Freddie Mercury’s handwritten drafts for Queen’s legendary hit Bohemian Rhapsody have sold at auction for more than £1.3m.
Written on paper for the now-defunct airline British Midland, the 15-page manuscript shows the different directions the singer considered for the band’s six-minute epic.
It features the song’s timeless lyric “nothing really matters” and shows how the star considered naming the song “Mongolian Rhapsody” – before crossing out “Mongolian” in favour of “Bohemian”.
The notes were one of the star items among a treasure trove of the Queen frontman’s most prized possessions, which were put up for sale with the luxury auctioneer Sotheby’s.
Mercury’s Yamaha baby grand piano – used to compose some of the group’s most iconic hits – was sold at the same auction for £1.7m.
Image: Freddie Mercury’s Yamaha grand piano. Pic: AP A Victorian-style snake bangle famously worn by Mercury in the video for Bohemian Rhapsody sold for £698,500 – the highest price ever paid for a piece of jewellery owned by a rock star.
It beat the £295,000 ($368,000) paid for a leather and bead talisman worn by Beatles star John Lennon.
The items were put up for auction by Mercury’s close friend, Mary Austin.
Image: A Victorian-style silver snake bangle worn by Freddie Mercury. Pic: Sotheby’s Read more:
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The singer left her his Kensington home and all the possessions inside when he died of AIDS-related pneumonia in 1991, at the age of 45.
A total of 1,400 items are being auctioned – including a green door covered in hand-painted love notes from fans which sold for £412,750 ($521,000).
Image: Freddie Mercury’s rainbow coloured satin arrow applique jacket from 1982. Pic: AP
Image: Mercury’s signature crown worn throughout the Magic tour. Pic: AP Other items to go under the hammer include the star’s flamboyant stage costumes and handwritten drafts of hits such as We Are The Champions.
Some of the proceeds of the auction – which is expected to bring in around £6m in total – will be donated to charity.
All the proceeds of the sale of a Cartier onyx and diamond ring given to Mercury by Elton John that sold for £273,000 ($344,000) will be donated to the Rocket Man singer’s AIDS charity.
Image: The entrance at Sotheby’s auction house hosted “Freddie Mercury – A World Of His Own” The items in the auction were put on display in Sotheby’s galleries ahead of the auction to create a free museum-esque exhibit – named Freddie Mercury: A World Of His Own.
The display attracted more than 140,000 visitors in just over a month.