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Document number: 6795
Date: 19 May 1853
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: BARCLAY George
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA53-22
Last updated: 11th December 2010

22 Gerrard St
May 19 1853


When I opened the plates,<1> I was you may be sure pleasingly surprised at the result No 1 & 2 looked beatiful [sic], but in the impression they are surpassed by No 3 in effect though not in truth. No 3 where it is a little strong the lines on each side the fibre are so close as to have the appearance of one, yet where it is a little less bit how exquisitely sharp it brings out the fibre towards the [illegible] extremity it is elegant in the extreme

I perceive you have been etching the figures and the bell is very fine and clear that is no raggedness or break then of course a line could be etched in for character by a shadow line to the outside of the leaf and to each fibre this would make No 2 bit enough I suppose this could be added behind a yellow blind as in Photography without deterioration of the ground

The figure No 2 although the leaf is bit lightest comes out strongest this arises from pressure in writing it no doubt

The proofs have been a job of more than ordinary trouble. Messrs Hughes <2> for this purpose should have had the plates bevilled at least finished which these were not I had therefore to file them myself, putting them into the hands of a common workman was out of the question. I had also to attempt removing some of your false bitings and other accidents on copper a comparatively easy job on Steel one of time and never satisfactory I mention this as well that your attention may be turned to prevention as better than cure.

Every print has been taken with all the attention of a proof and though the result is not so obvious yet the time is consumed and in these necessarily, the difference in [illegible] in these has not so material an effect on the time

The slightness of depth, again evident in the prints I now send will not admit of any contempt of care, but they can be printed in a more offhand manner at a less price again so thick a paper will make a heavy book. here [sic] would be a double saving for less weight in paper is less cost, and less trouble to printer, and yet the work would have a good and substantial appearance making these alterations would reduce the cost one third further reduction could be obtained at the sacrifice of appearance

Most Respectfully Yr Obt St
Geo Barclay


1. WHFT's experimental photographic engraving plates.

1. Of Hughes & Kimber, Red Lion Passage, Fleet Street; WHFT obtained many plates from them.

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