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19th century plaster death mask head of a man, by J. DeVille sold for £1,300.
These disturbing Victorian plaster cast heads of notorious criminals are a far cry from today's bland mugshots of lowlifes.
Two of the heads have been identified as Benjamin Courvoisier, a serial killer in the mould of Jack the Ripper, and coachman Daniel Good who mutilated his pregnant mistress.
In total, nine heads were discovered at an outbuilding at a rural home just outside Penrith, Cumbria, which have now fetched almost £40,000 at auction.
Experts predicted the collection of heads would sell for £2,000 but Courvoisier's head alone went for £20,000.
Two of the heads were made by the famous British exponent of phrenology, James De Ville, who built a private museum of more than 5,000 specimens.