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Document number: 5691
Date: 23 Jul 1846
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: PRATT W T
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Last updated: 1st September 2003

38 Charlton Street,

New Road.

July 23 /1846.


I have a few engravings, portraits, views, &c transfer’d on small plates of glass to which has been added a ground of polish’d metal. The impression of the plates is increasd <sic> in depth, the lights more brilliant, and the engravings are so mounted, as to obviate the hard effect, that is usually produced by metallic grounds. thus <sic> treated, the engravings possess great force, depth, and brilliancy and are free from those defects of Daguerreotypes of the lights giving black shadows when viewd in a particular direction. – Should you desire to see them, and are likely to be in Town soon, or if I can forward two or three of them in any way, I shall feel much pleasure in doing so, as I think some of the Talbotypes might be substituted for engravings with brilliant effect, and in force, and depth, be made to excel the Daguerreotypes – also, instead of their having a metallic ground, the method I have adopted would admit of their being coloured in oil, with much of the delicacy & finish exhibited by the fine masters of the Dutch shool <sic> – for such, at present, is my opinion, from experiments I have made on engravings with a view to that effect. I have not tried any of the Talbotypes, as I am one of those humble, and ardent lovers of science who pursue knowledge under the greatest difficulties, and being at present unemployd, in the remunerative sense of the term, I have been prevented from trying them, but if you will favour me, by inspecting my humble attempts, & should approve of their effects, and will oblige me with one or two Talbotypes for trial, I shall feel much pleasure, & honourd, in attempting to improve, one of the most brilliant discoveries of Science, and to which so much honour is due to you, for the talent which you have display’d in mastering the very difficult and peculiar method you have adopted.


I have the honour to be

Your obedient

and humble servant,

W. T. Pratt.

– Henry Fox Talbot. Esqre