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Document number: 6629
Date: 31 May 1852
Recipient: LLEWELYN John Dillwyn
Author: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Collection: PRIVATE
Collection number: Richard Morris
Last updated: 8th February 2010

31 May/52

Dear Sir

Pray accept the enclosed specimen <1> which was taken the other day in 3 seconds by Henneman <2> or his assistant. He sometimes succeeds in one second. <3>

Believe me Yours vy ty
H.F. Talbot


1. Probably this specimen is a photograph, titled “Study from Life in 3 seconds 1852 by NH”, which is held by Swansea Museum. At some point, the idea took root that this was a portrait of the Hungarian patriot, Louis Kossuth (see, for example, H. J. P. Arnold, William Henry Fox Talbot: Pioneer of photography and man of science, fig. 75) but it does not look at all like other known portraits of him. Another print of the same negative, held by the Amsterdam Rijkprentenkabinet, is titled “Signor Sentura”, Schaaf 3704, and that is more likely to be correct.

2. Nicolaas Henneman (1813–1898), Dutch, active in England; WHFT’s valet, then assistant; photographer.

3. The album containing the photograph “Study from Life …”, mentioned above, also contains a photograph titled “Portrait of a child name unknown by Nicolas Henneman in one second 1852”.

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