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Consigned from a local private deceased estate, the 41-page sketchbook is by William Behnes (1795-1864), a prominent but troubled German-English sculptor who rose to fame in Britain during the 1820s.

Contained within the folio are designs for monuments and studies of historical figures such as the Duke of Newcastle, Robert Peel and Thomas Gresham.

Behnes’ statue of the latter stands in London’s Royal Exchange and is one of many works by the sculptor that still reside in the capital.

Despite his success, Behnes struggled with finances and was declared bankrupt in 1861. Alcoholism and gambling, worsened by those financial problems, took its toll and on New Year’s Day in 1864, Behnes was found unconscious in a gutter.

He died a few days later and was buried in an unmarked grave in Kensal Green Cemetery.

The folio, which had some slight foxing to pages, was hammered down to a local private buyer at £2200 against a £1000-1500 estimate.