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It is one in which George Stubbs, an artist celebrated for his studies of horses and an enormous range of other animals of all types, acknowledges receipt of payment from Lord Yarborough for a copy of his ‘Comparative Anatomy’.

It is recorded in his hand as copy No 3 and bears his signature, but as his famous work on The Anatomy of the Horse had been first published some 40 year earlier, in 1766, he must here be referring to his last, unfinished project, a “comparative anatomical exposition of the structure of the human body with that of a tiger and a common fowl”, said the saleroom.

Less than three months after sending this receipt Stubbs died, but as the saleroom’s book specialist Chris More pointed out, examples of his autograph appear to be rare.