159. Regent Street.
Monday Octbr 5.
My dear Sir,
I enclose a specimen of which the half is varnished, the rest only sized, this being an indispensible part of the process, which Mr Winsor <1> has been so good as to teach me, by diluting the varnish it may be made less shiny, though I do not know whether this is any advantage.
I mentioned to Mr Winsor what Mr Brookes <2> had proposed to you with respect to the sale of Talbotypes, <3> and the introduction of them to the notice of the world, and he said that he though there could be few houses less calculated for the purpose, this opinion he expressed without impugning the respectability of Mr Brookes’s house in the slightest degree, but merely concerned that commercially speaking, it was not in the most direct line for your purpose. He thought if Ackerman <4> cd be induced to do the same thing it wd for instance be much better, as he conceived it was principally through artists buying Talbotypes as studies, and making them known as such to their employers and pupils that a really extensive sale of them cd be established.
As therefore he had previously told me that his agents travelled not only to every town of any size in the United Kingdom but also to great numbers on the Continent, for the purpose of taking orders from Artists and colour shops it struck me that he might possibly be of more important use to you in this respect than any one else, and I therefore asked his opinion on the subject.
He expressed great readiness to assist, and said he thought the best way wd be to supply his travelling agents with a large number to distribute gratuitously, and also prospectuses with regard to the sale of Talbotypes.
I told him I wd write to you, and feel gratified that I happened to think of what will perhaps be the best means of making the Talbotype known. I shd recommend you to come to Town the first convenient opportunity that you may confer with Mr Winsor.
He was much pleased with the Laycock specimens, but thought the sawyers at the shed <5> worth the whole together for the purpose to which he thinks they may be principally applied viz for the use of artists, and justly thought that nature was inexhaustible in such materials provided they were artistically chosen.
Every body to whom I have shewn the specimens you sent has been charmed with them; I think the entrance of the chapel the finest that has yet been done. Mr Malone at Claudet’s <6> told me that he had last week seen some very fine ones done by an amateur, who adds some combination of sodium in preparing Iodized paper: which increases the sensitiveness.
I have instructed your Cousin, who is much pleased with his success; I forgot to say that the not very splendid little specimen which Kit<7> inserted in my last note was his first essay. He will be glad of some more Iodized paper than the 100 sheets; I shall also wish for some as soon as convenient; the Talbots think of going the end of the week, his paper must therefore be soon sent if he is to take it.
We have determined on staying till Wednesday, or perhaps till this day weeks, I may therefore perhaps hope to see you; if it shd be inconvenient to you to visit London now, and you wish me to say anything to Mr Winsor I shall be happy to do so
yours very truly
Calvert R. Jones.
H. F. Talbot Esqre
31. Sackville St. <8>
1. William Winsor (1804–1865), artists’s colour manufacturer & Sacred Harmonic Society member.
3. Although WHFT modestly used the term calotype, Jones and other loyal supporters honoured him by calling these Talbotypes, in parallel with the term Daguerreotype.
4. Rudolph Ackerman, purveyor of books, prints and artist’s supplies; 191 Regent Street and 96 Strand, London.
5. For this image see ‘The Woodcutters – Nicole & Pullen Sawing & Cleaving’, Schaaf 1933, reproduced in Larry J. Schaaf, The Photographic Art of William Henry Fox Talbot (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 2000), p. 227.
6. Thomas Augustine Malone (1823-1867), chemist, partner with Nicolaas Henneman, photographer; and Antoine Françoise Jean Claudet (1797–1867), London; French-born scientist, merchant & photographer, resident in London.
7. Christopher Rice Mansel Talbot (1803–1890), 'Kit', immensely wealthy landowner, mathematician & politician; WHFT’s Welsh cousin.
8. Readdressed in another hand.