The baby grand piano owned by Freddie Mercury was among many of the items of the singer’s sold on day one of the Sotheby’s auction

On 6th September an auction of items belonging to Queen’s legendary frontman, Freddie Mercury, kicked off, pulling in a whopping £12.2 million on day one. Among the items sold was Mercury’s 1973 Yamaha G2 baby grand, which was used to compose the band’s seminal song ‘Bohemian Rapsody’. After what the fine art auctioneers behind the sale, Sotheby’s, called a “dramatic bidding battle”, the piano was eventually hammering down for £1,742,000. Though it’s still a huge price, this was quite a bit lower than the pre-sale estimate of the piano’s worth, which was set at £3 million.

Aside from the piano, various other pieces went up for sale including a graffitied green door which was originally outside of Garden Lodge (Mercury’s Kensington home), handwritten lyrics to some of Mercury’s biggest hits, an onyx and diamond ring gifted to Freddie from Elton John, and a pair of stage-worn Adidas high-top trainers.

This auction follows the Sotheby’s exhibition, Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own, which drew in huge crowds – a total of 140,000 fans visited in the space of a month. And it’s set to continue until Wednesday 13th September, with many more items of clothing, memorabilia and art owned by Mercury still up for sale.

Despite its popularity with buyers, many have expressed their disappointment at seeing the singer’s belongings sold to private owners, including Queen’s guitarist Brian May. On the evening before the first day of the auction, May took to Instagram to write, “Tomorrow … Freddie’s most intimate personal effects, and writings that were part of what we shared for so many years, will go under the hammer, to be knocked down to the highest bidder and dispersed for ever [sic]. I can’t look. To us, his closest friends and family, it’s too sad.”