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 281. Freddie Mercury's silk waistcoat featuring portraits of Freddie Mercury's six cats, painted by Nerissa Ratcliffe.

Freddie Mercury's silk waistcoat featuring portraits of Freddie Mercury's six cats, painted by Nerissa Ratcliffe

Auction Closed

September 7, 04:38 PM GMT


5,000 - 7,000 GBP

Lot Details


Freddie Mercury's hand-painted silk waistcoat, featuring portraits of Freddie's six cats, worn in the video 'These Are The Days Of Our Lives', 1991

The waistcoat painted by Nerissa Ratcliffe with a colourful design incorporating individual portraits of Freddie Mercury’s six beloved cats Delilah, Goliath, Oscar, Lily, Romeo and Miko, signed by the artist ‘Rissa’ in red under right arm, the front with two jetted pockets, the back of scarlet satin with adjustable strap with white metal buckle, lined in red satin, labelled 'Dunford Wood, Oxford, England'; and a shirt, probably bespoke, of black moiré silk

(qty 2)

The waistcoat was commissioned by Donald Mackenzie as a Christmas gift in 1990 and was worn with another black shirt in Mercury’s poignant final video appearance with Queen for the single 'These Are The Days Of Our Lives' filmed in May 1991. Trusted photographer Richard Gray took the famous colour portrait of the ailing star shot during the filming, which was his last official portrait.

"I drew inspiration from six colour photographs of Freddie’s cats for my creative design for the waistcoat. One of the cats was sitting on a big red sofa in a nest of individually wrapped chocolates! I felt it important to keep true to the image of each cat visible in the photograph. This seemed the best way to reveal their individual personalities. Later that year I was amazed to discover that he chose to wear the waistcoat in his last music video - ‘These Are The Days Of Our Lives’. I am so delighted the waistcoat has been kept safe all this time. It’s great to have been officially accredited, thanks to my name ‘Rissa’ being visible in the seam."


Rissa Ratcliffe, July 2023

See lot 2313 for the black and white Champ sweat pants worn with this waistcoat during filming, but not seen in the video.


Freddy Mercury: The Great Pretender, Welbeck, 2020, p.139 (illus.)

The present lot was a gift from Donald Mackenzie to Freddie Mercury. In accordance with his and Mary Austin’s wishes, 100% of the hammer price achieved for this lot and lot 2311 in Freddie Mercury: Crazy Little Things II will be donated to The Elton John Aids Foundation.


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.


No right to exhibit in public or reproduce this lot is included with the sale of this lot

without the prior written consent of Queen Productions Limited, who shall act in good faith

to consider any such requests.


A Christmas gift to Freddie from Donald Mackenzie, 1990.