When the distinctive silver snake bangle that Mercury wore in the music video for “Bohemian Rhapsody” soared to $881,717, there were gasps and whoops. The lot, bought by an online bidder, had an official minimum valuation of $9,000.
Among the dozen or so concert costumes offered, the jeweled crown and ermine-lined scarlet cloak that Mercury wore on Queen’s 1986 “Magic” tour was a predictable favorite. It sold for $801,560 to Rafael Reisman, a Brazilian exhibition promoter, who raised his arms in triumph when he secured the lot.
“We were looking to put together a collection of iconic lots to use for a special immersive exhibition,” said Reisman, 53, who bought four other Mercury lots at the sale. The low estimate was $9,000.
Overall, the sale netted $15.4 million against a presale low estimate of $6 million. The marathon event took more than four-and-a-half hours.
Becca Robbins, a Queen fan from Bedfordshire, had never been to an auction before but bid $57,000 on a rainbow-colored satin appliqué jacket that Mercury wore on Queen’s “Hot Space” tour in 1982. It went on to sell for $256,499.
“I owned it for a nanosecond,” said Robbins, 61, who was wearing a replica of the same multicolored jacket. “But I took something from the exhibition that you can’t put a price on.”