Walter Mercardo, the Puerto Rican celebrity astrologer beloved by Latinos around the world, was as much known for his extravagant jewels and ornate, embellished capes as his messages of love and hope.
Now, almost three years after his death, more than 135 objects from Mercado’s private collection are being offered at Bonhams (30 November-9 December). Among the most eye-catching lots are a platinum and three-stone diamond ring (est $40,000-$60,000), Mercardo’s signature white silk cape and a citrine “Walter Mercado” pendant ($2,000-$3,500).
Mercado, whose career took off in 1969 when he was offered a slot reading horoscopes during the final segment of the Spanish news programme, Primer Impacto, resisted binary readings of gender, religion and spirituality—and credited his success to having his ascendant in Aries (he was a Pisces sun). A queer icon to many, Mercardo generally refused to discuss his sexuality, stating in the Netflix documentary about his life, Mucho Mucho Amor (which takes its title from the words he would end every segment with): “I don’t need a person to have an orgasmic experience. I have sex with life, I have sex with everything, with clothes, with beauty.”