Sept. 4. 1845.
My dear Sir,
I much regret that Messrs Longman <1> will not enter into your views of the Talbotype <2> publication
I should hope however that another publisher can hardly fail of being found, and can only say that I shall be delighted to undertake any portion of the proposed work, provided the undertaking reimbursed me.
My zeal in the cause of your beautiful art, would lead me to any places, however distant, in order that it might be promulgated, as I think it a shame on our country that it is not more known and appreciated.
I think your idea is very good, of a limited sale of finished copies independent of any publisher; as for Mr Mansion <3> I have not a very exalted opinion of his powers, and from what I saw of his works, considered him more a stippling portrait painter than anything else. I speak with great diffidence, never having tried, but think that I could supply what might be wanting to the finish of Talbotypes better than he could, especially if I was acquainted with the subjects. I shd add however that I think it a pity “to gild refined gold, to paint the lily <4>” which you have raised to such a state of perfection.
If, with respect to arrangements with any publisher, or any points of decision referring to your Belgian or Queen’s tour, <5> I can be of any use in coming to London, it will give me great pleasure to do so –
yours most truly
Calvert R Jones.
1. Longman & Company, publishers, London.
2. After the initial success of The Pencil of Nature (published by Longmans), WHFT had considered another publication following the footsteps of Queen Victoria. In a variation of this plan, he instead followed Sir Walter Scott in Sun Pictures in Scotland, photographed in October 1844 and issued by subscription in 1845.
3. Leon Mansion, a London miniature painter and artist. See L. Mansion, Letters upon the art of miniature painting (London: R. Ackermann, 1822). Mansion’s colouring of daguerreotypes was advertised in the Art Union, 1 July 1845, and the Athenaeum, 4 July 1846, p. 601. See Larry J. Schaaf, Sun Pictures Catalogue Five: The Reverend Calvert R. Jones (New York: Hans P. Kraus, Jr, 1987), p. 13. [Also see Doc. No: 05381; Doc. No: 05398; Doc. No: 05428 and Doc. No: 05444].
4. Jones would however paint and colour many of his own calotypes.
5. Queen Victoria and Prince Albert toured Germany in 1845.
6. ‘Deo Volente’, God Willing.