The 49 lots include prints and engravings alluding to his alma maters, Westminster College and Brasenose College, as well as other places of personal interest such as The Tower of London, where he began his career, the Foundling Hospital, where he is vice-president, and Vauxhall Gardens, the history of which he co-authored a book in 2011.
The largest element of the collection is 20 drawings and watercolours relating to First World War memorials. This was one of his great passions during his time as director general of the Imperial War Museum from 1982-95, and he duly published a book on the subject in 1991. The lack of central record of their design and building led him to help set up the National Inventory of War Memorials in 1988, with the IWM recently launching a searchable register of 74,000 war memorials on its website.
Here ATG selects five works from the upcoming sale.
1. The Foundling Hospital
The Foundling Hospital in London’s Brunswick Square was established in 1739 by the philanthropist Thomas Coram as the UK’s first children’s charity. It was built to care for children and babies at risk of abandonment. Today it continues as a museum and public art gallery and Dr Alan Borg is its vice-president. This hand-coloured engraving from 1750 by Robert Wilkinson (1768-1825) is estimated at £80-120 at the sale of works from Borg’s collection. View the catalogue entry for this lot.
2. Aquatint of the Tower
Dr Alan Borg began his curating career at the Tower of London where he was assistant keeper of the Royal Armouries. Included in his collection is this English school aquatint from c.1880 titled The Tower of London from the Pool. With provenance to London dealer Henry Sotheran & Co, it is estimated at £40-60. View the catalogue entry for this lot.
3. Engraving of Brasenose
Dr Alan Borg was an alumnus of Brasenose College, Oxford and the collection offered at 25 Blythe Road includes this engraving of the front of the college on Radcliffe Square by Joseph John Skelton (1783-1871). It is offered along with two other prints of Brasenose and the Radcliffe Library. Estimate £80-120. View the catalogue entry for this lot.
4. The Wooden Cenotaph
This representation of the Cenotaph in Whitehall shows the temporary wood and plaster monument that was erected for the Peace Celebrations on 19 July, 1919. It was taken down in January 1920 before the permanent stone cenotaph was unveiled on 11 November 1920. This etching taken from the calendar produced by William Monk (1863-1937) is one of only around 100 that were printed. At the sale of works from Dr Alan Borg’s collection, it is estimated at £80-120. View the catalogue entry for this lot.
5. Albury Memorial
War memorials have been a great passion of Dr Alan Borg and he has been the driving force behind the creation of a searchable register of the UK’s memorials. This design for the First World War memorial in Albury Church is part of his collection appearing at auction. The watercolour on board is by Gerald Fenwicke Metcalfe (1871-1953), a portrait painter, miniaturist and mural painter who lived at Albury Heath. The model for the figure in the relief was a local postman. Estimate: £700-1000. View the catalogue entry for this lot.