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Freddie Mercury Jewels Rock Sotheby’s Auction

September 7, 2023  |  Leah Meirovich
Sotheby's Freddie Mercury 1280 USED 090723

A number of jewels belonging to late Queen singer Freddie Mercury sold for multiple times their high estimates at Sotheby’s London this week, including a bangle he wore in the band’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” video.

The auction house saw “rapid-fire” bidding for the silver snake bangle, which exceeded estimates within the first few seconds, Sotheby’s said Thursday. Setting a record for a piece of jewelry belonging to a rockstar, the bracelet brought in $881,717 — nearly 100 times its high estimate. The previous record was for John Lennon’s leather and bead talisman, which fetched GBP 295,000 ($372,379) in 2008.

In total, the sale — which also included the singer’s piano, handwritten lyrics, and a historic crown and cloak ensemble — garnered $15.4 million, with 100% of the lots finding buyers. A record 2,000 people from 61 countries registered to bid.

Here are some of the other jewelry items that featured in the auction:

An onyx and diamond Cartier ring that Elton John gifted to Mercury went for $344,671, skyrocketing past its GBP 6,000 ($7,484) high estimate. The full proceeds of the hammer price will be donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation.

This gold brooch by Cartier reading “Queen Number 1” sold for $208,406, well beyond its GBP 6,000 ($7,484) upper price tag. The piece was a gift from the band’s manager, John Reid, when hit song “Bohemian Rhapsody” reached number one in the UK in 1975.

A fancy-light-brown-yellow diamond ring that Mercury acquired in the mid-1980s netted $152,296, more than four times its GBP 30,000 ($37,421) high estimate.

Another ring Mercury purchased in the mid-1980s, this one with a fancy-deep-orange-brown diamond, brought in $208,406 against an upper price tag of GBP 20,000 ($24,947).

This 1950s diamond feather brooch, a gift from Mercury to his fiancée Mary Austin, sold for $216,421 — nearly nine times its GBP 20,000 ($24,947) high estimate.

Meanwhile, a gold-mounted and jeweled agate vesta Fabergé case that Mercury bought at a previous Sotheby’s auction sold to an online bidder for $120,234, far above its GBP 8,000 ($9,979) high estimate.

Main image: The silver snake bangle. (Sotheby’s)

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Sotheby's Freddie Mercury 1280 USED 090723 Freddie Mercury Jewels Rock Sotheby’s Auction

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