Handwritten lyrics and a baby grand: Prized Freddie Mercury items sold at auction

Here are five lots that stood out in the Sotheby's sale of items belonging to Queen frontman Freddie Mercury in London on Wednesday.

The piano

Mercury composed many of Queen's songs, starting with the global hit "Bohemian Rhapsody", on his treasured Yamaha G2 baby grand piano.

He bought it in 1975 for about £1,000 -- £11,000 ($13,800) today, accounting for inflation -- after weeks searching for a piano to match his ambitions, but small enough to fit into the living room of the flat he shared with close friend Mary Austin.

Austin, to whom Mercury bequeathed his estate and who is now selling the collection, said he treated the piano with "absolute respect", never smoking at it or resting a glass on its pristine surface.

"He considered it to be more than an instrument, it was an extension of himself, his vehicle of creativity," she added.

It was sold for £1,742,000 ($2,198,927).

In Mercury's west London home, it was mostly paired with his "favourite piano stool" -- a silk-upholstered satinwood two-seater dating from the 1920s-1930s, which he had bought in 1977 from upmarket department store Harrods.

The stool is being auctioned separately Friday, with bids already lodged for at least £8,500.

'Bohemian Rhapsody'

Mercury initially planned to call one of Queen's most globally beloved and streamed songs -- and the third best-selling UK single ever -- "Mongolian Rhapsody".

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)

Read more on FRANCE 24 English

Read also:
Queen frontman Freddie Mercury's personal items up for auction in London
'Hackney Diamonds': First new Rolling Stones album in 18 years set for October release
'Rock' music: Queen guitarist (and astrophysicist) Brian May will co-author 3D 'asteroid atlas'