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Document number: 8690
Date: 20 Apr 1863
Recipient: TALBOT William Henry Fox
Author: SMYTH Charles Piazzi
Collection: British Library, London, Manuscripts - Fox Talbot Collection
Collection number historic: LA63-038
Last updated: 1st September 2003

1 Hillside Crescent


April 20 1863

Dear Sir,

Herewith I beg to send you, <addition:> for your kind acceptance, <end of addition> two small glass Guajaras, (both copies of the same original negative, & the one is to be preferred to the other solely as taste may direct) <illeg> (the original negative from which they are copies, is the same one that was the original of the big copy which you put on your big copper plate, & of which the Stationery Office has not got any copies & is not going to have any); also <addition:> & for your acceptance too, if you please <end of addition> 4 paper Talbotypes. These last, represent what the Stationery Office is doing: namely producing 4 book-plates, Talbotively, & having for the purpose three printing negatives of each subject, being the 12 negatives I have formerly mentioned, but still dealing only with <addition:> or having <reference?> to <end of addition> four original negatives, & no more.

Now plates 2 & 3, are the same subject in nature, but from different original negatives, <wherein?> the invaluable powers of eliminating photographi<c > accidents from natural features by merely seeing <if any> particular mark in question is similar in both: and generally, I would not wish to publish any photograph without such a check.

But plates 1 & 4, have no such check. Plate 4, however < illeg> scarcely requires it, for it is inserted for negative purposes only: but Plate 1, is in eminent want of it, because it is the best defined of the whole, & full of positive memoranda whose importance will rise, according to the degree to which they can be proved to have existed in Nature. There will however be precisely such a check afforded, if you succeed to your satisfaction in photoglyphing again either the big positive which you did put on the copper=plate <sic>, or either of the small ones which I now send.

The other big positive which you have, & which you put on the steel plate, so admirably for definition & middle tint, is from the same original negative that the Stationery Office is reproducing, & cannot therefore act as the check in Nature on < illeg> their Plate 1. But if in a hundred years hence, the Stat. Office’s now rich looking picture becomes white paper, your photoglyph of their original negative will be important for the <book?>: & all the more if you have a second photoglyph of another original negative of the same subject in nature

Yours very truly

C. Piazzi Smyth

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