Sotheby's London Exhibits Rare Photos Capturing Freddie Mercury's Cat Obsession
The “cat-mania” has also taken over the auction house’s café.
Much has been talked about Sotheby’s London “Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own” exhibition, and for good reason. The space offers a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view a collection of items from the personal and public life of the 20th-century global icon, previously tucked away in his beloved Garden Lodge home. Spread across six auction lots, the collection includes musical instruments, handwritten lyrics, personal photographs, furniture and jewels, amassed over fifty years. Sparking curiosity, however, is a diverse range of feline-themed pieces that reveal Mercury’s obsession with cats.
Housed in the “Crazy Little Things” gallery on the auction house’s ground floor, standout items include a charming cat cookie jar, delicate cat brooches, along with an array of porcelain, bronze, glass and plastic cats sourced from different countries. Notably, Mercury’s own sketches of his beloved cats add a personal touch. A Japanese maneki-neko cat, symbolizing good fortune, is displayed alongside a waistcoat adorned with portraits of Mercury’s six furry companions, which holds special significance as the artist wore it in his final music video, “These Are the Days of Our Lives” (1991).
While Mercury was celebrated for his style, artistic flair, musical genius and scholarly mind, lesser-known was his deep affection for cats. Introduced by his close friend Mary Austin in the ’70s, Mercury’s love for felines extended to ten cats, each with a unique name: Tom, Jerry, Tiffany, Dorothy, Delilah, Goliath, Lily, Miko, Oscar and Romeo. These cherished companions roamed freely at his home, each with their favored space for sleeping.
Many of these unique cat-themed items are open for bidding in the online auction “Crazy Little Things 1,” with bids already soaring. The feline frenzy has even reached Sotheby’s café on St. George Street, adorned with portraits of Mercury’s cats against a vibrant wallpaper—a tribute to his cat clan.
Sotheby’s is also hosting a special competition for a chance to win two tickets to the “Freddie Mercury: The Evening Sale” on September 6, a two-night stay at The Standard, London and two copies of the Freddie Mercury collectible exhibition book. To participate, share your Freddie-inspired look on TikTok before August 28, tagging @sothebys and using the hashtag #TheWorldofFreddieMercury.
The exhibition, honoring Freddie Mercury’s extraordinary life, concludes on September 5, coinciding with what would have been his 77th birthday. You can view the singer-songwriter’s cat-mania collection by following this link or by visiting Sotheby’s London in New Bond Street.
In other news, KAWS and UNIQLO have teased a new collaboration.
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