For sale: The pig that could fly
PUBLISHED: 08:22 27 August 2015 | UPDATED: 08:22 27 August 2015
Inflatables from some of the biggest rock ‘n’ roll moments in history are to be auctioned off. JEMMA WALKER reports on a most unusual sale
Iconic inflatables from some of the biggest rock concerts and events around the world, including Pink Floyd’s iconic Battersea pig, are being auctioned at Durrants.
The unusual collection includes a cartoon Freddie Mercury from Queen’s 1986 Magic tour, Rolling Stones’ Babylonian woman from their 1997 Bridges to Babylon tour and the iconic 1977 ‘Algie’ pig that famously flew over Battersea power station before breaking free across London.
Creator Rob Harries, 68, has been working on inflatables since the 1970s and on Tuesday, 15 September is auctioning some of his daring designs online.
He said: “I worked on the Animals tour for Pink Floyd and that really kicked off the relationship with rock.”
The top picks from the auction
- Cartoon Freddie Mercury from Queen’s 1986 Magic tour
- 15ft Anatomically correct Pink Floyd pig (post Roger Waters)
- Rolling Stones’ Babylonian woman from their 1997 Bridges to Babylon tour
- Pink Floyd’s 1977 ‘Algie’ pig from the band’s Animals cover
- 30ft FA cup
- 60ft pig’s head and teacher used in the Roger Waters’ 1990 The Wall concert in Berlin
- 40ft Coca Cola football
- 40ft Sonic the Hedgehog
- Cartoon Freddie Mercury from a Queen concert
- 30ft sofa from Earls Court Ideal Home exhibit
“Stadium rock was in its infancy and inflatables were too so it just worked.”
Mr Harries, owner of Air Artists in Halesworth, created legendary inflateables for Cher, Bryan Adams, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Prince in the Suffolk studio.
“I have the original pig from the Pink Floyd shoot that escaped, I didn’t create it but I did work on the anatomically correct ones for the band when Roger Waters left.”
The iconic pig caused chaos in London after strong winds swept it away from Battersea power station where it was being photographed for the band’s Animals cover.
Pilots spotted the prop at 30,000 feet and the getaway pig famously grounded flights from Heathrow before being discovered in a farm in Kent.
Commissioned by stage designer Mark Fisher, the design duo also worked on unique props for Iron Maiden and Bon Jovi.
“My best moment was at Roger Waters’ 1990 The Wall concert in Berlin with the 60ft pig head. We blew it up in a minute and a half. it broke through the wall and all we could see was 250,000 people cheering.”
Durrants in Beccles are inflating some of the memorabilia that’s sure to catch the eyes of collectors from all over the world.
Dominic Parravani from Durrants, said: “Mr Harries has developed inflatables for some of the most famous rock bands in the world, from Rolling Stones to ACDC and even Disney, it’s a really unique auction.”
After growing his collection for over 25 years, Mr Harries, the owner of Air Artists, Halesworth, is excited about making some room for his son’s designs.
“My son is taking over the reigns of power, he’s 32 and inflatables are the only job he’s ever known – he has them for breakfast!”
The rare and unusual collection has left auctioneers unsure of the money to expect.
To find out more details about the online auction for rock ‘n’ roll lovers visit www.durrants.com