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Unveiling Music’s Historical Tapestry: Freddie Mercury’s $2.2m Piano Auctioned at Sotheby’s

In a recent auction, the historic Yamaha G2 piano belonging to Queen's Freddie Mercury, famed for its role in composing "Bohemian Rhapsody," commanded an impressive $2.2 million. This event, part of a series highlighting Mercury's vast personal collection, takes readers on a journey through the multifaceted life and enduring legacy of this arts industry giant.

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Russell Weaver
Russell Weaver
Russell Weaver is a renowned writer, celebrated for his vibrant storytelling and intricate world-building. Beyond being an writer, he's an artist, dedicated to crafting stories that captivate, transform, and linger.
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Distinguished and revered for its melodious journey within the walls of music history, Freddie Mercury’s baby grand piano, used to create the iconic “Bohemian Rhapsody,” crossed the auction block, fetching a mesmerizing sum of over £1.74 million ($2.2 million) during a resplendent Sotheby’s event on a recent Wednesday.

Piano Tales: The Shipment Saga

Delivered to the English shores from Japan in 1975, the enchanting Yamaha G2 quickly found a place in the heart, and subsequently, the composing prowess, of the legendary Queen frontman, birthing the timeless track in that very year.

Mercury’s Treasure Chest

The piano was merely a gem in Mercury’s treasure chest of approximately 1,400 possessions, a clutch of which was presented at the first of a series of six auctions-that-hope-to-keep-the-legend-alive. Among the high-end items capturing bidders’ intrigue was an early draft of “Bohemian Rhapsody”, embedded with proposed annotations alluding to its possible original name, “Mongolian Rhapsody”. This rare artifact escalated bidding to £1.38 million ($1.74 million).

Musical Memorabilia

The auction saw 59 lots boasting a cornucopia of Mercury’s stage-worn costumes, exquisite jewelry pieces and curated art collections. Highlighting his eclectic tastes, lots spanned from his shimmering silver sequined catsuit donned for the “News of the World” tour in the late 1970s right down to the mundane, featuring Mercury’s own chopstick collection and a Sony D-50 compact disc player.

Although the seductive temptation of Mercury’s piano held the irresistible allure reign, cinching the high-water mark for bids that evening, it fell somewhat short of Sotheby’s initial prediction, which had forecast a fetching range between £2 million and £3 million ($2.5 million to $3.8 million).

Freddie Mercury’s Treasures Unveiled

The seeds of this auction were sown by Mercury’s close confidante Mary Austin, inheritor to most of Mercury’s estate, who lovingly maintained his erstwhile London home post his demise in 1991. Unraveling Mercury’s personal ties to the piano, Austin revealed in a Sotheby’s pre-sale press release how the musical instrument meant more to Mercury than just a tool of his art. An emblem of his persona, Mercury safeguarded the piano with utmost care, forbidding anyone from smoking near it or resting a glass on its polished surface.

Showing its instrumental role in the creation of multiple Queen’s greatest hits like “Don’t Stop Me Now” and “Somebody to Love”, the piano’s magic is far from confined to “Bohemian Rhapsody”, reveals Sotheby’s.

On Exhibition

Celebrating Mercury’s life and legacy, around 1,200 memorabilia spanning diverse periods hit the exhibition floor in London prior to the auction. Successfully drawing over 140,000 visitors during its month-long display, this distinctive journey culminated in Sotheby’s auction with five more sessions promised to continually extend both online and within London’s city boundaries over the coming days.

An Unwavering Legacy

As the gavel falls on the sale of Freddie Mercury’s piano, it continues to sing an enduring symphony. Resonating across the strains of time, it holds the memory of a man whose talent transcended boundaries, creating an immortal page within arts history. These astounding auctions continue to pay homage, keeping Mercury’s incomparable legacy alive as audiences across the globe remember, celebrate, and continue to be inspired by his creative genius.

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