Gerald Fenwicke Metcalfe design
A watercolour on board by Gerald Fenwicke Metcalfe for the design of the war memorial in Albury Church. Part of the collection of Dr Alan Borg, it sold at £1500 at 25 Blythe Road.

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Offered at London saleroom 25 Blythe Road at the end of last month, the 49 lots raised a £10,500 total (including premium).

Pictures and designs for war memorials featured prominently in the collection. One of his great passions, he published a book on the subject during his time as director general of the Imperial War Museum from 1982-95. He was also the driving force behind the creation of the National Inventory of War Memorials, with the IWM recently launching a searchable register of 74,000 war memorials on its website.

Metcalfe’s memorial

The watercolour on board of the Albury memorial was by Gerald Fenwicke Metcalfe (1871-1953), a portrait painter, miniaturist and mural painter who lived at Albury Heath. The arch and decoration reflect the Romanesque character of the Church exterior, while the model for the figure was a local postman.

Estimated at £700-1000 for the auction on March 28, it sold at £1500 and posted the second highest price in the group of lots from the Borg collection.

Wymondham Abbey by John Piper

‘Wymondham Abbey’, a screenprint by John Piper that sold for £1600 at 25 Blythe Road. It was the top lot among the group of works from the Dr Alan Borg collection.

The top lot from the consignment was a John Piper screenprint. Wymondham Abbey was from an edition of 70 and, on the day, drew competition that took it beyond its £500-700 estimate before it was knocked down at £1600.

The lot had provenance to Melanie de Blank, the proprietor of a hotel in Norfolk where Piper used to stay when working in the area, often giving her a picture as an additional ‘payment in kind’.