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Iconic Pink Floyd pig in Beccles rock auction

PUBLISHED: 11:30 28 August 2015

Algie the pig, which is up for sale.

Algie the pig, which is up for sale.

Archant

Iconic inflatables from some of the biggest rock concerts and events around the world, including Pink Floyd's iconic Battersea pig, will be going under the hammer with a Beccles auction house.

The pig used in Pink Floyd's artwork.The pig used in Pink Floyd's artwork.

Algie, the helium-filled pig which famously halted flights over Heathrow after breaking loose from its moorings during a Pink Floyd photo shoot – is among a series of bizarre blow-up objects up for sale, in one of the region’s most unusual auctions.

As well as Algie, the sale will also include a cartoon Freddie Mercury from Queen’s 1986 Magic tour and Rolling Stones’ Babylonian woman from their 1997 Bridges to Babylon tour.

The items are owned by Air Artists in Halesworth, which makes promotional inflatables, and will be sold by Durrants in an online auction on September 15.

Creator Rob Harries, 68, has been working on inflatables since the 1970s and is selling off some of his most striking and recognisable designs.

The inflatable teacher used in Roger Waters'1990The Wall concert in Berlin.The inflatable teacher used in Roger Waters'1990The Wall concert in Berlin.

Most eye-catching is Algie, who, in 1976 flew over Battersea power station before breaking free across London. Inflatable flying pigs were a staple of Pink Floyd’s live shows and appeared numerous times in concerts by the band, promoting shows and record releases, and – with the helium-filled Algie – on the cover of their 1977 album Animals.

Mr Harries, who set up Air Artists, said: “I worked on the Animals tour for Pink Floyd and that really kicked off the relationship with rock. “Stadium rock was in its infancy and inflatables were too, so it just worked.”

Although he owns it – and is now selling it – Mr Harries did not actually create Algie.

“I didn’t create it but I did work on the anatomically correct ones for the band when Roger Waters left,” he said.

“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.”

Mr Harries has also created legendary inflatables for Cher, Bryan Adams, Guns ‘n’ Roses and Prince in his Suffolk studio, but after growing his collection for 25 years, he is now selling some of them off to make 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 added.

Staff at Durrants will be re-inflating some of the memorabilia at Mr Harries’ studio, and the items are expected 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.”

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

Do you own an unusual piece of rock memorabilia? Email bbj.news@archant.co.uk

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