Art forger Hebborn's work sold at auction for more than $80,000

A collection of work by known art forger Eric Hebborn has sold for an impressive sum at auction, with collectors undeterred by the fake goods.

Hebborn's watercolour set was also offered in the sale

Hebborn was a classically trained painter who began forging art when he was told that some of his drawings resembled that of Nicholas Poussin, a famed painter of the French baroque style.

He went on to successfully imitate masters such as Van Dyck, Rubens and Breughel, duping the art world into buying the works.

He confessed in 1984, and used the subsequent press as an opportunity to ridicule the art world, with many experts attesting to the authenticity of his fakes.

However, on the release of his autobiography, he was found dead in a street in Rome, presumably killed by an irked connoisseur.

Today, many works that may be one of Hebborn's fakes are still found in renowned collections, with debate continuing over their provenance.

All this did not stop collectors from turning up in their dozens to the auction at Webbs of Wilton, UK on October 22, with many paying far over the estimate for his facsimiles. A drawing created in the style of Michelangelo sold for £2,200 ($3,527) - an impressive 1,733% increase on the £500 high estimate.

The top-selling lot of the sale was Hebborn's drawing manuel, entitled the Language of the Line, which contained his corrections and edits. It sold for just over £3,000 ($4,810).

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