44 Queen Ann St <1>
March 26. 1839
I beg your acceptance of the enclosed Photograph, representing Camp. hederacea<2> from bog on the summit of a mountain, Llantrissent <3> Glamorgan. It was done with a November Sun.<4> Any sunshine will do, & almost any daylight. You can try whether it is well fixed, by putting it in the sun. What do you think of undertaking a work in conjunction with me, on the plants of Britain, or any other plants, with photographic plates, 100 copies to be struck off, or whatever one may call it, taken off, the objects? You will find what Mr Bauer has written on this subject, in the Lity Gazette for March 2d <5> I shall have great pleasure in sending the Duke of Bedford <6> some specimens of the New Art; I have none today that I can send; I must make some more. Pray accept also the enclosed Photographic imitation of etching, an invention which I made in the autumn of 1834.<7> The present specimen was however not made by myself, I cannot draw so well Any body who can draw, may multiply their drawings in this manner, viz. by drawing them on varnished glass, & using photographic paper for the impressions. Vide <8> what I intend to publish in the Lit. Gazette of next Saturday,<9> & the proceedings of the R. Society for last Thursday,<10> in said Gazette of March 23.<11>
You who are a skilful draughtsman may very likely turn this branch of the art to good account.
Believe me Yours most truly
H. F. Talbot
1. 44 Queen Ann Street: London home of the Mundy family and a frequent base for WHFT.
2. Campanula hederacea.
3. Close to Llanely, or Lanely, Glamorganshire: home of Lady Mary Cole and Mary Thereza Talbot.
4. This means that it was done before the public announcement of photography. This image must have been contemporaneous with a 13 November 1838 photograph of Astrantia major, formerly in the collection of the Royal Photographic Society (now in the NMeM, Bradford), illustrated and described in Larry J. Schaaf, The Photographic Art of William Henry Fox Talbot (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), plate 6.
5. Franz Andreas Bauer (1758–1840), Austrian botanical illustrator, resident at Kew. [See Doc. No: 03833]. His letter of 27 February 1839 was published in The Literary Gazette, no. 1154, 2 March 1839, pp. 137-138.
7. An image made by the ‘cliché verre’ process.
8. ie, see.
10. WHFT, "Note respecting a new kind of Sensitive Paper," Proceedings of The Royal Society, v. 4 no. 37, 21 March 1839, p. 134
11. "Fine Arts. Photogenic Drawing," The Literary Gazette, no. 1157, 23 March 1839, p. 187.