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This coloured plate is from a complete 16-volume set of John Curtis’ British Entomology…, bound as eight and complete with all 770 hand-coloured plates. It was sold in the September 10-11 Sworders auction at £3100.

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That archive, offered as part of a September 10-11 sale held by Sworders (23% buyer’s premium), included travel journals of the 1830s at prices from £650-1300 and an album of some 160 letters from numerous distinguished figures – politicians, men of science, writers, musicians, etc – at £3400.

Born in Kilkenny, Anne was educated in England at Mrs Schnell’s School for Young Ladies, but it was while on a Grand Tour with an aunt in 1831 that she met and later married the Rev Sir Thomas Cullum, 8th Baronet Hardwick.

’Tiresome companion’

Among Lady Anne’s diaries for the years 1854-65, after a series of meetings with the historical biographer and poet Agnes Strickland, there appears the following somewhat waspish entry: “Miss S is very prosy and always talking of herself and her books – she is an extraordinary looking woman, very well-meaning but a most tiresome companion. She has a high opinion of her celebrity which almost amounts to mania.”