Artwork from Billy Connolly’s mansion to go up for sale

Billy Connolly said he was overyjoyed at the birthdya murals.
Billy Connolly said he was overyjoyed at the birthdya murals.
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Art works which once adorned the walls of Billy Connolly’s Scottish retreat are being sold by a top gallery.

The Big Yin’s corrugated iron cows, flamingos and dancing vicars were all passed on to a neighbouring gallery when the comedian moved to New York in 2014.

His inner city townhouse was not big enough to keep all of his vast collection of quirky art but now fans of the national treasure can get their hands on some of his favourite art pieces.

The works, which previously decorated Candacraig House in Aberdeenshire, are on show at the McEwan Gallery, near Ballater in Royal Deeside.

The collection includes surreal paintings by Beryl Cook, John Bellany, Peter Howson, David M Bowers and James Grainger.

They feature alongside traditional works including The Christmas Pudding by William Mac-Duff and an antique print of Joseph Farquharson’s Fishing on the Dee.

Read more: Billy Connolly removed from school records over ‘blasphemy’

Billy and his wife Pamela sold their B-listed Baronial home in Aberdeenshire in 2014 having bought it from Body Shop founder Anita Roddick in 1998.

Connolly, who was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease three years ago, now lives in Los Angeles.

Rhod McEwan, owner of the McEwan Gallery, said there had been a lot of interest in the Connolly collection.

He said: “They have been attracting a lot of interest.

“Visitors are stopped in their tracks when they see the cows – they are very still and lend an air of serenity about the place.

“They are very realistic with none of the upkeep required for the real thing.

“Billy brought them back from New Zealand where he filmed one of his travel programmes for television. They were outside in the grounds at Candacraig and we brought them to the gallery.

“This is a highly original and eclectic collection of paintings, which reflect Pamela and Billy’s humorous outlook on life. It is a rare chance to view the collection as one.”

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Connolly rose to international fame in the mid-1970s after moving away from music to focus on stand-up comedy performances, but singing and playing the banjo remained a key part of his routines.

He recorded several comedic songs that enjoyed commercial success, including a parody of Tammy Wynette’s song D.I.V.O.R.C.E., which he 
performed in December 1975.