The two books, hammered down at €49,000 (£41,880) and €265,000 (£226,495), were undertaken during the artist’s visit to England in 1825.
The sketchbooks contain a variety of drawings in black pencil, pen and brown ink of London and surrounding areas such as the Thames, Greenwich, Hyde Park, Green Park, Westminster Hall, Hampstead, Dover, studies from the ‘Elgin marbles’ Parthenon friezes in the British Museum and studies of horses and figures.
One of them has a label for dealer Alphonse Giroux on the inside of the cover.
The Louvre exercised its right of pre-emption to buy the sketchbooks at the Artcurial auction on April 2 at Hotel Drouot in Paris (25/20/12% buyer's premium).
The sketchbooks were part of the sale of the Aristophil Collections by the group of auction houses known as OVA.
OVA (Les Opérateurs de Vente pour les Collections Aristophil) comprises Aguttes, Artcurial, Drouot Estimations and Ader-Nordmann who came together to coordinate the Aristophil sell-off last year.
This recent sale is the 16th from Aristophil and sold 91% by value and totalled more than €5m (£4.3m).
Aristophil collected historic manuscripts and sold shares in these collections to investors. However the company and its subsidiaries were declared bankrupt in 2015 owning 135,000 manuscripts across 54 different collections.
Nearly 18,000 people had invested in these collections with contracts totalling €700m. It may take as many as 300 sales to disperse the full collection of works.