Freddie Mercury’s used tank top from a gay German sauna can be all yours for just $20K

Freddie Mercury’s used tank top from a gay German sauna can be all yours for just $20K

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Freddie Mercury in his iconic white tank top at Live Aid
Freddie Mercury of Queen performs on stage at Live Aid at Wembley Stadium on 13th July 1985 in London. (Photo by Phil Dent/Redferns)

If you are planning a slapping on a white tank, light blue jeans and a leather arm band to transform into Freddie Mercury at Live Aid for Halloween this year, you are definitely not alone.

But if you want to be a little more extra, you might want to consider gathering up your coins for a chance of owning a piece of queer fashion history belonging to the Queen frontman himself, in order to add some authenticity to your Mercury homage.

Two vintage tanks top from gay establishments belonging to the late music icon are going up for sale at Nathan D. Sanders Auctions on Thursday, October 26th, just in time for your costume shenanigans to commence.

First up is a red ribbed tank from the ’80s London gay pub The Market Tavern. Made of stretchy cotton, the unsized garment runs small and features a graphic of a man’s muscular physique on the front next to the bar’s name, “Market Tavern.”

Freddie Mercury's red tank top
credit: Nathan D. Sanders Auctions

The Market Tavern thrived as a gay hot spot during the ’80s and ’90s, and Mercury is said to have been a frequent visitor to its leather nights. The bar has since been torn down to make way for a new metro station on the London Underground.

The other tank top up personally owned by the “Bohemian Rhapsody” singer up for auction has a steamier history. The white tank top with maroon ribbing is from a gay bathhouse in Munich, Germany called Fisherman’s Club.

Featuring a graphic of a handsome buff fisherman with the name of the sauna underneath, the retro shirt is size small and measures approximately 13.25” wide and 23” long. 

Both tanks are said to be in “very good condition,” have provenance asserting their authenticity from Sotheby’s, and will accept bids starting at $20,000. Oh, mamma mia, mamma mia!!!

Freddie Mercury tank top
credit: Nathan D. Sanders auction

These are just the latest items from Mercury’s private possessions to go up for sale to the public.

Last month, Sotheby’s auctioned off 1,400 of the queer legend’s belongings, which fetched a massive $50.4 million.

Mercury’s piano went for $2.2 million alone, while handwritten lyrics to “Bohemian Rhapsody” went for a whopping $1.7 million, according to People.

Following his tragic death from AIDS in 1991, Mercury left his estate to his good friend and former lover Mary Austin.

While Mercury’s London home remained unchanged in the more than 30 years since his passing, Austin said she was finally ready to part with his treasures.

“The time has come for me to take the difficult decision to close this very special chapter in my life,” Austin, 72, told the BBC, while noting that she was selling everything except for a few gifts and personal photos.

“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.”

Original Queen band members Brian May and Roger Taylor have continued to tour with the addition of Adam Lambert. Under the name Queen + Adam Lambert, the group recently launched the North American leg of The Rhapsody Tour and paid homage to Mercury’s legacy.

“We do this with Freddie in our hearts, and I know he’s in your heart,” Lambert said at the Baltimore show, per USA Today.

Whether or not your planning on recreating a Mercury ensemble, everyone can enjoy a rewatch of his epic Live Aid performance back in 1985:


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