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A well-known sportsman and patron of the turf, the extravagant peer famously had his wineglasses made without a foot, obliging dinner guests to drink whole glasses at a time.

"You would have had to have been someone of serious standing and great wealth to commission this," enthused Woolley & Wallis (15% buyer's premium) specialist Alexis Butcher. "Each detachable piece was engraved with the crest and coronet, even the snuffer."

Consigned by a private vendor for the July 28-29 sale, the lavish 12 1/2 x 9 3/4in (32 x 25cm) inkstand was dated 1817 and weighed 97oz. It was cast with large winged paw feet and had a cast frieze of repeating floral scrolls around the sides. It attracted considerable interest from dealers, some bidding on behalf of private clients, and it eclipsed its £8000-10,000 estimate selling at £21,000.