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Freddie Mercury’s piano used to compose ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ along with other items sell for more than $2M

Freddie Mercury ’s prized piano that he used to compose “Bohemian Rhapsody” and other hits by Queen sold for more than $2 million Wednesday as some of the late singer’s massive collection of flamboyant stage costumes, fine art and original lyrics were auctioned in a sale that broke records.

Items connected to the operatic “Rhapsody,” the band’s most enduring hit, brought a premium with hand-written lyrics to the song selling for about $1.7 million and a gold Cartier brooch saying “Queen number 1” given to each band member by their manager after the song topped the charts, selling for $208,000.

A Victorian-style silver snake bangle Mercury wore with an ivory satin catsuit in a video for the song — long before the days of MTV — set a record for the highest price ever paid at auction for a piece of jewelry owned by a rock star, Sotheby’s said..

The bracelet went for $881,000 — 100 times its estimated low price. The item broke a record set when John Lennon’s leather and bead talisman sold for $368,000 in 2008, Sotheby’s said.

The Yamaha baby grand piano that Mercury wrote some of Queen’s greatest hits on was one of the few items that sold for less than its estimated price tag, though it still sold for the most amount of money.

It had been expected to sell for as much as $3.75 million but sold for $2.2 million. Sotheby’s said it was the highest price ever paid for a composer’s piano, but they didn’t provide information on the previous record.

Other items that were treasured by fans were Mercury’s draft lyrics to “Somebody to Love” ($304,000), and “Don’t Stop Me Now” and “We Are the Champions,” which both fetched the same final prices: $400,700.

The drafts showed songs at their inception, with “Bohemian Rhapsody” scratched on stationery from the defunct British Midland Airways. The song was originally named “Mongolian Rhapsody” before that was crossed out.

The song ends with the words: “Nothing really matters to me,” a line that certainly didn’t apply to Mercury’s myriad possessions.


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