Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own | On Stage

Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own | On Stage

View full screen - View 1 of Lot 240. A lavish ceremonial military-style jacket created for Freddie Mercury's 39th birthday party, Munich, 5 September 1985.

A lavish ceremonial military-style jacket created for Freddie Mercury's 39th birthday party, Munich, 5 September 1985

Auction Closed

September 7, 04:38 PM GMT


12,000 - 16,000 GBP

Lot Details


A lavish ceremonial military-style jacket created for Freddie Mercury's 39th birthday party, Munich, 5 September 1985

The highly ornate short fitted jacket and matching cummerbund, the cummerbund designed by David and Elizabeth Emanuel, the jacket of black moiré silk with black velvet cuffs and waistband, the lapels edged with white braid facing and silver piping, the white metal buttons embossed with a crown motif, with large silver shoulder epaulettes (both stamped 'argento' and with a further mark, one with white metal label beneath embossed with 'heraldic’ motif and lettering Unione Militare Roma) with rose button and extravagent silver bullion coil fringing, 10.2 cm. long, also with attached aiguillette of plaited silver gilt cord with twin metal points suspended in a loop from the right shoulder, the right chest with two white metal imitation star medals, one centred with a red jewel-like cabochon, the other with an embossed crown motif suspended on a pale blue moiré silk ribbon, lined in black satin, unlabelled; and a corresponding cummerbund of pale blue moiré silk with pleated detail, lined in ivory satin with decorative looped and plaited silver gilt cord attachment, unlabelled

(qty 2)

This jacket was first worn by Freddie Mercury at his 39th birthday party drag ball extravaganza at Henderson’s nightclub, Munich (the nightclub, sometimes referred to as Old Mrs Henderson’s, was frequented by Freddie during his time living in Munich from 1979 to 1985). The theme of the party was “a black and white drag ball”. Freddie had the party filmed: Peter Freestone recounts in his memoir that a revolving camera was set up on a rig on the ceiling and filmed the crowd throughout the whole evening and again two days later. Freddie returned to the club with friends who put their attire and make-up back on so that set pieces could be shot. The resulting footage of the decadent, raucous event became the promotional video for his solo single Living On My Own, released in September 1985. Due to what at the time was deemed outrageous behaviour of the party-goers, the video was banned by the BBC, and was not shown in its entirety until its re-release in 1993. The video, directed by Hannes Rossacher and Rudi Dolezal, received significant airing on MTV Europe. Published on Freddie Mercury’s official YouTube channel in November 2012 it has apparently generated more than 100 million views to date.

On the night of the infamous party, Freddie wore this jacket with different fantasy medals to the ones in this lot, including one with a red ribbon. He also wore a black cummerbund with the same decorative looped and plaited silver gilt cord attachment seen on his turquoise cummerbund worn at Fashion Aid.

The jacket’s second sensational appearance occurred exactly two months later when Freddie wore it, this time with its corresponding cummerbund, in front of an audience of 5,000 at the largest gathering of fashion creatives in the U.K. for the finale of Fashion Aid at the Royal Albert Hall on 5 November 1985. His appearance in this jacket, as the flamboyant groom at a mock wedding to Jane Seymour, was the highlight of the whole spectacular evening. Jane Seymour was also sporting an elaborate Emmanuel concoction. The imitation medals Mercury wore with this jacket and cummerbund at Fashion Aid match those included here.

See lot 60, Polaroid no. 224, showing Freddie wearing this jacket at his 39th birthday party standing beside a guest in full-size Zebra outfit.


Steve Pafford, The Time Freddie Mercury Got Married To A Woman, published on line on Music, Live, Screen News, Nov, 5, 2018]

Freddie Mercury The Great Pretender, A Life In Pictures, Welbeck, 2012, illus. pp. 7, 108 & 109

Freddie Mercury, Peter Freestone with David Evans, Omnibus Press, 2009, p.123


No right to reproduce or commercially exploit the copyright or other intellectual property

or image rights in any lot is included with the sale of the lot (including but not limited to

song lyrics, sketches, drawings and garment designs). Queen Productions Limited, Queen

Music Limited and other rights holders reserve all their rights.