Freddie Mercury's vintage tank tops from iconic gay venues go to auction

Two of the Queen frontman's tank tops are going up for auction with a minimum starting bid of $20,000.

Freddie Mercury's used tank tops worn at gay bars in London and Munich got to auction with starting bid of $20K.
Image: X: @listenlovies

If you’re looking for a last-minute Halloween costume, decking yourself out in Freddie Mercury’s iconic Live Aid performance outfit – a white tank top, blue jeans, and a leather armband – is the perfect way to achieve a top-tier look on a budget. 

Unless, of course, you’re striving for authenticity. In that case, one of Freddie Mercury’s used vintage tank tops could be yours to own for the low, low price of just $20,000!

Two of the Queen frontman’s vests are going up for auction today, October 26, at Nate D. Sanders Auctions, a Los Angeles-based auction house. 

The first one up for auction is billed as “Freddie Mercury’s personally owned tank top from the London gay pub, The Market”. The red ribbed tank features a graphic of a muscular man’s backside, as well as the name of the London venue, the Market Tavern. 

Freddie Mercury's red ribbed tank top from the Market Tavern
Freddie Mercury’s red ribbed tank top from the Market Tavern
Freddie Mercury's red ribbed tank top from the Market Tavern
Freddie Mercury’s red ribbed tank top from the Market Tavern

Mercury frequently visited the gay hotspot throughout the ‘80s and ‘90s, though he was especially attentive at the bar’s leather nights. Unfortunately, the venue has since been torn down and replaced by a new metro station on the London Underground. 

A second tank top, confirmed to have been worn by Mercury at the Fisherman’s Club, a gay bathhouse in Munich, Germany, is also up for auction. 

The tank is white with maroon ribbing accents. Similar to the first top, this tank also features a graphic of a handsome, rugged man as well as the sauna’s name printed in bold letters. 

Freddie Mercury's used white tank top from the Fisherman's Club in Munich.
Freddie Mercury’s used white tank top from the Fisherman’s Club in Munich.

Nate D. Sanders Auctions have confirmed that both tanks are in “very good condition” as well as having been certified as authentic pieces of memorabilia by Sotheby’s, the world’s largest brokers of fine and decorative art, jewellery and collectables. Bidding for each tank individually will begin at a minimum of $20,000. 

The tank tops mark the latest pieces from Freddie Mercury’s personal collection to be sold to the public in recent months, with Sotheby’s raking in more than $50.4 million last month after auctioning off 1,400 of the star’s belongings.

These belongings included Mercury’s piano, which sold for $2.2 million, and handwritten lyrics to ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, which fetched an impressive $1.7 million, according to People

Following the iconic singer’s passing in 1991 due to AIDS-related complications, Mercury’s estate was left to his former lover, Mary Austin. With more than three decades having passed since Mercury’s death, Austin recently told the BBC that she was finally ready to part with his treasures. 

“The time has come for me to make the difficult decision to close this very special chapter in my life,” said Austin before confirming that she would be selling all of Mercury’s personal effects apart from a few select photos and sentimental gifts. 

“I decided that it wouldn’t be appropriate for me to keep things back. If I was going to sell, I had to be brave and sell the lot,” Austin added. 

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